by Kyle Gati
Brunch is my favorite meal. There’s nothing like gathering good people around good food to start the day.
This is one reason why I’m pleased to have The Winchester in my neighborhood. The Ukrainian Village restaurant has been open for just over a year now and has become a brunch hotspot.
If you find yourself waiting for a table, you can grab a coffee at the bar and enjoy some people- watching. Creative facial hair and colorful hairstyles abound, as The Winchester draws an eclectic crowd.
The Winchester offers its own take on classic dishes utilizing produce, meats and artisan products from local and organic providers. Its menu continues to evolve, as it is largely driven by the seasons and what is currently available. Nonetheless, there are options for everybody, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or all of the above. Their creative offerings extend to their beverages, such as cold-pressed juices made daily in-house with a mix of seasonal fresh fruit and veggies.
Trendy ingredients like creamed kale can be found in the eggs Benedict—a dish not to
be missed. It consists of thick braised bacon, creamed kale, preserved apple slices, topped with a couple of poached eggs, all unexpectedly resting upon two Liège waffles.
You won’t go wrong starting with fresh-squeezed juice and the avocado toast. The creamy avocado, tart grapefruit and the heat from thinly sliced chili pepper combine to make a flavorful spread, and the fresh whole grain bread is delicious on its own.
The local focus goes beyond the ingredients. The artwork hanging on the walls is curated from local artists. Currently on display are textile pieces, bringing softness and warmth to the cool, painted brick interior. Like the items on the menu, the artwork is seasonally rotated.
While the sun-filled dining room is open for brunch on weekends only and for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week, The Winchester also has a space on the second floor available for private parties and even yoga events. In the past, The Winchester has partnered with Yoga Plus Chicago for an early morning yoga class followed by a delicious brunch downstairs.
This neighborhood spot is truly a community- building establishment, going beyond tasty food and supporting local arts, food producers and healthy lifestyles.
The Winchester is located at 1001 North Winchester Ave, Chicago. (773) 698-8703. illumine readers receive a complimentary glass of prosecco from 5-10 p.m. daily, with the purchase of an appetizer and the mention of illumine.
Kyle Gati is an adventurer at heart. An industrial designer by day, his other passions include traveling, urban gardening, beekeeping, fly fishing and yoga.