Situated in north Chicago’s well-to-do Logan Square and surrounding neighborhood, Dunlays on the Square is an upscale bar and brunch place that’s’ hard to forget. The walls and bar are laden with nice wood trim finishes and each dish is plated with great meticulousness. That upscale feel brings a nice sense of refinement to the dishes, but a the end all of the food to be tried here is still approachable, and at price points which aren’t too bad. If you’re going with more than a few people, consider sitting in that pleasant patio in the good weather, but be sure to make a reservation.
The menu, at brunch especially, is a creative take on many classic American breakfast dishes. But each has a nice twist to make it memorable. And with good drinks, too. Saturday means three-dollar mimosas. Some of my favorites:
- Fried chicken Benedict: Eggs Benedict with the added twist of fried chicken in them. One of the more interesting ways I’ve had this dish. The poached egg is masterfully done; ever-so-lightly cooked so the yolk just pours out when poked; and so it doesn’t need too much hollandaise sauce.
- Chilaquiles: This Mexican-inspired dish of chips, spice-cooked chicken, corn beans and egg is enormous and is packed with big flavor, too. The combination of all of these things makes for a crispy, filling and very tasty dish. Big as it is, probably don’t plan to take it home. It needs the freshness to make it go.
- Monkey bread: This bread is sticky and wonderful, but not too sweet, which is nice. It’s a perfect appetizer for a bigger group, to be sure
- Guacamole: Good guacamole for breakfast requires very fresh avocados, and this recipe delivers. Mixed up with cilantro and a little onion and served with a slice of lime for extra freshness. Another app that’s good to share.
The restaurant’s classy interior is matched by its equally friendly staff, who are quick to serve dishes, refill water, and even manage the mealtime rush with poise. The restaurant’s nice interior concept is well maintained and the place is spotlessly clean, even in the rush, which is impressive considering the volume of people who come and go through the place.
Classy food in a classy neighborhood, Dunlays is worth a special trip. An area of the city as nice as this one benefits greatly from having a place as nice as this that can bring people in from everywhere else. You’ll want to give this one a try the next time you’re in Logan Square.
- Brunch is the best time to sample the restaurant, though if going there at that time there is also a fair menu of other sandwiches and things, too.
- Saturday brunch comes with $3 mimosas which is pretty good considering the drinks are otherwise listed at twice that price.
- The patio is wonderful and I’d highly recommend the spot when weather is good.