Brunching my way through Chicago

Brunch, it’s a decision us city people taking very seriously. It is often the highlight to a weekend. Brunch isn’t just about eating a quick meal, its meant to be a prolonged eating experience. From endless mimosas to lavished buffet bars, weekend brunch is seriously quite a big deal.

And personally, speaking for those of us who love sleeping in, one of the best parts of brunch by far is the timeline. Most restaurants weekend brunch menu starts by 10 AM and carries on through to midafternoon. In today’s blog, I am sharing just a few of the many amazing brunch experiences you will find while brunching your way through Chicago

Siena Tavern

My eyes are always way bigger them my stomach when I go here. With such a great brunch menu I find it hard to decide what to order so I often convince my husband or guests we are brunching with to all order something different, so we have a little bit of everything from sweet to savory. Siena Tavern is located within walking blocks of my home and has become my happy familiar go to for weekend brunching. I highly recommend pretty much anything on their brunch menu but here are my top favs: 

Siena Tavern is located at 51 W Kinzie St, Chicago 60654

Brunch is offered 10-3 on Saturday and Sunday and is comprised of both a savory and sweet menu.

676 Restaurant & Bar

Located on the 4th floor in the Omni Chicago Hotel overlooking the mag mile of Michigan Ave you will find a warm and classic restaurant that I call my secret gem. 676 Restaurant & Bar has not only great food but stellar service!! Most folks tend to brunch at a designated breakfast restaurant which often means one thing … very looooong wait times, but that is not really an issue at 676 Restaurant.  

Open daily, 676 Restaurant & Bar offers a brunch experience that includes stellar service a beautiful buffet spread as well as the option of table menu service for those who prefer to remain seated though out the meal. The details and variety in the buffet will have you refilling your plate over and over. The buffet includes charcuturie, danish bakery, breads and croissants and leads to sweets like French toast, waffles, a savory custom omelet station with sides including sausage and bacon and ends with fruits and yogurts, and juice/coffee/tea bar are all included.

Omni Chicago Hotel, - 676 Restaurant & Bar is located at 676 North Michigan Ave.


Open for breakfast daily 7:00 AM - 11:00AM


Sleeping in till 11 and waking up with a super hungry appetite? I hear you!! That sounds like weekend living and there is no better way to kickstart your weekend then with a brunch at Freemont.  Located in the heart of River North, Freemont offers their guests a 2-hour brunch experience with an all you can eat buffet and bottomless mimosas. With stations set up throughout the restaurant you might just leave 5 pounds heavier but there is no way you are ever leaving here hungry!

Included amongst some of my favorites brunch stations is the waffle, omelet, seafood and carving station …. oh, and let’s not forget about the donut and desert station!!

Fremont’s ambiance lines right up there with their food. The two-story venue has both retractable windows and a roof that only enhance the ultimate summer brunch experience.  In their own words – “Fremont has defined the brunch game in Chicago” and I couldn’t agree more! 

Brunch Hours are 9:30-4:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday

Reservations are required.  312.844.7270

Fremont is located at 15 W Illinois Street, Chicago IL 60654

A Recipe a Week in 2022

If you read my first blog post of the new year, I shared how I want to be a little less predictable in 2022 – you know, rather than ordering the same dish at the same restaurant over and over I was going to switch things up. Rather than making those quick memorized dinners for my family, I want to surprise them with some unfamiliar homecooked meals. 

That is why I committed myself to making 52 NEW dinners for my family and friends! Yes, that is one new recipe every week. In 2022, I want to experience more first tastes and less familiar bites. I want that “OMG!” reaction that comes from a foreign bite hitting my tongue for the first time.

Come along with me, as I share how this cooking journey is going and what new recipes, I’ve made thus far in 2022.

