Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  NIGHTSPOTS

SAVOR Optima; Booth One brunch
DISH Weekly Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-07-01

This article shared 850 times since Sun Jul 1, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Optima Chicago ( 1252 N. Wells St.; www.theoptimachicago.com/ ), a newcomer to the Old Town area of Chicago, stands out in at least a couple ways.

First, the spot ( which is more casual than you might think ) is an unmistakable homage to ( mostly rock ) music. Yes, the music is piped out through the sound system, but the wall is literally papered with images of hundreds of musicians; the second floor has a section that consists only of speakers; and even the wall by the restrooms is made up of nothing of cassettes. ( Remember those? ) Even the menus come in vinyl-record sleeves.

Second, Optima has menu offerings that fit the vibe—and they mostly succeed. There's even a little attitude with dishes like Yesterday's Soup, which comes with the description "Whatever we want."

Shareable appetizers include the Optima V ( which I still don't know is pronounced like "five" or "vee" )—but it's a more-than-satisfying selection of meats, cheese and accountrements. And the pretzels and cheese ( housemade pretzels with fontina fonduta and porter beer mustard ) is practically addictive.

As for the sandwiches, the double cheeeseburger is definitely a step or six above what you might get at most of the fast-food chains. ( Vegetarians can get an Impossible Burger if they wish. ) However, the intriguingly named Morning, Noon & Night ( toasted ciabatta, giardiniera, avocado, lettuce, tomato, ham, fried egg and Swiss ) should lose a couple ingredients; maybe "Morning & Noon" would be enough. But Ma's Meatloaf ( a spectacular dish ) more than made up for the second sandwich.

Dessert ( a trio of ice creams ) was pretty impressive—even if it was our only choice because the spot was out of the other two choices. I hope that's not the case the next time I visit.

By the way, the restaurant's name comes from the word "optimum," meaning to get most out of an experience. I don't know if Optima reaches that rung necessarily, but for a casual spot, it's pretty close.

( BTW, Optima now has weekend brunch ( 10 a.m.-3 p.m. ), with items like avocado toast, chicken-and-waffles Benedict, savory French toast and cinnamon rolls. Rock on! )

Booth One

A few blocks away from Optima is Booth One ( 1301 N. State Pkwy.; boothone.com/ )—the space formerly known as the esteemed Pump Room.

There's definitely a more upscale atmosphere here, down to the sweeping curtains and weekend brunch items. ( It's open for breakfast through dinner the rest of the week as well. )

There are some standard brunch items—but with this spot, there are certainly some elevated dishes. Even the egg sandwiches have variations such as smoked turkey ( with fried egg, avocado and harissa ). However, the caramel monkey bread is a must-try. And I'd definitely return just for the black truffle scrambled eggs, which are just as delectable as they sound.

The only drawback for some might be the prices; after all, Booth One is a Gold Coast hotel. Yang's Imperial lobster toast ( which I didn't try ) is $28.95, the aforementioned scrambled eggs are $24.95 and even the monkey bread is $8.95.

And, yes, there is a Booth One in the spot—and although Beyonce could sit there, you and I would have to just gaze and sigh.

I do recommend Booth One; just be advised that the prices are not on par with a lot of restaurants—although the quality is above the bar as well.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


This article shared 850 times since Sun Jul 1, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SAVOR Latin Restaurant Weeks running Sept. 16-30 2022-09-14
- Latin Restaurant Weeks (LRW) will take place Sept. 16-30 in various cities, including Chicago. Illinois has the nation's fifth-largest Hispanic population; Chicago has more than 29% of people who identify as Hispanic. LRW partners with Hispani ...


Gay News

SAVOR Fogo de Chao; chef fundraisers 2022-09-12
- Brazilian steakhouses utilize that all-too-familiar U.S. restaurant theme: Eat until you can't consume any more. Fogo de Chao—roughly meaning "ground fire," a reference to the gaucho method of roasting meats over an open fire—is one of ...


Gay News

SAVOR Indian gastropub Bar Goa 2022-08-29
- The Indian state of Goa is known for many things, including tourism. Water-sport enthusiasts and partygoers often visit the area, partaking in activities such as jet-skiing, surfing, marveling at the wonders in the National Institute of ...


Gay News

Chicago Fire FC, Dawn to host Aug. 31 volunteer community event at Greater Chicago Food Depository 2022-08-25
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (August 25, 2022) — Chicago Fire FC will host a volunteer event, alongside dish-liquid company Dawn® at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Club on Wed., Aug. 31, at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, 4100 W. ...


Gay News

SAVOR Whiskey distillery Judson & Moore 2022-08-20
- Along the north side of the Chicago River—in the event space known as Rockwell on the River—sits Judson & Moore (3057 N. Rockwell St.; https://judsonandmoore.com/)—a whiskey distillery full of welcoming ...


Gay News

STAYCATION REVIEW Sofitel Chicago 2022-08-17
- Bonjour! If you're like me, you've walked past the Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile (20 E. Chestnut St.; https://www.sofitel-chicago.com/) a million times. You've probably also admired the hotel's unique architecture almost ...


Gay News

Taste of Greektown festival returns to Chicago Aug. 26-28 2022-08-14
-- From a press release - CHICAGO—Greektown Chicago's Taste of Greektown festival returns for its 32nd year this summer with the city's largest celebration of Hellenic cuisine and culture on Friday-Sunday, Aug. 26-28 along Halsted Street from Adams to Van Buren. The ...


Gay News

UpRising Bakery allowed to hold drag brunch, other events 2022-08-04
- UpRising Bakery—a Lake in the Hills business extensively vandalized after scheduling a brunch event featuring drag performers—will be able to host the rescheduled event and other programs after reaching an agreement with Lake in the Hills ...


Gay News

'Dining Out for Life' taking place Aug. 11 2022-08-03
- The annual event known as Dining Out for Life will take place Thursday, Aug. 11. People can join the Chicago restaurant community in ensuring essential services are available to people living with HIV during the daylong ...


Gay News

SAVOR Museum of Ice Cream; Epic challenge; Cafe Sophie closed 2022-08-03
- After 2 million visitors across seven sold-out locations, the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) has found its latest sweet spot in the historic Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave. MOIC can be distinguished by its pink ...


Gay News

SAVOR Travelle at the Langham maintains high standards 2022-07-31
- For years, The Langham has been considered one of the top hotels not only in Chicago, but throughout the world, with the luxury stop having stops from Hong Kong to Boston to Sydney. And for years, ...


Gay News

Chicago Gourmet reveals 2022 lineup 2022-07-28
- Chicago Gourmet, one of the nation's most distinguished food festivals, has revealed a lineup of acclaimed chef participants for the 2022 weekend culinary celebration. Founding sponsor Illinois Restaurant Association, together ...


Gay News

SAVOR Bird's Eye Bar & Grill; Sweet Mandy B's marks 20 years 2022-07-24
- Feast while dining among the beasts. Located in the heart of the Lincoln Park Zoo, Bird's Eye Bar & Grill (https://www.lpzoo.org/venue/birds-eye-bar-grill/; right above the venue's gift shop) provides a respite from walking around and seei ...


Gay News

Suburban bakery cancels drag event after controversy, vandalism [UPDATE] 2022-07-21
- After protests, controversy and repeated vandalism, a suburban bakery's planned all-ages drag show/brunch has been canceled, ABC 7 Chicago reported. ...


Gay News

SAVOR Kala Modern Greek 2022-07-20
- Kala Modern Greek (2523 N. Clark St.; https://www.kalachicago.com/) is a charming spot in the heart of Lincoln Park that attracts a mix of residents and workers. ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.