The Lunchroom might seem like a hidden gem, tucked away along a quiet Gold Coast side street. But since its opening last year, Chicago’s glitterati have been descending on the 40-seat all-day café. The restaurant is nestled inside of Space 519, a high-end boutique specializing in apparel, apothecary, and home décor — a Chicago style staple since 2010. We were invited in to sample the menu, compliments of the restaurant.
The eatery is chic and airy with rustic farm tables for communal dining and marble patterned tables along a green banquette booth. Cozy touches like luxurious throws and potted plants accent the space throughout. The vibe is laid back, but by noon the place was bustling with a mix of fashionistas, locals, and families.
We grabbed a small table for two, opting to start with a round of coffees and two of their specialty cocktails. The coffee bar is something The Lunchroom is known for, so we ordered a black coffee — which was strong and served in an oversized cup and saucer — and an iced Americano. They brought along some of their homemade oat milk, which was a fresh and welcome superfood addition to our morning caffeine dose.
We sampled the Bloody Mary and took our brunch Champagne game next level with the French 75. The Bloody Mary was spicy with a little kick to it. The French 75 was served in a large wine glass rather than the traditional Champagne flute and made with sparkling rosé instead of Champagne. The cocktail was strong and felt a bit more 11 p.m. than 11 a.m., but no complaints here —- we always come to brunch prepared to party!
For entrées, we had the option of choosing between the brunch and lunch menus. On weekdays they also serve an elaborate breakfast menu. We opted for traditional brunch items ordering the parfait, the “Gold Coast famous” multigrain pancakes with bacon and scrambled eggs, and the Gold Coast Migas. After just a few minutes, the chefs had whipped up our dishes in the open-concept kitchen and our brunch was headed for our table. The portions were all larger than expected and we could barely fit all of the dishes on our little table —- the best of brunch problems to have!
The parfait was as delicious as it was adorable. The Greek yogurt was fluffy and whipped, layered with the restaurant’s homemade sweet and crunchy granola and assorted berries. It was topped with a dollop of mascarpone cheese. The parfait was nutrient-packed, but each bite tasted like a decadent dessert. We ordered this dish as a side, but it could certainly be an entrée.
The pancakes had a simple and straightforward presentation, so we were pleasantly surprised when they tasted unexpectedly flavorful and complex. The dish lived up to its “Gold Coast famous” name: as they were brought to our table the woman next to us leaned over and confided that she visits every week just for the pancakes. Probably our favorite part of the whole brunch was the Nueske’s bacon, which was smoky and crisp. The scrambled eggs were prepared exactly as we ordered them and were served piping hot.
The Gold Coast Migas consisted of scrambled eggs, tortilla strips, chile sauce, and avocado with various cheeses, pico de gallo, and cilantro. The dish reminded us of breakfast nachos. We would have liked a little more spice and perhaps jalapeño to bring out the Mexican flavors, but found the dish filling and thought the presentation was the nicest of all the dishes.
The Bitches say: Four Champagne flutes. It’s a chic and cozy spot, worth stopping in if you’re shopping in the Gold Coast!
The Lunchroom serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.