It’s true that in Chicago, winter brunch means no alfresco dining, but you could say this weekend ritual makes up for what it lacks with other charms. Like a few weeks ago, just days after Christmas: three of us walked down shoveled sidewalks, fat flakes of snow falling all around us, out of that cold and into the exposed brick walls, white twinkling lights and contemporary style of Deleece in Lakeview.
Seated at the back end of the wall lined by small tables, we kept our coats on and ordered hot tea, our waitress bringing steaming water in individual glass carafes with black-rimmed necks that make them easier to handle.
From where I sat on the wall side, cradling my mug between my warming hands, I had a full view of the restaurant: nicely sized with room for customers to get in and out (unlike another brunch spot I visited recently), a wide bar, loads of streaming sunlight pouring in through the front wall of windows to the street.
Beyond warmth though, there is this: Of course I can’t speak for you, but on a Sunday in December, I tend to have a much bigger appetite than on one in August. I made full use of it at Deleece. After a starter (Deleece’s words, not mine) of homemade, cluster-filled granola with vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit as sweet as summertime ($5) loaded into a bowl much more like a platter, I moved onto my main entree: two scrambled eggs, crisp herbed breakfast potatoes and toast with butter and honey on top ($5), and I ate every bit of it all, fully satisfied.
(I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed myself:)
In fact, by the end of the meal, it was hard to think of anything to complain about on that bright Sunday afternoon, when we walked out with full bellies, into the streets turned near-silent by snow, and stepped into the car, headed home.
4004 North Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613-1909
*Deleece on Restaurant.com