I’m often wary of a buffet- especially for brunch- but this week changed my mind. I found myself at Stella Barra Pizzeria, located at 1954 N Halsted St. First of all, the space is magnificent. The restaurant is lit with industrial fixtures and Edison bulbs, giving it both warmth and an edge. The dark hardwood flooring is beautiful and the center bar is a sight to behold. Even though the restaurant was busy on a Sunday morning, we were seated right away at a table for two. After looking at the printed menu for the buffet, my mouth was already watering. On my first pass through, I could barely fit half the things I wanted to try on my plate. I knew I had to try the Roasted Corn & Poblano Egg Enchiladas, topped with Oaxaca cheese and a charred tomatillo salsa. These were fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever had breakfast enchiladas and the flavors were incredible. Next up was a Salmon Tartine with scallion mascarpone, diced cucumber, and radishes. I love smoked salmon for brunch and this did not disappoint. I was particularly pleased with the combination of the rich mascarpone and the spicy radishes- yum! Another favorite of mine was the Italian Sausage Hash- fennel, onions, garlic, red pepper, and roasted potatoes. I’m a sucker for a good breakfast hash and this hit the spot. The sausage was spicy (without being overpowering) and the vegetables were roasted to a delicious crisp. I’m usually much more of a savory (rather than sweet) breakfast person, but I had to try the Cinnamon Roll Bread pudding. Topped with a vanilla bean glaze and cream cheese frosting, this was to die for. I also had to try the Biscuits and Gravy, which were fantastic. The biscuits were perfectly fluffy and I loved the sausage gravy. With so many incredible dishes to choose from, how could I not love this brunch buffet? They also had scrambled eggs, egg whites with kale, caramelized French toast, bacon, sausage, yogurt parfaits, mini waffles and pancakes, bacon mac and cheese, and more. I will absolutely be back!
Stella Barra is open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Featured brunch drinks (bellinis, mimosas, and Bloody Mary’s) are just $5 apiece. Stella Barra’s regular hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 4 pm to 10 pm, Fridays from 11 am to 11 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 11 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm. Happy hour is from 4 to 6 pm Mondays through Fridays. Find more information here.
RACHEL HOOVLER & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO