For a boozy brunch in Chicago, there’s one place you must try: Baptiste and Bottle.
It is located on the 20th Floor of The Conrad Hotel on East Erie Street.
Chef Ricardo Sandoval opened the eatery, just off Michigan Avenue, in November 2016. He collaborated with Executive Chef James Lintelman who came up with the menu, described as “New American.”
The restaurant’s name stems from Jean Baptiste du Sable, the man credited as Chicago’s founder.
Walking into the restaurant evokes the feeling of entering a light, upscale cigar bar.
Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the dining room –providing lots of light and beautiful skyline views. Reclaimed wood lines the walls of the nearly 4,000 square foot space which can accommodate 160 diners at the bar, in the dining area or in a private room. Raised round tables for two with red leather banquet stools line the restaurant’s perimeter. Sitting at one of those tables provides the perfect opportunity to take in panoramic views overlooking the River North neighborhood. Larger groups occupy the tables in the center of the restaurant.
Though many people go for dinner and bourbon, I went for Sunday brunch — and mixed drinks! Try the Unlimited Mimosa bar ($22). You can add orange-mango or pomegranate cold press juices to your champagne flute. The bubbly was just fizzy enough without being overly fizzy.
Or, try the Unlimited Bloody Mary bar ($22). You get a choice of sauces: Chilula, Tabasco and Hot N’ Sweet Mango, among others. Garnishes include olives, tomato, pickled asparagus, salt and black pepper to season your Bloody Mary to suit your taste.
I recommend you try the B & B Burger. Two beef patties come served with bread and butter pickles, thinly sliced red onion, crisp lettuce leaves and sliced tomato. A deliciously creamy remoulade sauce adorned the bun. Perfectly julienne french fries dusted with salt and chives accompanied the burger. The patties were grilled to a medium-well perfection. The bread and butter pickles were neither too sweet nor too tangy. Though the burger ordinarily comes with American cheese, the staff readily accommodated my request for Cheddar instead of American. It also came with a side of ketchup served in a white porcelain dish and an individual bottle of Sir Kensington’s spicy mustard.
Before leaving Baptiste and Bottle, you may want to order the Metropolis Coffee ($5) to sober up from all the alcohol. A generous amount of coffee comes in a large glass, pitcher accompanied by a silver creamer filled with whole milk, as I requested.
Service is attentive. My lovely waitress realized I wouldn’t be able to finish the copious amount of coffee. So, she offered me a to-go cup. I whizzed down the elevator to the Ground Floor swigging on my cup of Joe as I set out on Sunday afternoon to discover Windy City, promising myself to return to Baptiste and Bottle on my next trip to Chicago.
That’s the Lowdown!
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