Whenever I have an errand to run in Wicker Park I get excited. I normally hold off until the weekend so I can do my errands with my husband, and we subsequently can spend a couple of hours together in Wicker.
I love Wicker so much that, sometimes, during the day I just come up with an errand to run just so that I have to go to Wicker. When it is nice outside, I make it a whole shebang and pile the dog in the car with us.
Chris, my husband, has started to catch on to my sneaky ways of making him commit to a day in Wicker Park. I’ll say “we need to go to Z, Y, Z, in Wicker today.” To which he will reply: “are you sure I have to come or are you just trying to make a day out of it?” And he’s right. I am trying to make a day out of it.
To Chris, going to Wicker Park means spending money and being dragged to clothing stores.
To me, Wicker Park means a few things; great shopping, great bars, and awesome restaurants. It is such a small and condensed area with so much to find. I especially love the consignment and thrift shops. So one errand can easily become an hour or two of shopping to me, in between several coffee shop stops at the many coffee spots in this tiny six street conjunction.
On this particular Saturday, I waited to tell Chris we had an errand to run in Wicker until the right moment. I had planned on us brunching at Trenchermen. Chris and I have dined at Trenchermen several times for dinner before, although it had been a while since we had visited the establishment. We had tried brunch once but it was packed! Thankfully, I had made reservations the day before, and I knew that Chris would be delighted to go.
We like Trenchermen for several reasons. First and foremost, the food is really delicious. Second, it’s a cool and inviting spot in the midst of a lot of divey bars. It’s fancy, but not too fancy: fine for well dressed date goers, and also the perfect spot for a low-key after work drink. I have enjoyed being able to dine at a nice restaurant in a low-key-but-cute outfit consisting of lace up boots and a flannel.
When we arrived to Trenchermen, it was already quite packed. Luckily there was no line, and even though we had originally been directed to be seated in the bar area due to the business of the main dining area, they were happy to accommodate us and we were taken to a lovely booth. The bar is dimly lit and the main dining room is full of light. I really wanted to be in the open and well lit space so I was happy they were able to seat us there. It was lovely. Much to our surprise, Trenchermen offers a brunch prix fixe menu for $21. I was shocked. In times before we had easily spent a lot more than most places on dinner here, and considering how good the food had been for dinner, we instantly knew we were getting a steal for brunch. When greeted by our server, we promptly ordered both coffee and mimosas. She also kindly explained how the prix fixe menu worked; each guest chooses one pastry, one main dish, and one side. Despite that being enough food for any normal human being, Chris and I were thinking with our bellies and also ordered with a kale salad because it just sounded delicious. For our pastries to start: the apple cake donut for Chris, and the rosemary and cranberry scone for me. The pastries arrived first and they were both really delicious. The apple cake donut was especially flavorful, and my scone came with a creme fraiche butter that was absolutely awesome. They were both complemented by our cups of coffee.
The Kale salad followed and it was beautiful. Diced Kale, mixed with a vegetable escabeche, avocado, and pumpkin seeds topped with a soft boiled egg — my kind of breakfast salad. It was really good.
For our entrees, Chris choose the Denver frittata at the recommendation of our server, and I chose the Eggs Florentine. When they arrived, we had forgotten the two sides we ordered—the house sausage and bacon! Man, we felt gluttonous. All of this food for just the two of us!
That being said, Chris and I were up for the challenge. My eggs Florentine were really good, the roasted cauliflower was a nice touch. I especially enjoyed the house made biscuits, they were super yummy. Chris was a little underwhelmed with the Denver frittata, although it was yummy it was really small and not as packed with veggies and ham as he had imagined.
The bacon was crispy and delicious as well, but I must admit, I was not a fan of the sausage. It might be because I envisioned more of a breakfast-like sausage, but it was too hearty and meaty for my liking. Chris wasn’t a fan either. It was kind of cold also, and I am just not a fan of cold sausage.
Overall, breakfast was a win. The food was great, and the menu is diverse with a touch of culinary drama; I liked it. This was a fancy brunch that was by no means pretentious. While Trenchermen is obviously a place that takes pride in having a modern, unique menu, and really presenting delicious and flavorful food, it is not trying too hard, per se. It was a beautiful meal accompanied by a perfect cava mimosa, and some good strong coffee.
The Bitches say: A-. Trenchermen is a beautiful restaurant, with a wonderful ambience. Offering an array of seasonal menu offerings, it is the perfect place for a weekend brunch in Wicker Park.
2039 W North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Trenchermen serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.