Add Osteria Via Stato to the list of restaurants serving brunch on Sundays. The restaurant has always done festive buffet brunches for Mother's Day and Easter, and according to chef/partner David Di Gregorio, the response has been so good that the restaurant decided to make brunch a weekly event.
"Sunday brunch is my favorite part of the weekend" DiGregorio explains. "It's a leisurely meal that accommodates people who like to sleep late and people who don't. Sunday night, on the other hand, is a scramble. Everything that didn't get done during the rest of the weekend has to get done then."
So what should guests expect?
For starters, come hungry. This brunch isn't for the "one-slice-of-toast-and-I'm-done" crowd. Send them somewhere else, preferably to a place that serves coffee in a demitasse and charges for refills.
Buffets require a strategy. First up, decide the "must haves" before you begin. Admittedly, that's tough when the options include made-to-order sourdough waffles and a carving station featuring Slagel Farms' maple glazed pork belly.
Consider, also, the smoked fish and omelettes and then peruse the charcuterie, cheeses, breads, bagels, fresh fruit and yogurt. And don't forget, there are pastries, cookies and cakes, as well as made-to-order ricotta doughnuts to end the meal.
Two added pluses: the prix-fixe ($34.95 per person) includes bottomless seasonal Bellinis and children under 12 eat free. Salute!
Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State Street, 312.642.8450.
Hours: Brunch 10:30am-2:30pm Sundays. Sunday December 16, Brunch with Santa 10:30am-2:30pm
1.Timothy O’Toole’s Pub (622 N. Fairbanks Court, 312.642.0700) is planning a Black Wednesday (November 21) tapping event in conjunction with Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company. The event will coincide with the release of the brewer’s Bourbon County Brand Stout line to the Chicago market.
Certain of the eight featured brews are especially interesting, even to guests who are just beginning to explore artisanal beers. The Original Bourbon County Brand Stout, for example, is aged in 4-plus year old Heaven Hill barrels, while the Bourbon County Brand Bramble Rye Stout contains added raspberry and blackberry juice and puree. Only 12 barrels of the Reserve Bourbon County Brand Stout will be be available in Chicago, so the event will be one of the few opportunities for aficionados to enjoy it.
The tappings begins at 5 pm. Two varieties of beer will be tapped every half hour. Five ounce samples of most of the beers will be $9. Reserve samples, however, will be $12.
2. Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls (1002 W. Lake Street, 312.846.6457) is one of the newest newbies in the West Loop. Located just a few steps from Chicago’s Restaurant Row on West Randolph, Hakka Bakka specializes in Indian street food. Like its sibling in Lincoln Park, its signature dish is the Kati Roll made with an unleavened flatbread and various fillings, such as chicken, chickpea paneer, potato, egg, and lamb or shrimp. Toppings include onions, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapeños and mint.
Additional options include Salad Bowls made with a choice of protein, lettuce, tomato and cucumber and Rice Bowls done with a base of fragrant basmati cumin rice. All of the dishes include a choice of house made chutneys.
The signature Bento Box ($13) gives dine-in guests an opportunity to sample a little bit of a lot of things. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions are available.
The Lake Street venue is open Mondays-Thursdays from 11 am to 5 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 9 pm.
3. On Saturday, November 17, Trump International Hotel and Tower kicks off the holiday season in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Heading the list of the day’s activities is the Reindeer on the Roof event from 2-6pm. Guests will have an opportunity to interact with Santa and his reindeer, in addition to enjoying seasonal music, hot cider, cocoa and sweet treats. Packages are available online. $35 for children, $55 for adults.
From 5 to 7:30, guests can sample wine from Trump’s Winery paired with cheese, charcuterie and chocolate, in addition to viewing the Lights Festival on Michigan Avenue. Early Bird tickets are $55 per person, $65 thereafter. Tickets are available online.