Just off the Mag Mile, tucked away behind the Watertower Place, there’s one of the most interesting of the brunch options in that part of Chicago. mEAT is located at 215 East Chestnut. Their sister restaurant (of the same name) on North Halsted Street has established itself as one of the ‘go-to’ spots in Boystown for both dinner and brunch. In the winter of 2013, the partners of DS Tequila Company and Minibar opened that first location. They created an intimate space around the concept of a shared dining experience that serves delicious gourmet skewers, hearty sides, fondue, paleo and gluten free menu options, and molecular cocktails.
It’s time, however, that people found this new Streeterville location!
Clearly, the restaurant focuses on meat (hence the name) but there are ample options for those who prefer a more veggie-friendly alternative. They serve only cage-free, hormone-free meat and wild-caught seafood. Another major plus: they offer both Paleo and gluten-free options.
I was recently invited to bring a friend and sample some of their delicious brunch offerings. mEAT is definitely a spot that I would recommend for brunch on the weekends, perhaps as a start to your day of shopping along the Mag Mile.
The cocktail program is unique and intriguing. If you’re a fan of the Bloody Mary, then my suggestion would be theHickory Smoked Vodka Tomatillo Bloody Mary. The skewer of meat and veggies is like an appetizer for your meal, and the flavor of the smoked vodka gives this one of the best flavors I have ever had in a Bloody Mary. For a new twist on a Margarita, check out their Breakfast Margarita made with orange marmalade and orange peel. They also have some lovely sparkling cocktails including a Peach Sherbet Bellini as well as their Champagne and Caviar made with blood orange liqueur ‘pearls’.
Everything is designed to be shared, so you should be creative and order a variety of things. While you are waiting for the hot food to be prepared, I definitely suggest starting with a salad to share at the table. The Bacon & Egg Salad (frisee, bacon lardons, caramelized shallots, poached egg, soft cooked egg with bacon Dijon vinaigrette) looked quite tasty, but for something truly unique and delicious I suggest starting with the superb Kale Caesar Salad topped with a colorful red-wine poached egg and served with parmesan cheese crisps. This is worth coming back for all on its own!
The core of mEAT’s menu consists of skewers, both meat and veggie. On our visit, we sampled several offerings. The Tasso Ham was particularly exciting – peppery, smoky, moist, and delicious. The server told us that mEAT is one of the few spots in Chicago that offers this particular type of ham and if you’re a fan of Cajun spice, this is one you must sample. The Chicken Apple Sausage came as a skewer of small links, perfect for tasting. Other items that I will certainly try on my next visit are the Meatballs, the Cinnamon-Glazed Bacon, and the Rosemary Mint Pork.
What’s brunch without a “mac & cheese” offering? mEAT has a truly superb twist on traditional mac and cheese – rigatoni pasta, sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, baked egg, garlic, bay leaves, white pepper, sharp Vermont cheddar, Gouda, and white wine. Wow! Filling, but worth every bite.
Although we were getting tremendously satiated, we did manage to sample one last amazing option. TheirWild Salmon Hash (Sockeye salmon, medley of fingerling potatoes, caramelized leeks, tossed in light cream) was one of the best sides I have tasted in a very long time. If you are at all a fan of salmon, then you should save room for this one. The fingerling potatoes are slightly sweet and add a lovely accompaniment to the other flavors.
There is so much more to be sampled! They offer Breakfast Fondue, Flat Breads, and a variety of smaller sides including Cucumber Cups filled with Kalamata olives, tomato, Feta and balsamic (Paleo if you get it without cheese). Check out their full brunch menu here and be prepared to make several trips to work your way through the offerings.
mEAT is located at 215 East Chestnut, just steps east of the John Hancock building. They are open for dinner, Sunday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; with brunch on both Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. You can reach them at 773-328-8320 . Check out their website, and follow their social media conversations on Facebook and Twitter.