Wood – Lakeview, Chicago

Yesterday was Easter Sunday.  While I do not celebrate these types of religious holidays, I do celebrate brunch.  Since I had not done brunch and a movie in a while, I decided to meet my friend, Barbara, at Wood in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood to catch up on things and a flick at the local Landmark movie theatre.

Wood is located just 2 blocks east and 4 blocks north of the Belmont ‘L’ stop along the CTA Red Line at the corner of Halsted and Buckingham Place.

Belmont 'L' stop near Wood

Wood's menu

Insert the obvious joke 😉

Wood has been open a few years now.  I had been there only one other time for a drink and to check out the atmosphere, shortly after it opened.   Since then, I have heard only consistently great reviews of its menu.  I had been meaning to return.  Better late than never!

Here’s how our brunch went down:

We started off by toasting the day with a couple of Wood’s Poinsettia cocktails of champagne and cranberry juice.  Very refreshing!

Wood's poinsettia cocktail

One starts a proper brunch off with this Poinsettia cocktail – champagne and cranberry juice 😉

Wood’s brunch menu consists of several tasty-sounding/looking treats both sweet and savory. We decided to share the French Toast Bites for an appetizer.  It was made with cobbler cream, candied walnuts, berries and granola.  The dish did not need the side of maple syrup which came with it.  It was just tart and sweet enough on its own.  A perfect little sweet way to start the day.

Wood's french toast bites

French Toast bites with cobbler cream, candied walnuts, berries and granola is nice to share with friends 🙂

Wood's french toast

The perfect bite!

Barbara chose the biscuits and gravy for her main entree.  It was a lovely dish of perfectly poached, runny eggs with buttermilk biscuits which were both moist and flaky.  It was finished with mereguez sausage gravy but not too much to drown the plate.  Nicely flavored potatoes came with it.  Delicious!

Wood's biscuits and gravy

Wood's biscuits and gravy

Biscuits and gravy must have some yolk porn!

I went for the Texas Shrimp with blue Hopi polenta, crimini mushrooms, spinach and bacon. The polenta was the perfect balance of creamy and gritty.  Kudos to Wood for preparing perfectly cooked shrimp.  They were juicy and sweet.  I really enjoyed this dish.  Of course, I had to add my personal touch of Tabasco sauce.  No shrimp and grits dish is complete without some extra kick and I like it hot!

Wood's shrimp and grits

Texas shrimp and grits with crimini ‘shrooms, spinach and bacon

Wood's Texas shrimp and grits

Executive Chef Ashlee Aubin really does a great job at Wood.  I did not expect anything less from him.  A few months back, I published a post about the wonderful solo lunch I had at Salero in the West Loop where Chef Ashlee is churning out some incredibly authentic Spanish cuisine. I still dream about the garlic soup and flan I had there 🙂

The space at Wood is very inviting.  It is a long galley layout with high tops and booths lining the windows on this very sunny corner block.

Wood's bar

Wood's dining room

Wood has collected many critical accolades in the last few years, including the Michelin Bib Gourmand award 3 years running.  Well deserved, Chef!

I will definitely be back to Wood for brunch, as I have my eye on the Belgian Buckweat Waffle with apricot preserves, huckleberries, vanilla butter, bacon and maple syrup 🙂  Also, I need to report back on their dinner menu for you all 😉

Wood is located at 3335 N. Halsted. For more information visit http://www.woodchicago.com.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails Series, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Red Line to Wood.  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!