Perched on the edge of the Chicago River sits the elegant and chic American bistro, The Kitchen. One step inside this place and you’ll feel like you were transported into a Pinterest board titled, “Rustic Farmhouse Chic.” There are exposed beams and wooden accents galore, surround by fresh foliage and flowers throughout the space. The décor is simple, yet elegant and perfectly showcases the farm-to-table aesthetic.
In need of a bit of a refresh this morning, we started the meal off with a strong cup of coffee and a cucumber spritzer. The Cucumber Breeze is made with mint, lime and cucumber, and it was light and refreshing. The drink was hydrating and I loved that there were fresh pieces of mint and cucumber in the glass, making it as enjoyable visually as it was to drink.
Brunch started out promising with the ricotta toast. This was the perfect sweet and carb-filled treat we were craving. The chewy and airy bread that the ricotta and preserves were slathered on was slightly sweet and definitely thick enough to withhold the generous portion of creamy goodness atop of it. The heavy schmear of ricotta was velvety smooth and rich. Its savory flavor blended seamlessly with the tangy sweet bitterness of the homemade strawberry preserves that were drizzled atop it. Separately, I’m not sure any of these ingredients are that spectacular, but combine them together in this heavenly way and they are a wonderful way to start, or end, any brunch.
After our sweet and creamy dish, we were hankering for something a bit more savory. Our waiter recommended a few options and we took his suggestion on both our dishes. First up was the grilled piri piri chicken sandwich.
The chicken itself was tender, juicy and flavorful, but the spiciness of the aioli was so overpowering that it was hard to look past. The coleslaw and cucumbers added a nice refreshing crunch and cooling element to the spicy dish, but we were unprepared for the intensity of the flavor. We are both fans of spice and enjoyed the sandwich, but be aware, if you can’t handle the heat, you’re probably going to want to skip this one because this sandwich packs a punch.
The French fries that came as a side to the meal were actually our favorite part of this dish; they were unexpectedly delicious, crunchy on the outside with a light, fluffy center and served with homemade ketchup that was divine.
We rounded out our brunch with the poached eggs in a shakshuka sauce. The sauce was untraditionally made with green tomatoes, giving it a surprisingly tangy and delightful flavor. The crème fraîche added thickness and creamy flavor to the dish. Unfortunately though, the egg yolks were a little too dense, almost making them more hardboiled in quality, than poached. The broccoli also had a difficult time with texture and could have been cooked longer. While the florets were served warm, they were still very hard and crunchy in contrast to the rest of the dish that had a softer and smoother consistency. Despite these minor discrepancies with the texture of the meal, the flavors were well thought out and with a little finesse, the meal could have been great.
The Bitches say: three Champagne flutes. We left feeling full, but not completely satisfied, wishing we had opted for another of our waiter’s suggestions instead, like the mushroom toast.
The venue was elegant and classy, while still feeling inviting and warm, however, we weren’t wowed by any of the dishes. If you’re looking for a good drink, with a scenic view of the river and a sophisticated atmosphere, The Kitchen is your spot.
The Kitchen serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.