Could any restaurant in the entire city of Chicago be cuter?
The answer is definitively NO, it could not.
We have had the best of intentions of getting ourselves out to the West Loop for oh, the last six months now to see what all the hype was about. On our holiday seester date, we finally made the reservation and headed over on a cold and gloomy Saturday morning.
I think if we had to sum up the whole experience in one sentence, it would be, "WHAT WERE WE WAITING FOR?"
These photos do not do the decor justice. How can a restaurant be both warm and cozy and totally over the top opulent at the same time? It hurts my brain to think about such deep thoughts, but that's exactly what Nellcote does. Gorgeous chandeliers and wainscot ceilings contrast create this warm and glowy space that we just never wanted to leave.
You're greeted with a choice of the Times or US Magazine (naturally, I went for celebrity gossip and Ali bettered herself as an informed citizen) and if you're as lucky as us, you're seated with an absolutely fabulous waiter that I'm bummed is not my friend in real life. Perhaps if we keep going back enough....
We happened to be in when they were showing The Holiday behind the bar, so that was a cozy little surprise.
When we were happily snuggled in to our table with mimosas and trashy magazines/serious newspapers, I told Ali, "I'd come back even if the food tastes like dirt!"
Happily, we were a far stretch from dirt.
We were immediately served a an adorable charcuterie plate with cheeses, jams and prosciutto. As we munched away, we perused the menu and then ended up ordering purely based on our waiter's recommendations. How do you pick just one thing when everything sounds so delicious? #whitegirlproblems
The lobster benedict had huge chunks of lobster under a blanket of smoked paprika hollandaise. The eggs were poached perfectly and melted into the hash underneath.
The simple salad served with the quiche almost stole the show - blasphemy, I know, but the champagne vinaigrette was delicious. The quiche itself was light, fluffy and so creamy.
We opted out of ordering our waiter's recommendation of the sausage and potatoes because it just sounded like too much food (I know, who were we kidding?) but to our surprise and delight, they brought an order to our table for us to try along with our entrees. We ate every last bite of both and both will forever be tacked on to our brunch orders at Nellcote.
We sat around watching The Holiday, chatting, reading and drinking mimosas for an extra hour or two and then reluctantly headed out into the cold. We stepped one foot outside and wondered why on earth we had ever left.
We will be back for you, Nellcote! If brunch was any indication, dinner would be to die for... I'm just envisioning those beautiful chandeliers lit up at night and the cocktails arriving from behind the bar.
Fun tip - Nellcote's NYE party sounds like an absolute blast! http://www.eventstand.com/event/nellcotenye for tickets.