Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Call of the "Wilde" Chicago

I can’t stand people who do not take food seriously.” Oscar Wilde

A wonderful day with my daughter brought us back to our old haunts in Chicago for a "girl's day." She use to live in Lakeview. I use to live in Lincoln Park. We both have great memories of our time hanging out in Chicago and now and then miss the neighborhoods. So to be back for an "ah" day was long over due! For over a week we discussed where we would eat. The hard thing about going to a place known for its food diversity is where to eat. The easy thing about going to a place known for its food is you almost can't go wrong. Needless to say no decision was made prior to us meeting up. Neither one of us had a taste for anything in particular, we just looked forward to the time together. One thing we did settle on was the idea of eating lunch as opposed to shopping first and then eating an early dinner. Our dining choice would be based upon;1)parking 2)response to our gut, (not to be confused with gastronomic gut, but, intuitive gut) and 3)timing.

Setting out on Lake Shore Drive on a Saturday seemed like the perfect path towards satisfaction. Following a familiar path, we turned off onto Fullerton and up to Clark. From there instinct took over. After chatting and driving around a bit we found ample parking. As we walked down Broadway many places called our name but we would only heed the call of one. Would it be pizza, pasta, Thai, sushi, deli, bagels? NO! Then it happened. Like a pull on my Irish ancestry and a whisper from kindred spirits of the past we heard the call of the Wilde! Was it the dark wood, quaint window front or the spirit of the Great Oscar Wilde that called us by name? No, actually it was my daughter saying, I think I like the looks of this place. Something made her look at the menu. She saw the word that solved the puzzle;brunch, you see, we love our brunch and breakfast foods.

Now to the rest of the story..."I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." Oscar Wilde

Walking in to Wilde, we were quickly seated in the front area of the restaurant. A small table for two very near the fire place. Warm, comfortable, with an air of elegance. Everything about the restaurant upon first assessment was warm. The music where we were sitting was a tad bit loud, but, at least the musical selection was pleasant. Immediately I traveled back to the ladies room. Prior to leaving I indicated to my companion that I would like coffee with cream should a server come to inquire. As I careened through the restaurant I discovered that the restaurant was sectioned in such a way that it was somewhat reminiscent to the way a house is divided;parlor, dining room, library, etc. The wood tones, library, decor, lighting as well as overall lay out allowed for me to move through the restaurant much like a character from one of Oscar Wilde's plays. All that from walking to the restroom? Ah, but yes, the spirit of Wilde wit challenged my Rapier wit to a duel to which I recoiled back to a time of grace, decadence and illusory of pleasures.

My daughter was a bit concerned that it took a little long to meet our server. I assured her that possibly it was because our server was waiting for me to return to the table. It was not long after I sat down that we were greeted by our server and we placed our drink order. We began with a cup of coffee. The coffee was a better than typical restaurant coffee. Being the coffee lover that I am, I appreciated that. I also appreciated the real cream in a nicely served creamer. (minus the accidental cream that landed on my daughter's coat.) The menu was very impressive. Looking around at other patron's selections helped in narrowing down our choices. We chose from the brunch menu:

  • Spinach and Artichoke omelette with Irish cheddar grits and a side of  multi-grain toast 
  • Beet and goat cheese salad 
  • side of brunch potatoes
The food was delivered in a very timely manner and aside from a flinging of a little goat cheese and a plopsy of potatoes next to my daughter the plentiful platters were applauded. The benefit of the service being a little off kilter (I truly believe it was the spirit of the Wilde wit at play) is that we were able to engage near by diners in a humorous banter about the comedy of errors! However, I don't think my daughter was humored as much as the rest of us were. Needless to say the food was exactly what we had hoped for! The Irish cheddar grits were fabulous. To which I must acknowledge that increasingly I am loving what Chicago is doing with grits. Sorry you southern grit lovers, you have nothing on the Windy City! The spinach and artichoke omelette was like eating a healthier version of a really well done spinach artichoke dip. Instead of bread and chips it was enveloped around a perfectly cooked egg omelette. Even the multi-grain toast had a rich sense of an Irish countryside. I am not 100% certain, but, the butter was not your regular ole butter, which leads me to wonder if they actually use Irish butter, which is more like the butter we had back in the day. The beet and goat cheese salad was equally delicious and a perfect pairing for the omelette. It was a well calculated plan to order that which we would be able to pair and share. The richness of brunch potatoes were delectable, very rich, flavorful and the perfect item on a chilly autumn day.

I applaud our server for not making us feel rushed. The purpose of the day was to spend down time together. To just sit back, relax and feed not only our appetites but our souls. He was generous with refills on the coffee and kind to ensure that our every need was met. All in all it was a very pleasurable experience. Aesthetically pleasing, gastronomically satisfying and as the old Irish proverb states: Laughter is brightest where food is best!

I look forward to visiting Wilde "Chicago" Bar and Restaurant again. Wilde is located at 3130 N. Broadway, Chicago Illinois. Remember, "Love and gluttony, justify everything!" Oscar Wilde

1 comment:

  1. Yeah it’s true that the food at Chicago restaurants is always yummy and everybody loves to eat that. You know it is popular worldwide. The best thing about Chicago restaurants is there quick service. You don’t have to wait too long for the food.