Every Thursday, Chicago’s dining team posts an online-only review of everyone’s favorite weekend meal, brunch. This week, we stop in at Ceres’ Table.
The shtick: Your brunch favorites upon returning from a semester abroad in Italy.
The vibe: It’s very much like being in an expensive, well-designed living room, with plush couches, clean lines, and big floor-to-ceiling windows that can open up to the sidewalk patio when the weather is nice. Only a few other parties dotted the dining room, all talking in hushed tones, so take the party crowd to one of the egg-and-potato assembly lines down the street and save this for a quieter, more intimate occasion. 8 out of 10.
The food: Ceres’ Table has earned its reputation as a dinnertime go-to for thoughtful Italian plates, which in a way makes its prowess at midday surprising. You know you can get good pasta here, but a simple, vibrant Eggs in Purgatory (two eggs poached in tomato sauce with rounds of baguette toast for sopping up saucy, yolky goodness)? That, somehow, was both unexpected and welcome. Ditto the fluffy brioche Italian toast with mascarpone, the over-the-top lobster Benedict, and the fennel-flecked sausage. But while our side orders of said sausage and some bacon were undoubtedly delicious, they were a bit spendy for the portion size. 8 out of 10.
The drinks: This place mixes up one of the best brunch beverages we’ve come across thus far, the Spiced Bloody Mary, which tasted pleasantly like pepperoni and was gone before the food even arrived. The mimosas and lattes weren’t half-bad either. 9 out of 10.
The service: Mostly solid—knowledgeable and speedy. But one lactose-intolerant member of our party was curtly shut down by a server for deigning to ask if there were any soy milk she could use in her coffee. Things never quite sat right with us afterwards. 7 out of 10.
Overall: Based on its relative low level of busy-ness on our Sunday visit, people are probably not thinking of Ceres’ Table as a brunching destination. You should probably start doing so. 8 out of 10.
3124 N. Broadway, Lake View, 773-922-4020