When friends come into town, I make lists. Lists of places to eat, places to see, places to shop, and of course, places to brunch. But, when your best friend comes to town—and this best friend has never been to Chicago—the stakes of these lists are raised.
My dear friend Christine drove into town after finishing her first semester of graduate school at Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!). We’d been talking about her visiting since she decided to attend IU, so needless to say, this weekend was jam-packed with things to do, but I always knew where we were going to brunch.
And for good reason. The Kitchen is the kind of place you want to take guests who are visiting from out of town, especially those who have never been to Chicago. It’s a beautiful, open restaurant with lofty ceilings, modern chandeliers, rustic furniture and an amazing view of the Chicago river. And on top of all of that, the food is superb.
On Saturday morning, Christine and I leisurely made our way to the restaurant and were delighted when the host seated us immediately. I was expecting some sort of wait, since I had experienced short waits every other time I had dined at The Kitchen, so I was excited. We were greeted by our waitress, who was polite, prompt, and knowledgeable about the food and ingredients.
We promptly placed orders for drinks. My usual is coffee, and Christine, who lacks a comparable caffeine addiction, ordered fresh-squeezed orange juice. My coffee was perfect—bold and smooth, with a tiny creamer and assortment of sweeteners on the side.
Christine loved her OJ, until I told her that orange juice has more sugar in it than what a human should have in a single serving. I may have killed orange juice for her for forever, but this was a great last glass to have.
We both decided to order mimosas, because, after all, it was a girls’ weekend! I ordered the classic champagne with OJ, and Christine ordered the grapefruit mimosa. My mimosa was the perfect ratio of juice to bubbly, which I appreciated. No juiced down mimosas for this Bitch.
For an appetizer, the hand-made croissant sounded too good to pass up. The croissant did not disappoint—flaky and buttery, layers of the pastry crumbled onto the table at the slightest touch. It was simply divine. Homemade butter and apple jam were presented on the side, and those, too, were amazing.
As we moved onto entrees, Christine chose the hearty Eggs Benedict that came with breakfast potatoes and a side salad. The eggs Benny comprised with house cured Canadian bacon, béarnaise, and poached eggs all atop a house english muffin. Christine really liked her dish and commented that the muffin was delicious and that the breakfast potatoes were out of this world. Needless to say, she liked her choice a lot.
I’ve been on a sweet kick lately and the French toast caught my eye from the moment jumped I began scoping out the menu on my iPhone on the way to brunch. The French toast was La Farine Brioche bread topped with pecans and toffee sauce.
It was very sweet, sticky, and dense—I loved every bit of it. It was a hefty portion for the dish, and I was unable to finish it all in one sitting. To-go boxes are a favorite of mine, and this was brought home and enjoyed that afternoon, once I got my appetite back.
The Kitchen lures you in with the open, airy, rustic feel, and amazing view and makes you stay for the food and the service. We left happy Bitches.
The Bitches say: A+. This is the perfect place for a date, a group brunch, or to impress out-of-town guests. You won’t be disappointed.
316 N. Clark St.
The Kitchen serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.