Brunch Here: Nightwood, 2119 S. Halsted, Chicago 60608

You’re gonna have to drive down here or endure the slow boat to China AKA the #8 Halsted bus. Or maybe bike all the way down the Halsted bike lane! Good news: it’s right off the Expressway in the gallery-laden east Pilsen, or what some call the Principality of Podmajersky. But I digress.

When you see this sign, pull over immediately.

Nightwood is one of the few highly-rated restaurants that take reservations for brunch (as opposed to these much-hyped brunch options) and that you can still get a brunch reservation on the day before.

Everyone’s throwing bacon on non-savory menu items like deck chairs over the side of the HMS Titanic. It’s frivolous sometimes. They’ll call it pork belly – of course, that’s what bacon is, slices of the fattest part of the fattiest animal -, but you can’t even taste it and all of a sudden, you’ve just paid 12 dollars for a pork cocktail.

This bacon butterscotch donut is not like that.

We ordered one as a brunch appetizer for the three of us. I’m not a medical professional, but one butterscotch bacon donut is probably all you’ll want to order in one sitting unless you have arteries lined with Teflon. There’s enough heap of salty, syruped bacon bits to last you the entire donut. I can’t stand when there’s not enough accoutrement to go around.

I’mma hit that again.

What else? My partner got the PBR michelada, which is basically like a Mexican-style bloody mary with beer instead of vodka. And for food, my momma got the matzoh pancakes, utterly yummy, fluffy and not overly sweet (unlike Mr. Donut Appetizer). Gotta find a recipe for that… And I ate the rabbit rillette. I had to google rillette: a pâté-style treatment of other meats. So think fatty, delicious meat jam spread over crusty bread. The raw veggie salad atop was a lovely crunchy counterpoint. I am crazy for fennel bulbs and fronds. Probably the first time I’ve had radishes in a meal other than a seder.

Incidentally, I also came here for a late dinner with some girlfriends. The low lighting and strong drinks made it muy romantico para amor. (Pardon my awful attempt at Spanish.) I housed all my food and scraped my plate clean with the side of my fork so I have no pictures to share. I think that’s a good sign. There’s no use telling you what I ordered that first time (ok, curious: it was some sort of handmade pasta with pea-mint-truffle sauce) because their menus always change. Nightwood hand writes their menus daily. (Another good sign.) Whoever does this task has lovely cursive.

Nightwood Restaurant is at 2119 S. Halsted, Chicago.

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