We check out Bread & Wine, Tavernita, Batter and Berries and Bar Toma.
By TOC Kids staff|
1. Tavernita “Is this going to be one of those fancy brunches, or can we get bacon and eggs here?” my oldest son groans while being “dragged” to Sunday brunch on the Tavernita patio. But soon, he starts drooling over the brunch sharing menu, which includes bacon (pork belly sliders) and eggs (poached, scrambled, fried or a frittata). The poached egg with jamon serrano and a sweet saffron hollandaise sauce is a hit all around, but the torrejas (pictured), a creamy take on French toast topped with ginger whipped cream, mango and vanilla sauce, seals the deal. My youngest tells me it’s the best meal he’s ever had—and that next time, we need to try the churros and chocolate. $12.50 four-course sharing menu. 151 W Erie St, 312-274-1111.—Amy Carr
2. Batter and Berries My kids thought a breakfast spot with the word batter in its name should serve more than two varieties of pancakes (and I concur), but we were able to look past that thanks to the plethora of decadent French toast offerings: lemon, caramel, strawberry, blueberry…. How to decide? Simple, we ordered a flight, which gave us a taste of each rich, perfectly-crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside flavor. “Deconstructed” omelettes (fillings are on the outside) and hash browns (both traditional and sweet potato) were disappointingly ho-hum in comparison. But chef Derek Rylon’s expertise lies in that swoon-worthy French toast, so why bother with anything else? Average main course: $10. 2748 N Lincoln Ave, 773-248-7710.—Judy Sutton Taylor
3. Bar Toma Tony Mantuano’s Mag Mile pizza bar recently added Sunday brunch, and we couldn’t be happier: It might be the only time this hip joint isn’t crowded. Start with cornetti, a croissant-doughnut mash-up that arrives as a pint-sized trio (cinnamon, lemon-ricotta and chocolate) perf for little hands. Main dishes tend toward breakfast versions of pizza—how fun is pizza for breakfast to kids?!—including a fresh-fruit ’za, but I opt for the so-called Italian diner, a delish bomba (enormous puffed pizza-dough ball) stuffed with eggs and cheese and topped with prosciutto-thin Tamworth bacon. Don’t miss the pressed yogurt: Greek yogurt congealed into a smooth brick that’s drizzled with generous amounts of fruit compote. All ages will fall for it before realizing it’s good for them. Average main course: $11. 110 E Pearson St, 312-266-3110.—Web Behrens
4. Bread & Wine When we arrived, the host asked my two-year-old where he’d like to sit, and gamely followed him around (and around) until he’d settled on a table. This set the tone for brunch; the staff was so accommodating, it was as though they’d been schooled in The Happiest Toddler on the Block. My son’s johnny cakes with blueberry sauce and lemon curd was probably the most sophisticated meal he’s ever eaten, and I’m still talking about my open-faced egg sandwich with white cheddar sauce. Dessert at brunch may be overboard, but the creaminess of the caramel popcorn panna cotta here is legendary. The brunch crowd was small on the day we went, which means you should get there now, while it’s still a secret. Average main course: $12. 3732 W Irving Park Rd, 773-866-5266.—Jonathan Messinger