It’s no secret that I am an avid brunch goer with an enthusiasm for egg yolks. I like to keep an eye out and an ear open for all the latest in Chicago brunch spots. Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz over the brunch at Presidio. They started as a dinner and cocktail lounge with an emphasis on farm to table fresh ingredients, and after stellar reviews, added a weekend brunch.
When my brunch partner in crime, Addie, author of Chickpea In The City, invited me as her plus one to brunch, I instantaneously said yes . Little did I know, I was about to undertake one of the most exquisite meals in Chicago. In fact, I’m not one to skip meals, but I passed on dinner the night before to emotionally and physically prepare myself for this transcendent experience.
Presidio is located in one of my new favorite hangs, Bucktown. It’s a stones throw away from the newly opened 606 pathway, which was perfect for walking off the massive brunch that was about to ensue.
When not functioning as the number one brunch spot in the west side, Presidio serves as a cool hub to sip cocktails and lounge on the lavish velvet. Because of this, their brunch cocktail menu is a mixologist’s dream. And let’s face it, I can’t say no to libations at 11 a.m. on a Sunday. Before browsing the brunch menu, I started with the Love and Haight cocktail. A few sips of this strawberry-mint infused gin cocktail and I was feeling tragically hip.
To begin, we ordered the breakfast burrata. It was the perfect combination of savory and sweet atop the cutest little rounds of cinnamon raisin bread. Burrata is so versatile because of it’s mild flavor and creamy texture. Presidio’s version was served with local honey, pickled sultanas, and pepitas. I especially loved the sweet acidity the sultanas added to the dish. To help contrast the unique flavors and bring out the umami of the burrata, volcanic black salt was sprinkled all over the top.
Between sips of water from the adorable glasses, the next dish to arrive to the table was the Pisco Cured Irish Salmon. Maybe its because I’m Irish, or maybe its just because I have an affinity towards the beautiful color and flavor of smoked salmon, regardless, my eyes were immediately drawn to it on the menu. All the components of classic bagels and lox were delivered in an impressive spread that would have any Jewish mother swooning. The julienned cucumbers kept things fresh, but I think it was the pickled onions that really tied all the flavors together.
I’m always scouting instagram for brunch inspiration, and this next dish was something I have been lusting after for weeks: Lobster Benedict. Truth be told, I lust after lobster anything, so my excitement to try this dish came naturally. Unlike boring traditional hollandaise sauce which uses lemon, Presidio spices it up using blood orange giving the sauce a beautiful pink hue and zingy flavor, which compliments the lobster. If there is one thing bloggers love, it’s a good yolk. Seriously, my brunch date and I could not stop snapping pictures and marveling at what an incredible yolk was tucked inside the expertly poached eggs. Reason being for the lovely yolks, is that Presidio sources everything from local farms and farmers markets such as Green City Market. I’m definitely adding this place to my summer bucket list!
I’m a firm believer in finishing off a meal with something sweet. It seems especially criminal not to when Basil-Creme Fresh Bread Pudding is on the menu. This dish was just as delightful to eat as it was to look at. The bread was soaked but not soggy, which allowed for maximum dipping in the sinful sauce. the top was slightly glazed, adding a slight crunch to each bite. This was a nice contrast to your average bread pudding, and created interest.
Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, the restaurant insisted we try the Thai Shrimp and Grits, a dish they are incredibly proud of and has a reputation for packing some serious heat! What I loved about this dish is that the spiciness was upfront and did not linger too long. The sweetness from the shrimp and bamboo shoots and heat from the chilis created for harmonious bite after bite. Even though we were bursting from all the delicious foods, we still managed to finish off all the shrimp in this incredible and final dish.
On a final note, if there is one thing that I appreciate in a restaurant, it’s their choice in music. Presidio really nailed it with the brunch playlist. I was thrilled to hear throwback after throwback from some of my favorite artists. How can you be unhappy with life while eating lobster benedict and listening to David Bowie?