At 553 W. Diversey, this intimate, 60–seat space was created by two friends who came out of a crop of great chefs at Charlie Trotters that included Matthias Merges, Giuseppe Tentori, and one of my Chicago favorites Bill Kim.
I did the Benedict that was prepared with Tasso ham – made in house – and 2 hollandaise sauces. It took me forever to eat breakfast because I savored every bite it was so delicious.
Have to admit that this breakfast was unquestionably approaching perfect. Would I change anything? No, not even the English muffins which were super thin and the same identical size as the poached egg and I’m sure made in house.
In my desire to reconstruct the Benedict in my own kitchen, I searched the Chicago area for Tasso ham but ran into one dead end after another. When I asked my butcher about it, he said he would make some after the holidays.
After the holiday? Patience is not my virtue at all so I looked for a recipe and had a Boston Butt brining in my refrigerator all week which I am patiently smoking now.
The overkill of the brunch was a maple and bacon doughnut that I recreated in my kitchen the next morning. It was pretty close but need to make the glaze a bit thicker the next time.
Like I said, patience is not one of my virtues.
Glaze for Doughnuts
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift confectioners' sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined. Remove the glaze from the heat and set over a bowl of warm water. Pour over doughnuts , 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack placed in a half sheet pan for 5 minutes before serving.
The waiter also brought me some fantastic pate that the chef had just made in the kitchen which was equally as gratifying.
Additionly, I had to try the chocolate bread pudding.
The outstanding food, great service, perfect location (Red Hen Bakery was down the block) and simple feel of both the restaurant and the neighborhood will bring me back again. Make sure you get there at 8 AM. Not long after, the line was half way around the block.
So if the menu is small, the decision should be easy- right?
Watch the parade of delicious food coming out of the kitchen and tell me that you don’t want to try everything on the menu.