11 east walton street
chicago, il 60611
housed within the beautiful and extremely accommodating elysian hotel in the gold coast area, brunch at balsan was our choice for our final meal of another highly successful chicago food trip. for just $19 per diner, balsan offers a wonderful array of meats, cheeses, pastries, and spreads along with a choice of entree. after reviewing some of our other options and wanting a place that accepted reservations to avoid waiting, balsan seemed like our best bet.
a pair of bubbly cocktails got things going on the right foot with a classic mimosa for carrie and wonderfully tart "lime and thyme" for me.
as promised, our meal began with a lovely tray of savory meats and cheeses along with some scones, madelines, french bread, and a quartet of delicious spreads including a house made hazelnut-chocolate offering and a wonderfully smooth butter. digging in quickly, carrie and i devoured the entire assortment in no time.
for my entree, i went for the farm eggs served sunny side up with crispy fingerling potatoes and an amazingly sweet maple bourbon sausage. everything on the plate was excellent with the sausage being the standout. my only wish was for another link or two!
carrie selected the wild mushrooms and eggs which featured poached eggs, grits, and salsa verde. this was another wonderful plate that actually trumped mine, with the smooth grits and woodsy mushrooms being enhanced by just the right amount of heat from the salsa. luckily the portion was quite generous, and i was allowed several bites.
for brunch, balsan served its purpose quite well, and exceeded my expectations. they also offer both lunch and dinner, and although the brunch was great, i doubt we will be back for either as there are just too many other amazing restaurants in chicago left to try. as we were walking out, we peeked into ria, the michelin two star restaurant on the same floor as balsan. being very striking visually and possessing a menu that reads quite well, i hope to work a visit to the elsysian's crown jewel into a trip in the hopefully near future!