Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Wild Brunch

Sepia’s soufflé pancake with housemade jam is a must-do for brunch.
(Photo: Grapevine Media)

This week, The Wild Brunch is all over the city, from a sweet Scandinavian spot in Albany Park to the hottest restaurant to hit the West Loop in years. So get your forks ready and make your way to:

Bijan Bistro (663 N. State St., 312-202-1904) for the specialty BLTs.
The decadent shrimp BLT makes a statement with lobster mayo and fresh avocadoes, while the fried egg BLT includes a vine-ripened tomato and hickory-smoked bacon. Other delights on their brunch menu: a hearty grilled beef tenderloin sandwich, chicken Paillard with sautéed spinach, mashed potatoes and fresh basil, and for the sweet tooth, a “Bananas Foster” waffle. Brunch is served until 4pm.

Sepia (123 Jefferson St., 312-441-1920) for a number of eco-conscious edibles.
For those who find the prices at this West Loop hot spot out of range, there’s always brunchtime for offbeat selections like the soufflé pancake with housemade jam, veal breast hash with scrambled eggs or the gingerbread biscuits. And how could you possibly go wrong when they’ve got a Bacon Bloody Mary—a concoction created with bacon-infused vodka and a housemade bloody Mary mix. Or try the Festina Bellini, an outrageous blend of Dogfish Head peach beer, Cointreau and bitters.

Tre Kronor (3258 W. Foster Ave., 773-267-9888) for a traditional Swedish breakfast and other Scandinavian treats.
The ever-growing Albany Park/North Park neighborhood has a gem in its midst and the area folk know it. When you first walk in, you’ll be tempted to order the freshly baked Danish and cinnamon rolls. Or choose from three different styles of omelettes: Oslo (smoked Norwegian salmon, fresh dill and whipped cream cheese); Stockholm (Falukou sausage and caraway havarti cheese); or Kobenhaun (Danish blue cheese and sauteed fresh spinach). And finally, this place gets big points for the thick-sliced vanilla and orange French toast as well as the Belgian waffle with fresh fruit and whipped cream. You won’t find anything on the breakfast menu over $7.50.

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