Who else in Chicago is loving this unseasonably warm weather? I am totally ready for fall, but I will never say no to good weather in Chicago; and shame on you if you would! Winter will be here soon enough, so while the sun is still shining, and I don’t have to leave the house in multiple layers of clothes, I am going to enjoy this pseudo-Indian summer we are having in the Windy City.
My brunching bestie Svetlana and I had plan a full on G.D.O. (girls day out), starting with facials at the new Skin Laundry laser and light facial clinic located in the Ulta Beauty on Michigan Avenue. If you aren’t familiar with Skin Laundry, it is the new 15-minute laser facial that is basically the Blow Out Bar for your face, and it’s awesome. They offer the first facial for free, so we were dying to check it out, as nervous as we were.
We were surprised at how quick the process was, and were so happy with the experience. We skipped on out of Ulta and headed to brunch after kicking off our G.D.O. in true Bitches Who Brunch fashion. Next, we headed to Ronero in the West Loop to check out their recently debuted brunch.
Okay, a little about Svetlana and I— we have been meaning to check out Ronero for some time now after walking past it and admiring it’s charm almost every time we are in West Loop. That being said, Svetlana and I are frequent visitors of Esco Bar, Ronero’s upstairs Latin bar and dance hall. It is one of our favorite spots in the city and our top place to go on G.N.O. when we leave our husbands at home. Seriously, it is F-U-N fun.
I was ecstatic when I was invited to come check out the recently launched brunch service. Ronero is an upscale Latin American restaurant and rum bar. It is totally charming, and I will definitely have to take HBIC Cori Sue here when she is in town next; she loves anything palm tree print, and this place is packed with it. The restaurant has a gorgeous patio as well, but with the heat wave, we decided to sit at a table with the palm tree couches, near the open windows at the front of the restaurant.
We were meeting Taylor, who does the restaurant’s PR, which was awesome because she is fabulous and only made our G.D.O. even more fun. Ronero’s brunch used to be served buffet style, but has since become an a la carte brunch menu, with a crepe and omelette station at the back open kitchen, where you can have both made-to-order.
We couldn’t resist and felt obliged to do the cute mimosa cart justice, so we started with the mimosa package of champagne, a choice of juices, and fresh berries. It was, naturally, delightful and should definitely be ordered for a girls brunch. The mimosa cart was a hand crafted cart made specifically for the restaurant as a rum cart; I need one in my condo STAT. Also, Taylor had is later in the meal try the Brugal Spritzer, made with extra dry rum, lemon, pineapple and sparkling wine. Best brunch cocktail ever!
A variety of ceviches were brought to the table, which of course we were all excited for. I loved that there were a few different kids to choose from; among them, one of my favorites, a tuna with coconut Leche de Tigre, and corn nuts, served with housemade plantain chips.
Next, a few of the signature Ronero breakfast dishes came out; the galletas y salsa, huevos pericos, and a hearts of palm salad, made with palmito, pear, endive, radicchio, topped with hazelnuts and a coconut crema.
The galletas y salsa is basically a Latin American version of biscuits and gravy; queso fresco biscuits are topped with a chorizo poblano gravy. This dish was savory and full of flavor, we all really enjoyed it. It was definitely an elevated version of your grandma’s biscuits and gravy and a table favorite.
The huevos pericos was a beautiful presentation of Columbian soft scrambled eggs a top a muffin, complete with lovely edible flowers as a garnish. The eggs were scrambled delicately and were super creamy; the perfect texture for breakfast eggs.
Next, we had the El Clasico to share, which was two sunny side up eggs, bacon, and a Peruvian potato hash, that was better then any breakfast potatoes I have had. This dish is perfect for your non-adventurous eater friend at brunch.
There were two dishes in particular that Svetlana was excited about. The first of the two was the molette of house cured salmon and a caper aioli on top of torta bread. I am not a huge fan of smoked fish, but I must say that this salmon was cured perfectly. Not too fishy, and not overly dry, it was the perfect “picnic in Peru” kind of dish, and would make for an awesome lunch any day of the week.
Our meal ended with a sweet finish, thanks to the variety of dulces to choose from, including the other brunch item Svetlana was most excited for, the pastal de natas, or thePortuguese egg tarts. These worked well with the rest of our desserts, the crepes and waffles. The crepes were delicious; delicate, lacy, and perfectly browned, and the waffles were sweet tasty. The accompanying toppings were yummy as well, thanks to the fresh seasonal berries and fresh whipped cream.
The egg tarts came topped with a variety of fruits and powdered sugar. I could see why Svetlana likes them so much! They were creamy and custard like, and I especially enjoyed the crust.
Overall, brunch at Ronero is extremely pleasant and enjoyable. The food is an eclectic and delicious mix of Latin American and South American food, with other worldly influences, and the ambiance is wonderful regardless of what time of year it is. Enjoy cocktails on the patio during the warm months, or transport yourself to a tropical island with a seat inside during the cold winter months. Additionally, the live Spanish guitar music during brunch is simply charming, especially as the music escapes the restaurant on to the street through the open windows at the front.
The Bitches Say: A. Ronero is a solid addition to the West Loop, and the type of Latin flare this city could use a little more of in that area. The fun ambience and delicious food and cocktails make it the perfect spot for a celebratory brunch with friends or family, or a relaxing spot for a weekend afternoon to enjoy light fare and cocktails.
Ronero serves weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.