Apr 062014
 
Omelet Station | Devon Seafood Restaurant

They’ll throw crab meat into your made-to-order omelet.

Devon Seafood Grill (39 East Chicago Avenue) invited me to check out their new brunch offering, now available on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Brunch is an all-you-can-eat buffet for a fixed price of $45/adult, $16/child under 12. Drinks, including brunch cocktails, coffee, or choices from the extensive wine list, are extra.

If you plan to go for Easter Brunch, there’s a special menu for that particular Sunday.

Crabs | Devon Seafood Restaurant

Crab legs are included in the buffet.

Items that might not normally expect to see at brunch include a chilled seafood display featuring smoked trout, oysters on the half shell, sushi, and shrimp cocktail. Each seafood item seemed to have its own sauce or accompaniment choice, so you could mix and match taste sensations to your heart’s content. I zeroed in on the char crusted Ahi tuna with a little pickled ginger and didn’t look back. There’s also a chef-service station for deletable Steamed Alaskan Red King Crab Legs, if you have a mind to crack some shells.

Though Devon is known for their seafood, I thought the standard breakfast items were particularly well done. I filled up a couple of times on the homemade granola with yogurt and fresh mix of juicy blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. The pastries were flakey, sweet — much better than I expected, as were the biscuit and gravy.

Chocolate Tarts | Devon Seafood Restaurant

Chocolate Tarts are one of the many desserts.

If you crave more savory lunch items, then load up on the lobster macaroni and cheese or crab cake stuffed mushrooms. Or go for the more traditional salads, cheeses, or chicken. Though you may have eaten too much, browse the dessert table for a panna cotta or key lime tart. They’re worth the splurge in calories.

Devon is a great place to stop in for brunch if you’re headed to the Mag Mile for a day of shopping, or if you just happen to be in the neighborhood. The only downside? Their tasty and dangerously addicting cheese biscuits weren’t on the brunch menu, which means you’ll need to go back for dinner, too.

Enjoy more of brunch…

I was not financially compensated for this post. Brunch was provided to me for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Feb 062014
 

Sophie’s, located on the 7th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue, opened this week for breakfast and lunch. While I have only tried a few nibbles of the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake and Baby Beet Salad, the menu of American classics seems well executed and geared for the power lunch. The view of the Water Tower is amazing, and the tucked-away feeling of the restaurant will be the draw. It’s not likely that you’ll fight for a seat with tourists like you would for other North Michigan Avenue restaurants.

Also nice is the restaurant bar that extends into the retail space. It’s a sophisticated spot to enjoy a custom cocktail, such as the house speciality Bourbon Cherry Sour, or enjoy a local craft beer from Half Acre and Revolution Brewery. Manager Michel Gabbud shared plans to feature smaller local breweries as well. If true, then Sophie’s becomes a more compelling choice to meet up with friends along the Mag Mile.

Who’s ready for a drink?

Sophie’s
7th Floor
700 North Michigan Avenue

Feb 112013
 
Soup NoMI

Longing for more of this soup…

NoMI was my only lunch pick for Restaurant Week this year. I had to squeeze it in between meetings, and I’m so glad it worked out! If you’ve never been, you should spoil yourself with a lovely view of the Chicago Water Tower and Michigan Avenue and gather up some of the refined elegance of the dining room and posh service.

Macaroni NoMI

And the crunchy, smooth mac-n-cheese

A like-minded co-worker and I happily divided and conquered the $22 prix fixe menu. This fabulous meal started with smooth, sweet Butternut Squash soup, drizzled with a bit of red curry oil. It was delectable and while I could have eaten bowlfuls all the live long day, the proportion was actually good for lunch. The Farmhouse Bowl was a refreshing mix of greens and raw, thin slices of seasonal vegetables. The salad was good, but really had nothing on the soup.

Sandwich NoMI

And another bite of sammie…

Somewhere in the depths of the kitchen, I imagine a mad genius surrounded by pasta acolytes who one day pray to be worthy of the Mac and Cheese that comes from this restaurant. I hope this is the case because the world would be a better place if all kitchens could produce the balance of creamy smooth Gruyère laced sauce, crunchy truffled topping and bits of broccoli rabe. Not that the Roasted Mushroom Panini with a side of house-made chips lacked anything — but the Mac and Cheese simply blew me away. I’ll be back. Oh, I’ll be back.

Chocolate NoMI

Chocolate! More, please!

We upgraded one of our desserts from the Park Cookie Box to the Bolivian Chocolate Mousse. It was a beautiful presentation with luscious chocolate and crème fraîch, but I actually preferred the Fromage Blanc Parfait. Butterscotch wins, what can I say? The textures were more interesting, too, with layers of sponge cake, butterscotch and praline flakes creating a satisfyingly sweet high five to the meal.

It was great to be reminded how great NoMI was. Now I just need to remind myself to go more often!

NoMI
800 N Michigan Ave
Phone:(312) 239-4030