This fall, I heard that my childhood friend, Ashley, recently moved to Chicago. Although I had not seen her in many (many!) years, I get excited about fellow Washingtonians moving to the Windy City, and love any opportunity to meet them for drinks and show them a little bit of the city.
We had been invited to brunch at Osteria La Madia, so I decided to treat my new neighbors to brunch—Bitch perks!
Ashley and her boyfriend, Nate, had a rough week. After moving to Chicago a few weeks prior, they survived an apartment fire that claimed their building. Fortunately, they were not home and no one in their building was hurt. But, they’d had a hellish week dealing with insurance companies and finding a new place to live. After hearing this terrible news, I reached out and offered Ashley and Nate to stay the weekend at our house. I was delighted when she took me up on my offer. Then, I was even more delighted that I could take her to out brunch in her new home of Chicago.
We Bitches believe that a brunch can help make any situation better. And, this time it proved to be true. On this particular weekend, we were experiencing Chicago’s first winter snow.. Ashley and I were so excited to get out of the house and enjoy the crisp white snow in downtown Chicago, so we threw on our Sunday best and headed to Osteria La Madia.
Osteria La Madia is located in the heart of River North. The restaurant is cute, quaint, and overall just a lovely spot. It’s beautifully decorated inside—illuminated by natural light that shines in through the large front windows.
Later in our meal, I was chatting with the lovely General Manager, who explained that they’d recently renovated the restaurant to make it feel more open.
The restaurant recently introduced a new brunch prix fixe menu and I just knew it was going to be awesome. Osteria La Madia has an extensive and enticing menu of Italian classics with a twist.. Starters include classics like prosciutto and melon,and entrees incorporate Italian staples, such as polenta, carbonera, and bruschetta. My mouth was watering just reading the menu.
Of course we had to start will some drinks—after the week Ashley had had, she deserved a cocktail or two. And of course, I followed suit. I decided to begin with a Bloody Margherita, their spin on a Bloody Mary, that came topped with mozzarella balls and fresh basil, and had homemade tomato sauce as their base! Ashley decided to try one of the best things to come out of Italy: the Bellini.
Among the starters (antipasti en Italiani!), there was a brioche cinnamon roll, which I was dying to try. We also opted for a side of the crispy potatoes and aioli. To say we were pleasantly surprised when warm donut holes came out with our drinks as well, would be an understatement. Firecakes, arguably one of Chicago’s best donut shops, is their sister restaurant. The donut shop delivers fresh-made donuts for restaurant goers to munch on during brunch — WIN! I could have eaten basket after basket of those.
For entrees, I was dead set on having one of their many breakfast pizzas. My choice was easy: the egg and prosciutto di parma, a white sauce pizza with a fried egg on top. Ashley had settled on the fried egg bruschetta.
The starters came out and were delicious. We especially loved the icing on the brioche roll—it was really yummy. The potatoes were great as well, but after starting with a Bloody Mary and ordering mostly savory dishes, I was really in love with the cinnamon roll.
We switched to mimosas, and our entrees followed shortly after. My pizza was large, but not too large.I was excited at the prospect of leftovers—it looked beautiful. We both dug in and there were lots of “ohhs” and “ahhs” coming from us both. Everything was wonderful.
My pizza was the consummate Italian comfort food, which fit the bill on this snowy,cold Chicago day. It was warm, creamy, and savory, but with an added touch of freshness thanks to the fresh parsley. Ashley loved her sandwich— saying it was the most delicious Italian sandwich ever. She is Italian, so that says a lot.
Our experience at Osteria La Madia was delightful to say the least. Everything was delicious, and the service was outstanding. Our server was friendly,helpful with decision making and recommendations. The management and front-of-house staff were as friendly as ever.
The Bitches Say: A. Osteria La Madia is the perfect place to have a delicious, upscale fancy brunch, especially when entertaining out of town guests. Expect to leave here extremely satisfied!
Osteria La Madia
59 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654
Osteria La Madia serves Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.