I have been in Chicago for four years now, and there is still so much I have not done. I still have not been to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I also haven’t been to the top of Sears Tower, and I have never been to the planetarium or the aquarium. The shame!
While I have visited some of the museums here in Chicago, I had not yet visited the Museum of Contemporary Art. I even missed the David Bowie exhibit and the Murakami exhibit. Thanks to my poor planning, both exhibits were sold out. I was bummed and determined not to make that mistake again.
Enter Marisol, the new restaurant that just opened this fall in the MOCA. Chris and I planned a visit: a whole day at the museum, starting with brunch at Marisol.
Named after the artist and good friend of Mr. Andy Warhol, Marisol is a contemporary Americana restaurant on the first floor of the museum. The space is kind of cafeteria-like; tables are lined up along the far wall against the window and there is a counter-style bar in the middle of the restaurant.
Typical for an art museum restaurant, there is a stunning mural on the back wall. Bright colors accent the space in the form of chair cushions and booth seats. It feels like you’re sitting in a paint box.
Chris and I were seated at a communal table. I decided since we were having an adult day, I would opt for an adult beverage. No mimosas for this gal; I headed straight for the full wine list. The restaurant has a number of different wines, including an orange wine that Chris was mighty curious about.
I ordered a glass of sparkling wine, and Chris requested a taste of the orange wine. He also ordered a coffee and a Bloody Mary. We quickly perused the menu, starving and anxious to begin our day exploring the museum. Everything looked and sounded delicious.
The menu offers both breakfast and lunch items, and is unlike any other museum restaurant I have dined at. It is thoughtful, elevated, and offers a variety of options.
Dishes—like the cured salmon platter or the lemon poppy French toast—enticed me, but ultimately Chris and I decided to share the breakfast burrito and avocado toast with an added soft boiled egg.
Our food took a little longer than expected, considering the crowds in the restaurant had started to dwindle down, but once our plates arrived to table, we were completely in awe. Presentation is what to expect from an upscale restaurant in a renowned art museum.
The avocado toast was spread across a thick piece of toast and topped with leafy greens and feta cheese. It was simple, which I like. The flavors worked together perfectly. The soft boiled egg came in an adorable little egg holder with the shell perfectly broken and removed at the top of the egg.
The breakfast burrito was equally delicious. It was stuffed with avocado, onions, green chiles, tomatoes, potatoes, organic eggs, and cheddar cheese. Chris noted that though it lacked meat, it wasn’t needed; the burrito was super filling.
Satiated, we decided against a dessert pastry and settled up our tab. While the service was a snail’s pace, we enjoyed our brunch here immensely. We were ready to take on the museum!
The Bitches Say: A-. Marisol is simply wonderful. Plan a day of exploring the Museum of Contemporary Art and definitely begin your day with brunch here, or even just coffee and a pastry. The food is delicious, the ambiance is a perfect mix of an immersive art scene and a comfortable relaxed environment.