Is it possible to have better weekend plans than brunch at The Four Seasons? Something about a hotel brunch feels just a little bit fancier – like a mini, two-hour vacation into the land of luxury and deliciousness. We were thrilled when Allium invited us in to sample their “Sunday Side Up” $38 brunch buffet, complete with a custom omelet station, the option to add bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas for $22, and more pastries and desserts than act II of The Nutcracker.
We walked up to the posh Gold Coast hotel and took the elevators to the oasis that is the seventh floor foyer. Allium is tucked away at the back of the lobby, and we were brought to a cozy table for two by the fireplace – which has topped all kinds of lists for Chicagoans seeking warmth in the winter. The restaurant’s interior is traditional and cozy, contrasted with a bright and airy atrium. There’s a room for all four seasons! The crowd is a mixed blend of hotel guests and people celebrating special occasions. It’s the kind of place where it’s fine to be casual, but if you wanted to go for full Blair Waldorf brunch attire, complete with pearls and curls – you would fit in just fine here.
We started with a Bloody Mary, a mimosa, and some of the continental breakfast items. The Bloody Mary came in a picture-perfect mason jar and had a little spice to it without being overwhelming. The mimosa was sweet and refreshing. Many of the brunch items were miniature so you could try a little bit of everything. The croissants were the highlight of the pastry tray – flaky and buttery. We also enjoyed the mini açaí bowl, yogurt parfait, and banana nut muffins.
The biggest draw of this brunch is the custom omelet station. The chef had about 15 toppings to choose from and, amazingly, there never seemed to be a line. We were able to customize our omelets to our liking and they were as fresh as could be.
Allium offers more options than you could possibly try in one brunch, but we did our best to try as many as possible. As French toast goes, Allium’s was fairly thin and light – keeping with the theme of lots of smaller, lighter dishes. You could customize the French toast with various toppings. The berry compote was a nice, sweet pairing.
Another highlight of this brunch was the desserts. An entire section of the buffet was dedicated to rows upon rows of adorable tiny desserts. From mini chocolate mousse parfaits to a decadent assortment of cheeses, lemon tarts, and tres leches cakes, Allium has thought of everything your sweet tooth could desire.
Each dessert had a unique, adorable presentation. The light and airy chocolate mousse parfaits were served in tiny martini glasses topped with cookie crumbles and decadent brownie and chocolate sauce at the bottom. The tres leches cakes were displayed in beautiful crystal tumblers, and the lemon tart was topped with berries in a chocolate cookie box.
The Bitches say: Five Champagne flutes! Brunch at The Four Seasons is a delicious and upscale experience, perfect for special occasions.
Allium serves brunch Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.