40 Years Of Brunch Above The Magnificent Mile

You wouldn’t expect to find a hidden gem on the Magnificent Mile, but that’s exactly what you’ll feel like when you walk into Oak Tree Restaurant & Bakery. Tucked in a corner on the 6th floor of The 900 Shops they’ve been serving baked goods and brunch for over 40 years. As you walk in you’re greeted with the scent of fresh baked bread, showcased in glass cases, and their savory European Cheese Sandwiches.

The restaurant recently completed a $3 million renovation and has been inviting media to check out their new digs. The new decor is warm and inviting, with curved banquettes and earth tones throughout. But, I was really there to try the food.

I think it took twenty minutes for us to decide what to order because everything sounded great. We finally settled on the cranberry walnut french toast and, at our server John’s recommendation, the duck breast sandwich.

First we started with the chicken vegetable soup. This was quite flavorful and filled with fresh vegetables. While light enough to eat on a summer day, is still something I personally think is best enjoyed in the cooler months. It was an odd precursor to the french toast, but we were trying to get a variety of dishes to sample!

Speaking of the french toast (pictured above), it was like dessert, topped as it was with a cranberry-orange compote, candied walnuts, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It was decadently delicious! We ordered a side of the thick cut bacon and it was served crispy, just like we like it.

The duck breast sandwich was incredible. The duck was so tender and prepared so perfectly that it was almost a shame to eat it as a sandwich, except the bread was so good! I do not like rye bread, never have, never will – except for Oak Tree’s. I was a third of the way into the sandwich when I realized that the bread was rye! My guest also didn’t realize that it was rye. I suppose if you’re a rye fan that would be a bad thing, but what it told me was that the blend of flavors was so good that no individual ingredient overwhelmed the others. The mango chutney and the arugula, the duck and the rye bread, all complemented each other so well they were like a well-choreographed dance.

Duck Sandwich from Oak Tree Restaurant & Bakery

To drink we had the cucumber-lime cooler and ginger lemonade. You could taste the freshness in the cooler and the ginger gave the lemonade a bit of zing (hint: do not eat the candied ginger. Trust me.).

Cucumber Lime Cooler & Ginger Lemonade

The service at Oak Tree was also wonderful. John really knew his menu and he was polite, patient, and gracious. Overall the food was a little slow coming out, but that’s because a party of over 100 was seated shortly after we were. He also informed me that the duck takes a bit longer to prepare.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Oak Tree. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but leaving I expect to be back!


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