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Non-buffet brunch suggestions

Non-buffet brunch suggestions
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  • Non-buffet brunch suggestions

    Post #1 - August 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm
    Post #1 - August 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm Post #1 - August 27th, 2012, 2:03 pm
    Planning a celebratory meal for my dad's 80th, it has been decided that dinner, even early, comes too late in the day for their energy to hold out. So, looking for a Sun. brunch that is somewhat elegant/grown up oriented, and not mobs lining up at "stations" in a giant room (even a giant room in a nice hotel).
    Various parameters/restrictions/preferences include:
    * conversation-friendly room for the hard of hearing
    * 1 vegetarian
    * 2 real meat lovers, including the birthday guest
    * easy access (few or no steps) for the barely ambulatory
    * party of 7
    Who is taking brunch "seriously" these days and going beyond quiche, omelets, and benedicts? Talking something less sweet and less bustling than M Henry and Bongo Room, for example.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #2 - August 27th, 2012, 2:17 pm
    Post #2 - August 27th, 2012, 2:17 pm Post #2 - August 27th, 2012, 2:17 pm
    I'd look at North Pond. And perhaps the new location of LM in River North?
  • Post #3 - August 27th, 2012, 2:18 pm
    Post #3 - August 27th, 2012, 2:18 pm Post #3 - August 27th, 2012, 2:18 pm
    mrbarolo wrote:Planning a celebratory meal for my dad's 80th, it has been decided that dinner, even early, comes too late in the day for their energy to hold out. So, looking for a Sun. brunch that is somewhat elegant/grown up oriented, and not mobs lining up at "stations" in a giant room (even a giant room in a nice hotel).
    Various parameters/restrictions/preferences include:
    * conversation-friendly room for the hard of hearing
    * 1 vegetarian
    * 2 real meat lovers, including the birthday guest
    * easy access (few or no steps) for the barely ambulatory
    * party of 7
    Who is taking brunch "seriously" these days and going beyond quiche, omelets, and benedicts? Talking something less sweet and less bustling than M Henry and Bongo Room, for example.

    The Publican, Perennial Virant, Big Jones and Nightwood all seem like very desirable destinations for Sunday brunch. Of the 4, I've only been to The Publican and PV (reports here and here respectively), and both were stellar. The Publican can be loud but not as much when it first opens for brunch. I receive regular emails from the other 2 places, where I've eaten other great meals multiple times. Their brunch offerings consistently look sensational, and the reports I hear and read are very favorable.

    I haven't been to Yusho's Sunday Noodles brunch yet either but based on how much I've enjoyed the place during my many other visits, I'm guessing it's a worthy brunch destination, as well.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - August 27th, 2012, 2:40 pm
    Post #4 - August 27th, 2012, 2:40 pm Post #4 - August 27th, 2012, 2:40 pm
    Amata wrote:I'd look at North Pond. And perhaps the new location of LM in River North?


    Is there a way to get to North Pond that does not involve a rather long walk?

    I'm curious for myself and also because mrbarolo specified "easy access (few or no steps) for the barely ambulatory."
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #5 - August 27th, 2012, 2:43 pm
    Post #5 - August 27th, 2012, 2:43 pm Post #5 - August 27th, 2012, 2:43 pm
    Nightwood Sunday only brunch should fit the bill!
  • Post #6 - August 27th, 2012, 2:49 pm
    Post #6 - August 27th, 2012, 2:49 pm Post #6 - August 27th, 2012, 2:49 pm
    Amata wrote:I'd look at North Pond. And perhaps the new location of LM in River North?

    I agree. I've been to most of the places already mentioned, and while they all offer good food, North Pond is by far the best choice for "somewhat elegant/grown up oriented" and "conversation-friendly room for the hard of hearing". The others tend towards "bustling noisy bistro" in atmosphere, and tend to have numerous families with small children during brunch hours.

    tarte tatin wrote:Is there a way to get to North Pond that does not involve a rather long walk?

    I'm curious for myself and also because mrbarolo specified "easy access (few or no steps) for the barely ambulatory."

    For special situations such as this, I strongly recommend calling the restaurant to ask. (I bet they have special arrangements that would work.) 773-477-5845.
  • Post #7 - August 27th, 2012, 3:27 pm
    Post #7 - August 27th, 2012, 3:27 pm Post #7 - August 27th, 2012, 3:27 pm
    Mercat a la Plancha is a good bet. There's a small amount of buffet (charcuterie, pastries and fruit plus the stellar Bloody Mary bar), but what is delivered by servers is awesome. $25 brunch, I think the bloodies were an extra $8.

