New inspired Italian Sunday brunch at Osteria la Madia

Sunday brunch has become a tradition in Chicago and the options are seemingly endless. One of the newest and best to appear in the River North neighborhood is the innovative Italian-inspired brunch at Osteria La Madia located at 59 W. Grand Ave.

Osteria La Madia has long been known as one of the city’s premiere locations to sample wines by the glass. Their robust wine list features more than 75 varieties. They are also justifiably famous for their award-winning, wood-fired pizzas developed by talented chef/owner Jonathan Fox. Fans of Osteria La Madia will now be delighted by the new Sunday brunch that reaches the same high standards as everything else Chef Fox has created there.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a media preview of the new brunch and the selections were all superb. First, what better way to start a brunch than with a Bellini? Osteria La Madia features a brunch Bellini bar. You can choose to blend your Prosecco with white peach puree, apricot puree, fresh squeezed orange juice, pineapple juice, grapefruit juice, or (my favorite) pomegranate juice.

In a clever twist, you can order bottle service at brunch! Choose your bubbles from their well-stocked list of options and choose three accompaniments. Prices for bottle service range from $20 – $68 depending on your choice of bubbles.

If you’re more in the mood for a Bloody Mary, they feature a Margherita Bloody Mary made with Tito’s vodka, San Marzano tomatoes, a tasty house blend of Italian herbs, balsamic, and a garnish of grape tomatoes – mozzarella – basil. The fresh tomato flavor lends a wonderful, bright note to this excellent, boozy cocktail.

The menu options will change seasonally as Chef Jonathan Fox seeks out the freshest local materials he can find. For the late winter 2016, some of the standout antipasti include the Brioche Cinnamon Roll (toasted walnut, plumped currants, bourbon icing); Seasonal Fruit and House-Made Yogurt (pistachio, pumpkin seed, blood orange), Prosciutto and Melon (squash, cucumber, breakfast radish, herbs), Potato Fritters (mortadella, scallions, yogurt, wine-soaked fruit, and frisee), and the Winter Kale-Citrus Salad (blood orange, grapefruit, radish, pineapple, house-made farm cheese).

For breakfast entrees, the Crispy Pork Belly (roasted tomatoes, melted mozzarella, scrambled eggs, and crispy potatoes) sound divine although I didn’t have a chance to try it. What I did try, however, was the wonderful Fried Egg Bruschetta (ciabatta, garlic spinach, lemon aioli, bacon, house-made fennel sausage, and fontina). If you’re a fan of eggs in any form, this entrée will make you very happy and the combination of garlic, spinach, lemon, bacon, and fennel is inspired.

No visit to Osteria La Madia is complete without sampling one of their pizzas, and brunch is no exception. Chef Fox has developed some truly inspired and inventive brunch pizza options. I sampled the Fingerling Potato and Egg Yolk pizza served with caramelized onions, Italian parsley, parmesan, and garlic. Chef removes the sizzling hot pizza from the oven and then drizzles the egg yolks on top, allowing the natural heat of the pizza to set the yolks. The result is outstanding.

Other inventive brunch pizza options include Egg and Prosciutto Di Parma (white sauce, parsley, caciocavallo, cracked black pepper), Pork Belly (Slagel Farms smoked pork belly, kale, caramelized onions, and smoked mozzarella), and 3 Hour Roasted Grape with Taleggio.

Osteria La Madia is located at 59 W. Grand. They are open for brunch every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. For Sunday brunch reservations, or for more information, call (312) 329-0400 or visit their website. Follow Osteria La Madia on Facebook, join the conversation on Twitter, or share your photos on Instagram.

All photos courtesy of Cindy Kurman, Kurman Communications, Inc.






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