Right along one of the prettiest stretches of the Chicago River (just across from where I shot this outfit) just so happens to be one of my favorite spots for a fresh meal in all of Chicago.
A Colorado-born, community-focused “neighborhood bistro” that just so happens to be serving some of the BEST hand-made pastries and freshest shellfish you can find in River North.
I’ve been religiously coming here since Anna introduced me last spring — it’s quickly become one of my favorite lunch spots for client meetings. But can you believe that until two weeks ago I hadn’t actually been to their brunch?
Be still my foodie brunch-loving heart — I really had NO IDEA what I was missing out on.Located in the historic Reid Murdoch building, The Kitchen space is a chic combination of industrialism and brightness. It’s both a feminine and masculine space and that juxtaposition makes it the kind of place you can be confident MOST people will enjoy (making it a great spot for business meetings).
The space feels like a breath of fresh air from all the overly conceptualized River North restaurants nearby. The Kitchen is unpretentious and cozy — exactly the kind of environment I like to enjoy a gourmet meal in! And the decor is infused with some of the sophisticated elements of the city too but in a way that feels very… approachable.
And since it’s located RIGHT on the Chicago River, you really can’t beat their spectacular view!
Or their drool-worthy display of fresh seafood!Or their stunning light fixtures made of dozens of lightbulbs (wouldn’t this lamp make such a clever DIY project?).Hubby and I arrived for brunch early on a Saturday positively famished. We both run our own businesses and I’ll be honest — there have been a few days these past few weeks that we’ve been so busy we’ve forgotten to even eat! So a comfortable brunch date with delicious nosh was exactly what the doctor order.
We settled into a cozy booth and quickly placed our order.First up came the coffee because… well, obviously.Then our cocktails!The Kitchen makes some smashing combinations and is always rotating their selection to match the seasonal ingredients they have available. I’ve worked my way through quite a few of their concoctions and have yet to meet one that’s disappointed me.And speaking of things that don’t disappoint, The Kitchen makes some of THE BEST pastries I’ve had in the city. Everything is house made and oozing with a beautiful attention to detail all-too-often forgotten by restaurants these days.
Their Hand Rolled Croissant is easily one of the most sinful croissants I’ve had outside of Paris. The buttery, flakey layers are delicate yet crunchy with a pillow-soft interior.
Seriously not since my last visit to Paris in October 2013 have I had a croissant THIS good.
Especially when you spread some of their homemade grape jam on top!#CocktailArtThen our first course arrived!
Meet The Kitchen’s Buxton Boats Mussels with garlic, fresno chili, and thyme topped with grilled bread.Well, hello sexy!If you love mussels, these couldn’t possibly disappoint — they’re large, fresh, and well-seasoned. And the broth is sooooo good you’ll want to spoon it up after!
We also quickly devoured the Quiche du Jour (I only managed to get TWO photos of this dish before it was gone). The egg filling was egg-ceptional (excuse my pun) being light, moist, and deliciously flavored. Oh and that quiche crust!!! So flaky, so crumbly, so addicting…Then our second and final course arrived! Hubby ordered the Slagel Farm Beef Burger with marissa, caramelized onions, sunny egg, and house cut fries.Juicy, meaty, and delicious! Hubby so badly wanted to devour it I hardly had a chance to shoot it before the massacre began!
And believe me when I say this burger was gone moments after this photo was taken. RIP Yummy Kitchen Burger. I, on the other hand, opted for something a little more “brunchy” (technical term applying to all egg-focused brunch dishes).This is The Kitchen’s Northern Lights Smoked Salmon Bruschetta with freshly scrambled eggs, sprouts, and creme fraiche. Brunch Bruschetta? How have I NEVER had this before now?This dish reminds me a lot of my beloved Mashed Pea & Scrambled Egg Tartines but with a far more gourmet focus. The saltiness of the smoked salmon coupled with the rich, creaminess of the scrambled eggs makes for such a satisfying combination in the morning.River North is filled with just about every dining option you can imagine. And yet I find myself returning to The Kitchen time and time and time again. The fresh, high-quality, and seasonally attuned menu NEVER leaves me bored.
As a matter of fact, I can’t even imagine leaving The Kitchen NOT completely stuffed with a happy food baby.
Because happy food makes happy food babies. And no one does happy food quite like The Kitchen!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.