    Mercat a la Planxa
    638 SOUTH MICHIGAN AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL 60605
    TEL 312-765-0524 FAX 312-765-0533
    http://mercatchicago.com/contact/
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - August 27th, 2012, 7:34 pm
    Post #8 - August 27th, 2012, 7:34 pm Post #8 - August 27th, 2012, 7:34 pm
    Third on North Pond, IF you can get the mobility-impaired there without the walk. We took my vegetarian sister-in-law for a birthday brunch, and she loved it. It is a beautiful and adult space. If you let them know the occasion, they will print up a special menu wishing your father happy birthday with the day's date--this certainly wowed my SIL. Good luck.
  • Post #9 - August 27th, 2012, 8:09 pm
    Post #9 - August 27th, 2012, 8:09 pm Post #9 - August 27th, 2012, 8:09 pm
    So many good suggestions, but I'll go ahead and toss Balsan into the mix since it hasn't been mentioned yet.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." Leo Durocher
  • Post #10 - August 28th, 2012, 10:09 am
    Post #10 - August 28th, 2012, 10:09 am Post #10 - August 28th, 2012, 10:09 am
    tarte tatin wrote:
    Is there a way to get to North Pond that does not involve a rather long walk?

    I'm curious for myself and also because mrbarolo specified "easy access (few or no steps) for the barely ambulatory."


    The delivery access to North Pond is off of Canon Drive. There may be a sign in the small driveway blocking access, but I believe that could easily be moved, temporarily, to allow you to drop off your party pretty close to the restaurant.
  • Post #11 - August 28th, 2012, 11:26 am
    Post #11 - August 28th, 2012, 11:26 am Post #11 - August 28th, 2012, 11:26 am
    bean wrote:The delivery access to North Pond is off of Canon Drive. There may be a sign in the small driveway blocking access, but I believe that could easily be moved, temporarily, to allow you to drop off your party pretty close to the restaurant.

    I was thinking that that's probably true, but you should still contact the restaurant to get specific direction (and directions).

    FWIW, they have an aerial photo on their website that shows the delivery access drive (that runs past the restaurant from the north as well as from the east) as well as the walkway from the valet parking stand (west of the restaurant). You can see it a lot better if you go to Google Maps and click on Satellite, then zoom in.
  • Post #12 - August 28th, 2012, 12:13 pm
    Post #12 - August 28th, 2012, 12:13 pm Post #12 - August 28th, 2012, 12:13 pm
    Have you considered Table 52?

    I second Big Jones. Atmosphere is lovely and spacious, with seating for large parties (be sure to make a reservation) and parking should be fairly easy. There are many options for meat eaters and vegetarian options as well. Nightwood is another one that is doing really great things and should be able to accommodate 7 (parking is super easy, too).

    Nellcote is doing an interesting brunch, though it is more of a youthful atmosphere. Other places to check out would be Hearty Boys, Prasino, and my personal favorite, Cafe Selmarie in Lincoln Square. Cafe Selmarie has more of a casual cafe vibe, but noise level is low, food is consistently delicious, the restaurant is open and bright, and there is a lovely bakery at the front to pick out sweets for after breakfast. Parking is usually not too bad either.
  • Post #13 - August 28th, 2012, 12:37 pm
    Post #13 - August 28th, 2012, 12:37 pm Post #13 - August 28th, 2012, 12:37 pm
    A lot of great places have been mentioned, but I thought I would also throw out Sprout.

    If you're looking for something grown-up oriented you might take solace in the fact that children are not allowed.
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  • Post #14 - August 28th, 2012, 12:48 pm
    Post #14 - August 28th, 2012, 12:48 pm Post #14 - August 28th, 2012, 12:48 pm
    bean wrote:The delivery access to North Pond is off of Canon Drive. There may be a sign in the small driveway blocking access, but I believe that could easily be moved, temporarily, to allow you to drop off your party pretty close to the restaurant.


    Just confirmed with the restaurant that this is exactly what they do recommend. Nothing blocking the road off Cannon Drive--just a sign indicating "Service Drive." After dropping off passengers, the driver must move the car to valet parking or other parking area--no parking back by the restaurant. For a person coming by her/himself, a taxi could take the same route.
    "Life is a combination of magic and pasta." -- Federico Fellini

    "You're not going to like it in Chicago. The wind comes howling in from the lake. And there's practically no opera season at all--and the Lord only knows whether they've ever heard of lobster Newburg." --Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
  • Post #15 - August 28th, 2012, 2:34 pm
    Post #15 - August 28th, 2012, 2:34 pm Post #15 - August 28th, 2012, 2:34 pm
    incite wrote:A lot of great places have been mentioned, but I thought I would also throw out Sprout.

    If you're looking for something grown-up oriented you might take solace in the fact that children are not allowed.

