Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Monarch - Brunch

There are many places in Chicago where you can have brunch, some are better known than others and some are actually pretty unexpected and surprising.  My monthly brunch pick this month was at The Monarch in Wicker Park.  From the outside, it looks like your average bar and a bar is the first thing that you see when you walk in.  There are several TVs behind the bar.  Beyond the bar are several high top tables and with a high banquette and high chairs for seating.  There are several posters throughout the room featuring giants of American screen and song.  There are posters of John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe, and William Shatner among others.  The food served here is bar food with an upscale twist.  We started out with a large order of Fries with Truffle Mayonnaise and ketchup.  The fries weren't fried like frites, but they were pretty good, especially with the truffle mayo.  The fries were crispy and well salted and the mayonnaise had a good truffle flavor.  It was a good start that everyone enjoyed.  I ordered a cocktail as I was waiting for my main dish.  The cocktails were spins on standard brunch cocktails; bloody marys, mimosas, and corpse reviver #1.  I ordered a Bloody Mary called a Vlad the Impaler which used House Infused Black Pepper Vodka, Tomato Juice, and Spices, and garnished with a Hot Pepper, an Olive, and a Lemon.
 For my main course, I ordered a Blue Crab Cake Benedict with Poached Eggs, English Muffins, and Hollandaise Sauce.  The crab cakes were well cooked with a crisp outside, a tender inside, and a distinct crab flavor.  the eggs were perfectly poached in the shape of a quennelle and were well peppered.  The English muffins were both crisp and airy and the Hollandaise sauce was a great combination of egg and butter with a lemony finish.

Brunch was very good and we all enjoyed it.  While the menu was pretty simple, what was there was very good and it is a good consideration for a future brunch.


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