April 29, 2014

New Favorite Brunch Spot: Longman & Eagle

Longman& Eagle

2657 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-2am   Sat 9 am-3 am    Sun 9 am-2am

I’m basically reviewing Longman & Eagle for the quiche I had last weekend.  It was the most decadent, creamy tart and I wish I had another slice right now.  Did you know this restaurant just got voted one of Chicago’s top 20 best brunch spots by TimeOut Chicago?  A lot of people still don’t, making brunch a little more accessible than a dinner date at the same location.  Lucky me….I live just around the corner and can pop in on a whim!  

I've been to dinner at Longman a couple of times, at first surprised by the casual and crowded atmosphere then pleased with the creative food and beverage array.  It’s a lively, classically Logan (hipsterish) spot but the food stands out among all the great neighborhood restaurants; Longman & Eagle lives up to its good reputation.  When you feel a little chaotic inside, sitting on the patio is preferred in the summer and you’re less likely to get bumped into from the rowdy standing bar crowd.  Logan is a nice neighborhood to walk through so don’t sweat the long wait, just check in and take a stroll for an hour or two. 

The service I've had here has always been perfect for me – attentive when needed, but mostly hands-off.  You won’t find any hammy story-telling, long descriptions, or excitability.  Servers and hosts wear sweaters and button-down flannel.  Our server this weekend refilled my coffee three times and helped us appropriately but was not overbearing; I like that and it’s what you can expect from Longman.

Though our table neighbors strongly encouraged us to “get a side of bacon, whatever you do” (he was from Wisconsin – a self-proclaimed true expert on the subject), we’re not really bacon folks.  I had the most incredible veggie quiche I've ever had – buttered leek with fontina cheese on a flaky crust….YUM.  The portion was generous and served with a slight side of roasted beets, mache, a slice of trumpet mushroom, and some roasted carrots.  The bottom of the plate shined green with a Fines Herbes puree, salty and delicious.  It was such a perfectly prepared dish that I savored it and wouldn't let the busser take away my last bite.

The drink menu is always unique, extensive, approachable and enticing.  I almost had a negroni, but thought I might stick to my coffee though my dining partner did have a Bloody Mary with a tiny beer-back and thought it was great – a perfect classic.  He had the biscuits and gravy; the biscuit was square like a piece of cornbread and tasted like herbs and butter.  Large rounds of sausage hid in a creamy gravy with eggs on top. 

The brunch at Longman is rich and indulgent, heavy on the meat but with excellent vegetarian options on all menus.  Chef Jared Wentworth well executes his gastro-pub specialty: creative and modern American fare. Not a great atmosphere for kids or groups in my opinion, better for a date or with a couple friends.  Take advantage of the pop-up doughnut truck in the back if you want a delicious high-cal appetizer to start brunch off right.  

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