THE SHTICK: The place that put Pilsen on the culinary map.
THE VIBE: As always: Cozy to the max but still effortlessly chic, with wooden accents every which way you gaze. Morning light pours through east-facing windows. Oftentimes, the seats are filled with artsy neighbors, but on this trip, we dined amongst toddlers and jersey-wearing Bears fans trying to psych themselves up somehow before heading to Soldier Field. 8 out of 10
THE FOOD: It’s rare for an excellent dinner place to pull off a destination-worthy brunch, and vice versa: Without question, Nightwood excels at both. In fact, it’s hard to rank one above the other. (Thankfully, the city’s tastiest burger is available at all hours.)
THE DRINKS: A Bloody Mary was perfectly passable, but nothing more. While it may sound ho-hum, the Beermosa (fresh-squeezed OJ with Allagash White Ale), is a must-order. The ale adds fizz and cuts the juice’s sweetness, making for an easy-sippin’ accompaniment to hearty grub. 7 out of 10
THE SERVICE: A well-oiled machine. Our server was professional but totally un-stuffy. Bonus points for not making one of our guests feel like a moron for asking what “confit” is (and pronouncing it incorrectly). 9 out of 10
OVERALL: In the wake of a recent chef change, Nightwood continues to be a godsend for Pilsenites and a destination-worthy brunch pick for everyone else. What’s not to love about a place where hard-core foodies and tailgaters convene for the most amazing tots in town? 8 out of 10
2119 S. Halsted St., Pilsen, 312-526-3385