I stopped in for brunch at Nellcôte this weekend only because the wait at Little Goat across the street was more than an hour. I'll chalk it up to fate, a blessing from Chicago's foodie gods. I hadn't heard anything about Jared Van Camp's newer restaurant since it opened last year and the contrast between the more elegant Nellcôte, which seemed even more spacious and airy since it was only half full, and Stephanie Izard's bustling diner was stark.
All of the food was excellent though, and there are plenty of vegetarian brunch items, from the sweet side with brioche French toast and whole wheat pancakes with sour cherries and whipped yogurt to savory pizzas and omelettes. My favorite dish was the asparagus and burrata pizza ($19), which had an incredible medley of some of my favorite pizza toppings, including pistachios, chili flake and shaved red onion. The crust is made with whole wheat flour that Van Camp mills himself, and has a chewy texture and almost earthy flavor.
I'll definitely be back for brunch and look forward to trying their dinner menu too. Based on my visit, I think Nellcôte may be the most underrated restaurant on Randolph Street. With all the new openings, it has been overlooked and this kitchen seems to have overcome any consistency issues it had in its early days.