Sunday, July 10, 2011
Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast on the corner of Dearborn and Goethe, is the 3rd Coast Restaurant & Wine Bar. While there is a sign on the window, it is a little difficult to figure out exactly where the entrance is because the entrance to the restaurant is located in the lobby of an apartment building. Once you do enter the restaurant though, the atmosphere is very friendly and inviting and the design is distinctly vintage. The floor is carpeted and the tables and chairs are hardwood paying homage to the Art Deco school.
Most places with wine bar in their name, are wine bars first and while the food that they might serve might be good, it is distinctly secondary to the wine. 3rd Coast seems to be a neighborhood restaurant first with a good wine list from all over the world. The menu lists bottles available and notes those that are also available by the glass. My thought is that the idea is to sell a bottle for those people who are there to have a meal. In addition, they have a pretty good craft beer list. It isn't extensive as far as the number of beers offered, but it does have good repesentatives of the different styles available. The menu does have some small plates and entrees as do most wine bars but it also features all day breakfast and a weekend brunch which is what I went there for. While the all day breakfast is pretty extensive, the brunch adds even more dishes. I ordered the chilaquiles. Which, while they looked and tasted pretty good, weren't precisely chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are fried tortilla chips with salsa and served with scrambled eggs, onions, and cheese or sour cream. What I was served had the tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, onions, tomatoes, fresh avocado, and sour cream. While this is frequently confused with chilaquiles, what it actually is is Tex-Mex migas. I will grant that more people know what chilaquiles are than Tex-Mex migas and they are frequently confused. It might simply be a case of culinary shorthand or it could have been confusion but in any case, I would have really preferred the spice that comes from the salsa in chilaquiles than having to add Tabasco sauce.
Aside from this small disappointment, the staff was friendly, the restaurant was nice, and the menu did look good. I would go back here but I probably won't get the "chilaquiles" again.