The shtick: Contemporary-fancy food with a view (and without the crowds).
The vibe: The restaurant on the Langham Hotel’s second floor oozes low-key chic, with enough mid-century furniture and muted beige upholstery that it could pass as a Mad Men set. This is the place to bring out-of-town guests with sophisticated taste: It’s fancy without being stuffy, it’s plenty quiet (on a recent Sunday visit, only four other parties dotted the dining room and at least half of them were ladies of a certain age), and it has large windows that afford some decent vistas, especially the tables closer to the river. The room just needs more people in it. 7 out of 10
The food: There is an embarrassment of delicious-sounding dish riches on this Mediterranean-influenced menu. How does a person pick between something called “bruschetta eggs” and a stack of buttermilk pancakes laden with Nutella? One order was easy, at least. The idea of a ham crêpe cake ($19) proved irresistible, and the end result lived up to expectations: a stack of delicate crêpes bound by melted Gruyère and ham alongside an over-easy egg–a dressed-up version of the classic French combo, which hit every indulgent and comforting spot.
By comparison, the multigrain waffle ($16) was practically a health food. The barely sweet waffle came coated in Greek yogurt, bright berries, and crunchy granola. Crispy outside, fluffy inside, and altogether tasty enough that the maple syrup provided on the side proved unnecessary. 8 out of 10
The drinks: The coffee came strong and hot and the Second Ginger City (orange juice, ginger ale, ginger beer; $7) provided plenty of kick even without a boozy buzz. 7 out of 10
The service: Serious and sharp. Servers will cheerfully steer you from lesser options if you ask for help deciding—that’s how the multigrain waffle made its way onto our table, and for that we are forever grateful. 8 out of 10
Overall: Judging by the (non-existent) crowds, Travelle is an undiscovered gem come brunchtime. 7.5 out of 10
The Langham, 330 N. Wabash Ave., River North, 312-923-7705