    Sprout is also not excessively loud, even at night when they're doing a good dinner business. This is also an excellent recommendation that would meet all the OP's stated needs.
  • Post #16 - March 7th, 2018, 9:11 am
    Post #16 - March 7th, 2018, 9:11 am Post #16 - March 7th, 2018, 9:11 am
    I'm looking for a Sunday brunch option that can handle a group of 12 with a reservation. Location-wise north to northwest side of the city. Needs to have a conversation friendly noise level. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #17 - March 7th, 2018, 10:06 am
    Post #17 - March 7th, 2018, 10:06 am Post #17 - March 7th, 2018, 10:06 am
    Dave148 wrote:I'm looking for a Sunday brunch option that can handle a group of 12 with a reservation. Location-wise north to northwest side of the city. Needs to have a conversation friendly noise level. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    Band of Bohemia! I posted about their outstanding brunch here. Spacious interior layout reduces the volume level to conversation-friendly.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on March 7th, 2018, 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #18 - March 7th, 2018, 1:59 pm
    Post #18 - March 7th, 2018, 1:59 pm Post #18 - March 7th, 2018, 1:59 pm
    Dave, are you, like the OP, looking specifically for a non-buffet brunch? If not, I'd suggest Shaws in Schaumburg.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #19 - March 7th, 2018, 2:07 pm
    Post #19 - March 7th, 2018, 2:07 pm Post #19 - March 7th, 2018, 2:07 pm
    Big Jones might be able to handle a party of 12.

    Big Jones
    5347 N Clark St
    Chicago, IL 60640
    (773) 275-5725

    EDIT: But it looks it's closed for a few weeks for some renovations:
    http://www.chicagomag.com/dining-drinki ... Big-Jones/
  • Post #20 - March 7th, 2018, 2:14 pm
    Post #20 - March 7th, 2018, 2:14 pm Post #20 - March 7th, 2018, 2:14 pm
    Katie wrote:Dave, are you, like the OP, looking specifically for a non-buffet brunch? If not, I'd suggest Shaws in Schaumburg.


    Not really within the geographic parameters he's seeking.
  • Post #21 - March 7th, 2018, 2:31 pm
    Post #21 - March 7th, 2018, 2:31 pm Post #21 - March 7th, 2018, 2:31 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    Katie wrote:Dave, are you, like the OP, looking specifically for a non-buffet brunch? If not, I'd suggest Shaws in Schaumburg.


    Not really within the geographic parameters he's seeking.

    Correct. Unfortunately, I have to keep it in the city. Thanks for the suggestion Katie.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #22 - March 7th, 2018, 2:50 pm
    Post #22 - March 7th, 2018, 2:50 pm Post #22 - March 7th, 2018, 2:50 pm
    The following two options are conveniently located in a central northside location near the expressway, and both provide the meal option you describe (I can only vouch directly for Hearth's dinner/savory items), the acoustics are too subjective for me to comment on:

    Hearth & Crust
    3608 W Irving Park Rd
    (773)516-4800
    http://hearthandcrust.com

    Bread & Wine
    3732 W Irving Park Rd
    (773)866-5266
    http://breadandwinechicago.com
  • Post #23 - March 7th, 2018, 4:33 pm
    Post #23 - March 7th, 2018, 4:33 pm Post #23 - March 7th, 2018, 4:33 pm
    I've had dinner here a few times, and the food and service were very good. They have a brunch on Sunday and take reservations. It's not a big place but can accommodate 12 (we had a big group there), and it was decently quiet for talking.

    Ixcateco Grill
    3402 W. Montrose
    Chicago, IL 60618
    773.539.5887
    https://www.ixcatecogrill.com/
  • Post #24 - March 7th, 2018, 4:49 pm
    Post #24 - March 7th, 2018, 4:49 pm Post #24 - March 7th, 2018, 4:49 pm
    Why can I not keep Bread & Wine on my radar? I love that place and have never had a bad meal there but I literally forget that it exists until someone else mentions it.
  • Post #25 - March 7th, 2018, 5:18 pm
    Post #25 - March 7th, 2018, 5:18 pm Post #25 - March 7th, 2018, 5:18 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:Why can I not keep Bread & Wine on my radar? I love that place and have never had a bad meal there but I literally forget that it exists until someone else mentions it.

    Maybe it's the awful name?

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #26 - March 7th, 2018, 6:00 pm
    Post #26 - March 7th, 2018, 6:00 pm Post #26 - March 7th, 2018, 6:00 pm
    Bar Roma?

    5101 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

    https://www.barromachicago.com
  • Post #27 - March 7th, 2018, 6:03 pm
    Post #27 - March 7th, 2018, 6:03 pm Post #27 - March 7th, 2018, 6:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    spinynorman99 wrote:Why can I not keep Bread & Wine on my radar? I love that place and have never had a bad meal there but I literally forget that it exists until someone else mentions it.

    Maybe it's the awful name?

    =R=


    Ding Ding!! We have a winner. I just made a reservation at B&W. I agree with Ron on the awful name. I'll report back on the food after the 25th. Thanks for the ideas.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #28 - March 9th, 2018, 6:32 pm
    Post #28 - March 9th, 2018, 6:32 pm Post #28 - March 9th, 2018, 6:32 pm
    Sorry, I misunderstood; I thought north and northwest suburbs were within range. After all, Dave is the Esteemed [cough-but-soon-to-be-overthrown-cough] Coordinator of the LTH North Lunch Group.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #29 - March 27th, 2018, 5:40 am
    Post #29 - March 27th, 2018, 5:40 am Post #29 - March 27th, 2018, 5:40 am
    Bread & Wine turned out to be a good choice. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the brunch. However, I did receive compliments from other attendees. Thanks again for the suggestions.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny

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