I’ve spent the last month French Cooking with the delightful guidance of none other than Julia Child. I learned a few things from French cooking:

A Recipe a Week in 2022

All 5 dinner recipes I'm sharing come from this cookbook

Week 1: Coq Au Vin - Chicken and Wine

Week 2: Boeuf Bourguignon – Beef Stew in Red Wine, with Bacon, Onions and Mushrooms

Week 3: Côtes De Porc Sauce Nénette - Pork Chops with Mustard, Cream and Tomato Sauce

Week 4: Fondue De Poulet A La Crème – Chicken Simmered with Cream and Onions

Week 5: Poulet Sauté Aux Herbs De Provence & Purée De Pommes De Terre Á L ‘Ail

Chicken Sautéed with herbs and garlic, egg yolk and butter sauce & Garlic Mash Potato

French Cooking Tip …. Read the recipe completely through a few times before you start cooking. Treat the recipe like a story. By knowing the story, you are prepared and

Top Five Favorite Chicago Rooftops

Chicago is well known for beautiful summer days. With epic views the city rooftops create for some of summer’s most happening moments. With only so many summer days and so many awesome rooftops, I am sharing in today’s blog some rooftop recommendations that I think you must hit up this summer. 


On the rooftop of the Chicago Athletic Association is where you will find Cindy’s. The high energy, hip rooftop has views of Millennial Park, the water of lake Michigan and City landscape. The rooftop offers its patron’s a variety of eating options. From little bites to go with your favorite cocktail to a full-on dinner menu and yes even brunch (cause in the city brunch is absolutely the best meal of the day) anytime of the day is a great time to be at Cindy’s. Known for being one of the more favorite Chicago rooftops, you will find this place is filled with a lively active nightlife. The Causal sit-down dining during the peak season will require a reservation. I have enjoyed quite a number of summer night’s here at Cindy’s and if you too are the social extrovert, I’m certain you will as well.


A Tourist dream rooftop is located at Navy Pier. This opened in 2019 and is the world’s largest rooftop. The views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline are priceless! The rooftop offers both a full-service bar and dining menu. Offshore as described on their site is 36K square feet with an additional 20k of terrace and 7 firepits

Being a Chicago resident, I personally avoid the tourist trap of Navy Pier, but I had to check this one out when I had CA friends visiting me. Offshore is located at the very end of the pier – yes making for quite a walk. While I personally don’t find this ideal for an average weeknight of rooftop drinking, I would absolutely recommend checking this rooftop out when you have a guest visiting in-town or when looking for something fun to do during a summer weekend.


Like Trump or not this glam rooftop in Trump tower is exquisite in every way. Whether it be the views of the river running through the city or the legendary Wrigley Clock Tower, this rooftop makes for a perfect photo-op. Trump terrace offers both a full bar and dinner menu. With a very generous square footage this rooftop provides a space of intimacy for both large and small gatherings. The service is excellent, the space is luxurious, and that high standard is carried all the way down to the luxardo cherry that tops off your cocktail. 

One of the more personal reasons I enjoy coming here often is because Terrace 16 is in the heart of downtown walking and it makes for a very quick and comfortably safe walk home.  While I have so many fond memories here, a favorite recent was on a beautiful Friday afternoon this past May with a group of my girlfriends. Chicago is exceptionally easy to show-off to my suburban friends when I bring them to Terrace 16 


Chicago club is the oldest private club in Chicago. In order to catch these rooftop terrace views you must be a member or know a member. If you are fortunate to visit this terrace, I am telling you this will turn out to be a summer memory of a lifetime! The views of Buckingham Fountain, Soldier Field, the water of Lake Michigan and the city scape when paired with their incredibly delicious food and service is truly something that is unmatched! The Club rooftop offers both a full bar menu and full-service dinner. There are several firepits and outdoor couches for intimate gatherings as well as a fireplace. The Chicago Club brings a respect to the city dining experience with its high-class service and required dress-code.  This rooftop makes also for an exceptional place to host a private party as I experienced first-hand when we celebrated my husband Sean’s 50th in June of this year.


