I’m always looking to take my brunch experience to new heights. And it doesn’t get much higher than VU rooftop, 22 stories high. The rooftop offers sweeping views of the lake, McCormick Place, and a glimpse of Soldier Field.
My boyfriend, Cam, and I went there for a Saturday brunch to enjoy the nice weather and spectacular views. The expansive patio has fire pits and couches, which help extend its season beyond just the summer. There are tables inside if the sun, rain, snow, or of course, the wind, get to be too much.
We grabbed a seat on the patio in the corner, using the glass barriers as a buffer from the wind. It was not crowded at 11 a.m., and while not deserted, we had our pick of tables. It was a hazy day, but as the meal progressed, the sun came through and offered a gorgeous view of downtown.
We started with some brunch libations while looking over the menu. Cam got a Lagunitas “Sumpin’ Easy” beer, a current favorite summer beer. It’s perfect for brunch because it’s not too hoppy for an early morning drink. The cocktails at VU are not labeled with traditional names, rather the type of liquor and a number. At my helpful waiter’s suggestion, I ordered the vodka 2, which had flavors of cherry, orange, and peach with Prosecco. It was light, fruity, and fresh. If you like vodka, this is the perfect brunch cocktail with a little kick to it.
We again leaned on our waiter’s expertise when it came to the menu, since everything sounded good. Cam took his suggestion of the chicken and waffles. Coming from North Carolina, I’m used to a chicken and waffles presentation comprised of fried chicken, a waffle, hot sauce, and maple syrup. Delicious, but dependable. VU took things to the next level by adding a sweet Chile sauce to the buttermilk fried chicken. The welcome addition made them saucy and eliminated the need to use syrup to moisten the waffle. The sweet Chile was peppery, hot, and sweet enough that the waiter cautioned against using the maple whipped butter without taste-testing first, for fear of a flavor overload! He was right. It was sweet enough on its own and did not need the maple butter at all. This dish has raised the bar for all future chicken and waffles in my life!
I went with the lobster chilaquiles. I’ve been on a chilaquiles kick all summer, and this dish did not disappoint. They did not skimp on the lobster, to my surprise and delight. It was incredibly cheesy and savory, and I could not finish my plate – despite really wanting to.
We both enjoyed our dishes immensely, and I am excited to return and explore more of this menu.
The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes.
The only thing better than the VU is the food. This rooftop restaurant delivers a high-quality brunch that will leave you on cloud nine.
VU Rooftop serves brunch Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.