Chicago’s Old Town has a new brunch spot at the retro eatery, The Optima. The restaurant, which opened in April, now offers weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm.
The Optima provides hungry diners with a high-energy atmosphere for a one-of-a-kind experience with an edge, inspired by the rebellious spirit of music. Located on N Wells Street, the restaurant gets its inspiration from the rebellious side of music. When you enter The Optima, rock and roll music is playing. The interior walls are covered with signed celebrity photos of those who ate there, as well as used LPs, cassette tapes, radios and boom boxes. An added bonus of amusement are the soap dispensers in the bathrooms, which are fashioned out of old Makers Mark bottles.
The overall brunch experience at The Optima is fun, tasty and satisfying. However, if you prefer comfortable seating, I don’t recommend the chairs on the outdoor patio. They were too narrow and hard to sit on while eating. Once my guest and I were moved inside the restaurant, the chairs were cushioned
The menu features elevated comfort classics like the chicken and waffles benedict, featuring a spicy Hollandaise sauce and the savory French toast, featuring sourdough bread dipped in Parmesan-herb batter, prosciutto jam, caramelized onions and a sunny side up egg. There are also options for anyone who loves the standards like the Americana breakfast featuring scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and toast. Millennials will love the avocado toast on garlic toasted ciabatta, and everyone’s inner child will go crazy for the funnel cake with fudge and seasonal jam, and the cinnamon rolls made in house with orange cream cheese frosting.
My guest and I at first had difficulty deciding what to order off of the brunch menu. I finally decided on the eggplant benedict (eggplant, roasted bell pepper hollandaise, sunny side up egg) served with a side of roasted potatoes. I simply loved the crispiness of the bread crumbs and the lovely grilled eggplant slices, the warm gooey yolk of the fried egg falling down the sides of the bowl, along with the smoky red pepper hollandaise sauce. My friend ordered the southwest skillet (roasted potatoes and peppers, skirt steak, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, sunny side up eggs). She devoured the dish, and especially appreciated the tenderness and juiciness of the medium rare steak.
Our brunch dessert consisted of the in house made cinnamon rolls with the orange cream cheese frosting. The dish set off an intoxicating aroma of cinnamon and warm baked dough straight out of the oven. The rolls were a decent serving size and paired very well with the cream cheese sauce. The orange zest to the cream cheese added a nice citrusy zing to the rolls. It was the perfect way to end our fantastic brunch at The Optima.
If you feel your rebellious music side begging to come out, or you’re just a brunch fan (Chicago knows how to do brunch!), then you should definitely come check out the new brunch menu-even if it’s just to have fun using with the Makers Mark soap dispenser in the bathroom!
For more ore information or to make a reservation, call 312-778-7111.
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