Being one of Chicago’s most popular summer hangouts, I probably don’t have to share too much detail about what makes this tri-level rooftop such a happening summer hot spot. London House is located on Waker Drive in the heart of downtown. To say the views are incredible would be an understatement. Pretty much every direction you turn their amazing! I would highly recommend if you are visiting Chicago (or are in town on business) to stay at London House. It is a well-respected hotel and many of their guests will enjoy a business dinner in their restaurant followed by an after drink on the rooftop. 

Being a favorite to Chicago, this rooftop will get very busy during the summer months – especially on weekends. The vibe of the crowd definitely makes this high energy setting one that will require a reservation if you want to be seated. The rooftop itself offers a full bar and the bar menu is geared more as bite-size appetizers as their full menu is found in their indoor dining restaurant. I personally enjoy ending a summer day with a nightcap on this rooftop. Last time I was up here was right as summer was coming to an end. The city was looking so beautiful that I had to snap a photo to preserve my thought on how Chicago during the summer months is truly is a dream playground.

There is nothing like a summer memory in Chicago to hold onto during those cold bitter winter months. I hope in sharing my favorite rooftops, you will not only make a summer memory, but it will provide for you a guidance to a great rooftop to visit when in the Windy City. I would strongly encourage you during the high peak summer season to call ahead of time to make a reservation as is required for most outdoor dining/rooftopsj in Chicago.

Dining My Way Through Chicago

Between city and country living, I have the pleasure of enjoying some really incredible dining experiences. This past week my friend Kim came back to her hometown of Chicago and with several of our city friends we dined (and yes drank too!) our way around Chicago. On this week’s blog, I am highlighting two of our dining stops.

Whether it is a romantic date night or showing off the restaurant night life to an out-of-town guest, Volare & Maple and Ash are just two of the many exceptional dining experiences our city has to offer. On today’s blog, I share with you all why I say these are two “must dine in my mind” city stops.


Volare – Located in Streeterville, this restaurant ranks high up on my list of favorites. First and for most this is my beloved neighbor restaurant. A minute walk puts me right in the heart of Authentic Old-World Italian Dining. Volare (meaning “to fly” in Italian) is true Italian cuisine. When visiting, I suggest you try one of my two favorite dishes – Spaghetti Neri al Pesce and Gnocchi alla vodka.

Benny Siddu is the owner and founder of Volare. His gift for hospitality is what creates for the magic of this place. Each guest is warmly welcomed by Benny and his team. 

I’ll often visit Volare’s to meet up a friend for a weekday after hours drink or a family pasta night. I feel home every single time I am here and that is what makes Volare’s high on my list of favorite Chicago restaurants.

Volare is located at 201 E Grand Ave. Chicago, IL 60611

Reservation: (312)410-9900

Open Daily 3-10PM


Maple & Ash – A traditional wood-fired steakhouse located in the Gold Coast of downtown Chicago, this restaurant exudes class. If you are trying to win a client deal or let your date know their special, this is the place to come.  Maple and Ash environment and guests are beautiful, fun and lively. With a focus on an elevated atmosphere and dining experience they do request a dress code of appropriate elegance to match their vibe.

Having only but the best dinner experiences at Maple and Ash, I can confidently say, whatever you order, you will absolutely enjoy. The menu offers everything from salads and starters to steak and seafood to butcher reserves, sides and desserts. I personally get a kick out of the menu creativity in offering an array of “ARM CANDY” and the I DON’T GIVE A F*@K – let us pick your food selection option for the evening.

Next time I come here, I am trying out their brunch menu because when in the city, weekend brunch is a must requirement for Monday morning office conversation. I’ll be sure to let you know how exceptional that brunch will turn out to be 😉 Until then, you need to pick one of your favorite people and go enjoy a memorable dining experience here at Maple and Ash.

Maple and Ash is located at 8 W Maple Street, Chicago IL 60610. Reservations required (312)944-8888 

Open Daily for Lunch and Dinner and Weekends include Brunch