The Brunch Dish

Reviews of brunch dishes.

The Brunch Dish: Boho-chic Bites at RM Champagne Salon

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[Photographs: Chelsea Ross]

When a place like RM Champagne Salon begins serving brunch, I expect glitz and glamor and beautiful people. Their newly instated "boho brunch" did not disappoint. It's the type of place Mary-Kate and Ashley would go if they lifted their restraining order against pastries. It's the type of place where Real Housewives would congregate to "clear the air." Basically, it's my heaven.

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The brunch program at RM is an all-you-can-eat affair ($24 per person), albeit substantially more lavish than comparable setups found at roadside truck stops. Much of the menu changes weekly based on what's seasonally available, but expect lots of sweets, smoky meats, salads, and eggs. No offense to the bacon brigade, but the sweets absolutely stole the show for me. Petite cinnamon rolls were denser and chewier than most, providing a firm foundation for the ample swirl of cream cheese frosting on top. They reminded me of childhood, wherein a rogue family friend named Irene would bake mini cinnamon rolls and deliver them to us as if that was her sole purpose in life. Seeing bread pudding and French toast on the same menu seemed a bit unnecessary at first, but RM differentiates the kissing cousins by frying the French toast and smearing it with strawberry jam, making it taste like the greatest jelly doughnut ever. The bread pudding, on the other hand, is dripping in caramel-y rum-raisin sauce, with a thickset texture akin to monkey bread.

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The saccharine selections may attract most of the spotlight, but don't overlook the savory fare. Along with familiar items such as a particularly ham-y house-smoked bacon and smoked sausage, RM turns out atypical brunch dishes like a salad of lemony kale sliced into thin ribbons, making for a pasta-like medley. Rigatoni lends itself to the most refreshing pasta salad I've ever passed through my mouth, flecked with asparagus, knob onions, piquillo peppers, mint, basil vinaigrette, and some lush squash blossoms. The smoked organic salmon was so fresh, I felt like a grizzly bear plucking it straight out of the water, albeit a bear equipped with damn fine bagels and accoutrements.

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Boho brunch at RM is an elegant repast not to be missed. If at first you think the idea of brunch, a meal inherently hedonistic, does not dovetail with the boho-chic lifestyle, allow this deliciously Parisian Champagne salon to prove you wrong.

RM Champagne Salon

116 North Green Street, Chicago IL 60607 (map)
312-243-1199
rmchampagnesalon.com/

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