Friday, September 2, 2011

Perennial Virant (Brunch)

Location: 1800 N Lincoln Ave.
Cost: $15-20 per person

Well thanks to med school I can't sleep in anymore. Last weekend, when I finally got a day off, I tried my hardest but couldn't sleep past 7 AM. I got a whole bunch of chores out of the way, answered some emails, and then it was still only 9. The rest of my morning consisted of reading about obstetrics and waiting for someone nearby to pop up on gchat so I could get them to go to brunch. Sure enough around 11, Kovar popped up. We recruited our buddy MFB and headed to the nearby Perennial Virant.


Logistics
Perennial Virant is perfectly situated on the corner of Lincoln and Wells. The interior is creatively designed with plenty of seating and a welcoming bar right when you walk in. The patio is spacious and overlooks the hordes of the Green City Market. We called ahead and requested patio seating. They take reservations, and I'd recommend it with the crowds they draw.

Our service was fine, but we found it funny that the uniform was a plaid shirt and jeans. At one point we mistook a guy walking out of the market for our waiter. The key message here is not to where a plaid shirt so that you don't get asked by someone where the bathroom is or for a refill on coffee.

The cost is a little up there for brunch considering portion size. Most of the dishes were around $12 but didn't necessarily come with a ton of food or with sides for that matter. They have a bunch of cocktails too for around $7, but we stuck with coffee.

A final logistic point is that we felt way too uncool to be eat there. In my ratty t-shirt, shorts, and $2 old navy sandals I was drastically under dressed (good thing it was too hot out for sweats). I'm just trying to say that the crowd was a bit trendy. The way Kovar put it was that there was too much of an L.A. feeling. MFB said he felt like he just finished lunch in an episode of Entourage.

The Food
The menu had just the right amount of options to keep me interested without leading me down some indecisive path of destruction. Kovar got the Skillet, MFB got the French Toast, and I got the Omelette. The skillet came with yukon gold potatoes, smoked cheddar, two eggs, ham, broccoli, and sweet corn. Kovar was pleased enough. I thought the potatoes had a grainy feel to them, but the dish was well balanced. You could really get a sense of each ingredient throughout the dish. The french toast was soft and covered with peaches. It wasn't too sweet and the fruit stood out well. My omelette had three eggs, prosciutto, chevre, radishes, onions, and pesto. It was well constructed and had plenty of radishes. There could've been more prosciutto, and the pesto made things pretty runny. For three eggs it seemed really small though. We were all still kind of hungry and got a side of the Potato Homeboys with Cheese Curds. I've always said you can't trust a brunch place with bad potatoes, and thankfully these were pretty solid.

The French Toast

The Skillet

The Omelette

 The Potato Homeboys

Overall
With the ability to make reservations and a sweet patio, Perennial Virant has key logistic advantages over many other brunch spots. However, the slightly higher prices and small portions may outweigh this. The ingredients are high quality and used delicately. Still, we weren't too wowed with any of our dishes. I'm going to have to come back for dinner sometime soon, but as far as brunch goes, I'm giving them 3 out of 5 Pearls.


Perennial Virant on Urbanspoon

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