We have a visitor this weekend so we did the obligatory trip to Millenium Park, took pictures under the Bean etc. It was freezing cold so we only lasted half an hour before heading to Nellcôte for brunch – I hung tough under pressure to go to Big Bowl. But by the end of the meal, my initially reluctant companions agreed Nellcôte was a big success.

You are greeted with the highbrow (Sunday NYT) and the lowbrow (US Weekly). At least when we went, the room was not super full so you could easily have a conversation. The restaurant is named after the French villa where the Stones partied while they recorded Exile on Main Street. Somehow the decor manages to pull off that kind of ambience despite (because of ?) having Anthropologie style sofas and armchairs arrayed in the lounge area. Most of the food was good – the lobster hash, sunnyside up egg pizza, and whole wheat pancakes received rave reviews. Only the french toast got any criticism whatsoever – it was considered to be if anything too sweet and desserty. But, for me, the thing that tipped the whole experience over the top was the plate of cheese, salami, home made jams, brioche, fresh madeleines etc that they bring to the table while you read decide whether Charlize Theron or Kim Kardashian looked better in the yellow dress they both happened to wear (Charlize in my opinion).

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