Chicago takes its brunches pretty seriously, no matter when they happen ( and, yes, there are places that have weekday brunches ).
To that end, restaurants throughout the city and suburbs have stepped up what they offer for this most social of meals, whether it's having innovative dishes and/or top-notch chefs.
For example, there's Chez Moi ( 2100 N. Halsted St.; www.chezmoichicago.com/ ), which even says it's a "unique French bistro" on its website. Chef Dominique Tougne has crafted dishes that are thoroughly delicious.
It's obvious that the restaurant staff knows what it's doingdoing to establishing that French vibe through beautiful decor and European music ( although Sam Cooke and few other U.S. artists were also piped in every now and again ). Dishes include a very well-done quiche Lorraine. The Crepes Grand Mere au Gratin are unlike other crepes most have probably had; the tasty dish features baked chicken, mushroom, onion and bacon creme with bechemel.
And don't forget desserts. The mousse is sublime, while the gateau Breton is buttery shortbread ( although it seemed a little too hard for my fork at times ).
BTW: Chez Moi is offering lunch on Wednesdays through Fridays starting May 2. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bounce on over
As opposed to the relatively sophisticated items at Chez Moi, Bounce Sporting Club ( 324 W. Chicago Ave.; www.bouncesportingclub.com/ ) offers flat-out fun with its brunch items.
Adding to the, well, bouncy feel of the place is music from the '80s and '90s ( like New Edition's "Cool It Now" )and it didn't hurt that photogenic bartender Luke was bouncing around to the tunes. Also, there are large TV screens everywhere, which means that sports-minded guests won't miss a single minute of anything.
As for the food, it's indulgent in the best possible way. My friend tried fried mozzarella curds that were positively addictive, as well as a smoked brisket Benedict that featured a potato "waffle," poached eggs and pickled mustard hollandaise.
A huge plate of smoked pulled chicken nachos ( with cheddar and jack ) would be enough for most small groups. Also, for those craving something sweet instead of savory, there are Banana Jameson-soaked French toast sticksalthough they may have been too soaked, as my friend and I were both slightly put off by the slightly bitter aftertaste. But then there was the donut sundae, a sinful olio of the aforementioned donut, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauceand Fruity Pebbles treats for good measure.
I occasionally say that it seems that half the world has brunch at 11 a.m. Well, I can certainly say that's not true of Bounceat least, not yetas guests started to roll in at 1 p.m. Maybe they had too much fun the previous night, and had to wait to indulge in more.
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.