last weekend i visited the gorgeous city of chicago for the first time. with its stunning architecture, lift-up bridges, great shopping and (thank god) amazing food, i was practically in heaven… well in a big-city foodie-heaven anyway! and i was equally as excited to be invited by ryan beshel from six 4 creative to join a group of chicago foodies at southport & irving (sip) in the super-trendy sheridan park area, north of downtown chicago.
under the helm of executive chef andrew shedden, ‘sip’ serves up new american fare, classic cocktails and brunch in a vintage tavern setting that features both a lounge and a gorgeous patio out on the sunny footpath. with a focus on seasonal american produce, the menu aims to bring together the many ethnic influences that have influenced american cuisine… and this is certainly reflected in the brunch menu which is served 10 am-3 pm fridays and 9 am -3 pm on weekends.
i’ve quickly learnt that there is no starting an american-brunch sans-cocktail… and promptly remedied my drinkless situation with this delightful pear mimosa, served with st. george spiced pear liqueur, sparkling sake, lemon juice + a lemon twist.
the sip bloody mary was enjoyed by quite a few at our table. that perfect morning kick-starter, featuring house chipotle-infused vodka, housemade bloody mary mix + a smoked paprika rim.
on the somewhat more traditional american-brunch side there were some well executed dishes including:
- avocado toast: two eggs any-style, avocado, grilled baguette, mixed greens, pickled shallots, ghost chili-lemon vinaigrette + sea salt
- quiche of the day served with a seasonal side salad, and
- eggs benedict with black truffle hollandaise, black peppercorn mortadella, english muffin + breakfast potatoes
however, it was definitely the more contemporary offerings that caught my eye and captivated my taste buds:
the green chile chilaquiles corn tortillas served with black beans, pepper jack cheese, tomatillo salsa, two eggs any-style + pico de gallo, contained just the right balance of texture, spice and flavor, and was a generous savoury dish – perfect for those leaning more towards the ‘unch’ side of ‘brunch’.
and there was definitely no going past the crowd-favourite of cajun fried chicken and buttermilk waffles. however, the addition of harissa honey set this one apart for me and offered the perfect sweet-savoury combo that i so often crave in my brunches. that and the enticing presentation!
beignets: fried house sourdough doughnuts, seasonal components
they served us these at the beginning of our meal, however the aussie in me wished they had been at the end. i love finishing off a brunch meal with something light and sweet to walk out on… and i’m still craving these! my benchmark for beignets are always café du monde’s from new orleans, which i’ve had quite a number of times, and these came pretty close in comparison… light, fluffy + sweet… and the caramel mocha sauce served alongside added an extra touch that you don’t get when you order them in a paper bag in jackson square!
all in all, i had such a fun morning… making new friends and talking food over a delicious brunch served to us by the super-friendly staff.
verdict: so grateful for the opportunity to eat food and meet people all around the world!
(note: inlovewithbrunch dined as a guest of six4creative, however all remarks and reviews are honest and genuine)