Nightwood brunch starts this weekend
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="491" caption="PHOTO: Martha Williams"][/caption]
While there was no lack of excitement over Nightwood's opening, there was one lurking question on everyone's mind: Would there be brunch? Finally, the time has come. Brunch, which will be Sundays only, 9am–2:30pm, starts this Sunday, August 16. Now for the next obvious question: Will it be just like Lula's?
"You will certainly see differences here with what we do at Lula," Lula and Nightwood co-owner Jason Hammel wrote in an e-mail, "though the Nightwood menu has been created out of the experience of serving like thousands of people brunch for 10 years. So we've got an established style and format for a.m. offerings—people eating Nightwood's brunch will feel the connection to Lula. There are drinks, too, including our Sunday Morning and Trifecta (stout, whiskey, espresso) and a great seasonal bellini (in this case, classic peach from Klug farm)."
Melissa Trimmer, the pastry chef for both Lula and Nightwood, has been doing really lovely stuff at the Pilsen restaurant, so I was very excited to hear that she'd have "a big hand in the brunch menu," according to Hammel, turning out a rotating assortment of scones, blintzes and English muffins. The fact that these treats will change frequently should come as no surprise to anyone who's eaten at Nightwood more than once.* Say what you will about the restaurant, but you'd be hard-pressed to find another place in the city that changes its menu more frequently. Which is why you shouldn't get too attached to the tentative, likely-to-change brunch menu, but here are five dishes from it that I'm hoping are still around when I make it over there:
Enoch's doughnuts with chocolate icing $3
Sweet corn and duck confit crepes with potato and poblano hash and a poached egg $11
Ricotta griddle cakes with peaches and candied oats $11
Fried chicken and waffles with strawberry jam, poached eggs and whipped cream $13
Wood-grilled Wisconsin trout fillet with polenta, collard greens, tomatillo, pickled onion, two sunnyside-up eggs and cream $14
*In case you've yet to make the sojourn to Pilsen, here's a quick review recap: Phil Vettel raved, so did Martha Bayne at the Reader, Chuck Sudo compared it to Chez Panisse, Chicago Gluttons compared it to many, many other things, one reviewer issued a sorta-crotchety detraction, and there was also my review, which falls somewhere in the middle.
2119 S Halsted St (312-526-3385). Bus: 8, 21, 62. Average brunch main course course: $11.