That Chicago is one of America’s top food meccas is well known. This includes its amazing brunch spots. One more amazing place is always welcome, because brunch is the best! Maddon’s Post (1119 Waveland Avenue), the hotly anticipated new restaurant from James Beard Award-winning Chef-Partner Tony Mantuano and beloved Cubs manager Joe Maddon, is helping to make Wrigleyville a brunch destination. Thanks to inspired breakfast takes on Italian and Polish classics from Executive Chef Aaron Thebault (BOKA, Girl & the Goat), family-friendly features, an al fresco patio, and a welcoming atmosphere, this is the place to dine any time of year. Maddon’s Post’s Italian and Polish inspired brunch menu is quickly drawing crowds from all over the city.
Just like the dinner menu, brunch takes its cue from Mantuano’s and Maddon’s roots that include Italian and Polish-inspired twists on traditional brunch dishes. Guests can dig into crispy Potato Pancakes topped with smoked fish, crème fraiche and dill, as well as Wood-Fired Pizzas ranging from a classic Margherita to the Mortadella Cups, topped with provolone, spring onion and lardo. Other highlights including the blueberry mascarpone breakfast pierogis, made from scratch biscuits and Polish sausage gravy, pappardelle for breakfast, and a fun, kid-friendly menu.
The restaurant’s wood-burning oven also plays a key role in dishes like Wood-Grilled Steak & Eggs and a Wood-Oven Dutch Baby, topped with pastry créme and seasonal berries. Shareable dishes include fresh-made Pierogis in flavors like Nutella & Hazelnut and Potato & Cheese — a tradition at every Maddon family gathering — as well as Starter Boards with curated meats, cheeses and relish. Finally, guests won’t have to wait until Paczki Day for a dose of their favorite pastry, a chocolate version topped with strawberry jam.
Family-friendly features: Maddon’s Post makes brunch easy for families, thanks to a stroller valet, reservations, large tables perfect for big groups and a dedicated kids’ menu. Traditional kid cuisine gets a gourmet boost — think wood-fired Cheese Pizza and a three-cheese House Mac & Cheese — while additional options include Cheese Pierogi with sour cream and applesauce and the All-Pork ‘City Chicken,’ a crispy pork skewer served with hand-cut fries or a side salad.
Maddon’s Post has a fun, relaxing atmosphere where retro, timeless nostalgia, and contemporary all walk into a bar. The main floor dining room consists of warm, brown wooden floors are paired with handsome leather chairs and booths. The walls are covered with old fashioned design patterns and black and white photographs. In the center is a rectangular bar where you can watch the Cubs play on a large flat screen. Upstairs you can find more dining, an outdoor patio, and a private dining room for when Joe Maddon himself is visiting.
The brunch food was just as fabulous. Attention to detail and a contrast of textures and flavors was a high priority. My guest and I enjoyed a fabulous Sunday brunch, which showcased some of the restaurant’s highlighted items. My guest enjoyed a spicy, tart bloody Mary cocktail to begin with, and we shared two tasty starters, warm and fluffy buttermilk biscuits with salted honey butter) and jam. The biscuits had a lovely crunch and tender interior. The unique house made perogies (blueberry mascarpone and Nutella hazelnut). The fluffy, plump perogies were the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Who says that dessert cannot be consumed before the main course?
Though he does not usually order them, my guest enjoyed wood fired oysters grilled with chili, butter, lime and cilantro. He was beyond impressed with the succulent texture of the oysters, as well as the accompanying lime slices as a condiment. Before our entrees arrived, we were served a light, refreshing Polish cucumber summer salad with crème fraîche and herbs, which cleansed our palates nicely. The entrees were also chock full of wonderful flavors and textures. I had the roasted vegetable polenta bowl with a poached egg and sautéed vegetables-the creamy polenta was to die for-and my guest gobbled up the potato pancakes with smoked fish, trout roe, crème fraîche, and dill. My polenta dish was hearty and creamy, with a nice balance of mixed flavors.
If you have the funds available, and are in the mood for a more upscale and eclectic Wrigleyville dining experience in between Cubs games, then Joe Maddon’s brunch is the place to visit. It is unforgettable.
Photos: Jennifer Lunz
Brunch at Maddon’s Post runs on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. — 3. p.m., for more information and reservations, visit the website.