Galentine’s Day at Fred’s

Fred's at Barney Chicago 7Few holidays created in the 21st century have had the cultural latching and adoration of Galentine’s Day! Brought into being by one of my all-time favorite TV series, Parks and Recreation, this fictional-turned-real holiday can only be described in Leslie Knope’s own words:

“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, Leslie Knope and her lady friends leave their husbands and their boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!”

What’s not to love about this holiday?

Two of my favorite things: girlfriends and brunch food!

So I grabbed my two favorite ladies, Gigi and Starr, and headed to our favorite brunch spot to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Galentine’s Day brunch!Fred's at Barney Chicago 6Fred's at Barney Chicago 3As we always do on special occasions, we met up at Fred’s. Located at the very top of the Barneys department store and overlooking Oak Street, this minimal space has become a special spot for us ladies to meet up, share a good meal and indulge in a little window shopping along the way.Fred's at Barney Chicago 1The view made for a gorgeously romantic setting for our “Lilith Fair minus the angst, plus frittatas” celebration (I just love that phrase)!Fred's at Barney Chicago 8Fred's at Barney Chicago 9The wall-length fireplace separating the kitchen and the dining space also added to the romantic vibes — not to mention warmth on a cold February morning!
Fred's at Barney Chicago Fred's at Barney Chicago 4Naturally I ordered a festive glass of rosé to start (what else for such a romantic brunch?).Fred's at Barney Chicago 12Blouse – Alice by Temperley ‘Hemingway’ (similar here and here)
Lips – Stila Stay All Day in Beso (waitlist here)
Nails – Marc Jacobs Beauty No. 136 Desire (here)
Jewelry – Tiffany & Co. (here and here)
Fred's at Barney Chicago 11And we nibbled on Fred’s divinely diverse bread and muffin basket as we perused the menu, painstakingly narrowing down the choices.Fred's at Barneys Chicago Eggs Alla CampagnaFinally we ordered and our entrées arrived!

Starr tried a new dish called Eggs Alla Campagna: two eggs poached in a spicy garlicky tomato sauce with fresh basil and served on peasant bruschetta with home fries. The sauce in this dish was bright and flavorful without being overpowering. She found this brunch dish to be both satisfying and warming on such a cold morning!
Fred's at Barneys New York Style Pastrami Hash 2Gigi also opted for a brunch dish: this delectable New York Style Pastrami Hash. Piles of Pastrami hash served with local fried eggs — talk about breakfast in a single entrée! This dish has everything you could want first thing in the morning.
Fred's at Barneys Chicago Margherita Artisan Pizza 8 Fred's at Barneys Chicago Margherita Artisan Pizza 4 Fred's at Barneys Chicago Margherita Artisan Pizza 6But I had to throw a wrench in our brunch just a little bit!

After falling in love with Fred’s Artisan Pizzas on my last visit, I couldn’t help myself from ordering another this time, despite the allure of Fred’s brunch frittatas. This visit I tried the classic Margherita Pizza topped with mozzarella, basil & olive oil.

Isn’t it lovely?

The flavors were delicious with a crust that was crispy on the outside with a soft, plump interior —  my favorite style! The only problem is now I’m addicted to Fred’s pizzas and run the very real risk of never ordering anything else off the menu!
Fred's at Barneys Truffle Pomme FritesBut the crowning glory to our meal (and the most important component to a successful Galentine’s Day brunch) was this tower of Truffle Pomme Frites.
Fred's at Barneys Truffle Pomme Frites 3Extra crispy, super potent in flavor and served with the three most important french fry sauces: Ketchup, Mayo and French Fry Sauce (a brilliantly conceived blend of ketchup, mayo and vinegar).

On an important side note: After all of Hubby and I’s trips to Europe over the past five years, I still haven’t managed to convert him to the beautifully Belgian world of a french fry dipped in fresh mayonnaise. It’s one of the most preciously delicious food combinations ever conceived and it breaks my heart each and every time he forgoes the mayo and orders fries with ketchup. Someday I will persevere and bring him over to the dark side!
Fred's at Barneys Flourless Chocolate Cake 2No Galentine’s Day brunch celebration would be complete without dessert! Starr ordered the most romantic option of Fred’s Flourless Chocolate Cake with a warm center and velvet-y soft texture.

Positively sinful!
Fred's at Barneys Gelato Dessert Gigi opted for a trio of the seasonal gelatos which we memorialized with a small Galentine’s Day gelato toast!Fred's at Barneys Chicago Berry Napoleon Dessert 7 While I opted for this whopper of a creamy, fresh berry-filled Napoleon. Fred's at Barneys Chicago Berry Napoleon Dessert 5I mean… just look at this baby!Fred's at Barneys Chicago Berry Napoleon Dessert 8 Can you say #FoodPorn?Fred's at Barneys Chicago Berry Napoleon Dessert 14Can you say it again?
Fred's at Barneys Chicago Berry Napoleon Dessert 15
I happily devoured this monster of a dessert and then promptly fell into a blissful state known as the “Galentine’s Day Food Coma”!

Happy [Belated] Galentine’s Day!

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