Chicago Eats: Roanoke | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Roanoke

As I've mentioned before, back before my daily commute involved a two-hour trek out to the far northwest 'burbs, I spent most of my working hours right in the heart of the Loop. Back then, we spent most of the year lamenting the lack of high quality, but still affordable lunch spots in the area (we counted down every year to the day in which the farmers markets returned!). The area was saturated with fast food and super fine dining; however, if you weren't looking to grab a greasy burger or to rack up a three-figure bill for lunch, you were usually out of luck.

Of course, now that I don't work in the Loop anymore, so many fantastic new places have suddenly popped up in that area - and yes, I am totally jealous (what took them so long?!). One of the newest to join the Loop lineup is Roanoke, an upscale lounge perfectly situated to serve the business lunch crowd, pre-theatre dinner crowd, weekend brunchers, and happy hour seekers alike. Roanoke offers diners a variety of nicely done dishes that are familiar and accessible (think salads, pastas, pizzas, and meat-forward dishes), along with an attractive list of craft cocktails featuring their tea-infused liquors.

Speaking of their tea-infused liquors... how cool is this infuser?!

Infused bourbon with tea, cherries, and citrus peels.

Mario and I stopped by to work our way through their weekend brunch menu and kicked off our morning with the House Cured Salmon Plate with Scottish salmon, rye toast, hard-boiled eggs, cream cheese, tomato, onions, and capers...

...paired with the highly recommended (and highly addictive) Blood Orange Mimosa.

We also sampled the Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, which Mario absolutely loved, thanks to the fluffy, flavorful cheddar biscuits and abundance of gravy.

For my entrĂ©e, I chose the Porchetta Eggs Benedict with rotisserie roasted porchetta, poached eggs, hollandaise, oven-dried tomatoes, and breakfast potatoes. The creamy hollandaise paired with the slightly sweet oven-dried tomatoes really brought out the flavor of the tender porchetta - it was a perfect combination of crunchy, juicy, and satisfyingly fatty.

I paired my eggs benny with a slightly sweeter cocktail to cut through the meat-heavy dish: The Last Word with Hendrick’s Gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, and lime.

Mario chose the Griddled Jumbo Lump Crab Toast: “louis” remoulade, sourdough, avocado, hardboiled egg, capers, pickled onions, and tomatoes. We both thought this was the star of their brunch offerings, thanks to the thick and meaty crab cake. Plus, who can resist a remoulade fall cascading over their toast?!

Finally, we ended our meal with the Cinnamon Roll with brown butter cream cheese icing, served affogato-style. As someone who's not into sweeter pastries, this was a little overwhelming for Mario - that just meant more for me! I super loved the dense roll with the delectable icing (brown butter is the bomb!). The dark roasted expresso cut through some of the sweetness and gave the roll a new level of richness. This is a must-order for fans of cinnamon rolls!

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Roanoke: 135 W Madison St, Chicago, IL.

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