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Chicago Restaurant Spotlight: Nellcote

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On Sunday I went to brunch with Chicago Food Bloggers. I had a great time catching up with a fun group of my food blogging friends. We dined at Nellcote, which is in the heart of Chicago’s food scene: the West Loop. I feel that I should mention that I walked 1.7 miles through the slushy sidewalk in 18 degree cold to get there. Why? The bus wasn’t coming anytime soon, I had 20 minutes to burn, I had already spent $60 in cabs over the weekend, I figured it counted as a workout, and I feel that by telling you this it will give me some street cred. Needless to say my toes were a little cold when I arrived at the restaurant.


Nellcote’s space is very modern and chic, and feels quite European. In the summertime they have a generous amount of sidewalk seating. The interior space has a large bar in the center and is divided into two levels. This keeps the space from feeling to stark.


As soon as I arrived I ordered a pot of hot tea, so I could warm up. Then folks at Nellcote generously set out several sunny side up breakfast pizzas with mozzarelle, fontina and arugula as an appetizer. Please excuse the blurry photo below, apparently I take poor photos when I am hungry. One really unique fact about Nellcote is that they mill their own flour for their pizzas and pastas. They sell the flour and the pasta at the restaurant.


Next I had the fresh spaghetti with smoke bacon, pecorino, and a one-hour egg. You might be wondering what a one-hour egg is. Well, it is an egg that is slow poached until it reaches a perfect 63 degrees. Many chefs consider 63 degrees to be the perfect temperature for a poached egg because at that temperature the white and the yolk are the same consistency. The yolk spills out of the white, mixes with the pecorino, and becomes a sauce for the pasta. This was a beautifully balanced dish. I loved the texture of the thick spaghetti, the slight saltiness of the pecorino, the creamy egg yolk, and the thick pieces of smokey bacon.


I believe that little gestures at restaurants go a long way, and Nellcote passed this test beautifully. My water glass was always full. My glass of (free) Prosecco was topped off several times. My pot of tea was refilled the moment I finished it. And most surprisingly, the checks were individually split for everyone in our large group. Clearly Nellcote is a perfect place to go with a group.

Nellcote is located at 833 West Randolph Street, and they do accept reservations for brunch.


Tuesday 17th of December 2013

I'm always kinda freaked out about runny yolks but that pasta dish looks so delicious! Will have to get myself to the West Loop.

Katie @ Live Half Full

Tuesday 17th of December 2013

I love Nellcote for a girls' night! Good choice!

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