Upon graduating from college I found the existence of a magical new meal called “brunch.” Growing up our family was always up by 9:00 a.m. on weekends thus necessitating “breakfast” and in college I slept well past noon. But the combination of post college partying on Lincoln Avenue with the internal clock of a 7:00 a.m. weekday wakeup soon found me in the 10:00-11:30 a.m. weekend brunch zone and it was glorious! Seven years later I am still a big brunch fan and there are more and more fantastic options than ever before.
Recently a new version of one of my Lakeview neighborhood favorites, Hutch, opened up in River North with a revamped menu and I was quite excited to check it out. River North has plenty of hot restaurants, but unless you want to pay for a fancy brunch put on by a place usually known for dinner, there aren’t a lot of brunch options in the area. Sometimes you just want a regular old scramble with bacon and eggs instead of foie gras on toast (still delicious but $$$).
Our brunch ambiance couldn’t have been cozier on a Chicago Sunday that had the first snow of the year and the restaurant had an intimate and warm feel. As soon as I sat down I couldn’t help myself from ordering a hot cocoa instead of a coffee.
The menu is broken up into eight different sections:
- Side board starters: think appetizers but “brunch”
- This and that: a little bit of everything, some healthy, some not so healthy
- Benedicts: 4 unique benedict options
- Brunch creations: classic brunch items
- Flatbreads: brunch pizzas!
- Handhelds: sandwiches and wraps
- Hand tossed salads
We started off with Nutella dough poppers which are as adorable and tasty as they sound. The order comes with six little doughnuts filled with melty Nutella and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
My friend Alli ordered the avocado chicken toast which had sriracha pulled chicken, corn, red onion andcilantro all on top of rustic bread accompanied with a side of fruit. There was also an option to add a fried egg on top! She said it was just the perfect amount of spicy for brunch and was almost like a chicken salad, but could have used a bit more avocado.
I decided to go with the smoked salmon flatbread topped with cream cheese, red onion, lox and arugula tossed in a light vinaigrette. I loved this because while it was a light dish, it was sliced into five separate pieces making it substantial at the same time.
I also couldn’t pass up tasting the hash brown casserole, mainly because it looked just like a similar brunch side dish I had recently in Nashville that was so cheesy and delicious. This one didn’t disappoint, I could have eaten a whole casserole dish!
Overall I really enjoyed my meal at Hutch and with its big menu and reasonable prices it’s likely that I’ll be back again soon. Plus, they take reservations which is rare for a brunch place, but totally awesome if you know that brunch is in your weekend plans. I tried to catch glimpses of other dishes coming out of the kitchen and from the River North skillet to the kale and avocado salad, every dish looked better than the next. I’ve also seen a few of my blogger friend’s photos of the fried chicken and cornbread waffle and the totchos (tater tots with nacho cheese) which are two dishes that I will definitely be back for!
Hutch invited me and a guest for a complimentary tasting of their brunch, but all opinions are my own.