Welcome to Bunches o’ Brunches, a semi-weekly series featuring superior brunch and breakfast booze from new restaurants and menus throughout Chicago.
“It offers a terrace view uncluttered by exposed vents and rusty fire escapes. Instead of floating above the city, it’s in the middle of it all. Sip a cocktail inside one of the lounge’s chic cabanas as you watch boats glide under the famous bascule drawbridges.”– The Best Rooftops in Chicago, Chicagoings.com
An enduring rooftop restaurant needs more than just elevation. A proper bar program is a necessity, a menu that tries harder than frites and calamari, and a breathtaking view wouldn’t hurt either. Add an inspired brunch service and you’ve got the pièce de résistance.
I’m devoted to RAISED and have been since the Renaissance Hotel first debuted this new alfresco paradise. While my mom was in town, we stopped in to try the new brunch menu and I found another reason to fall in love with my happy hour go-to.
Chef Daniel Perez is branching out from the bar fare of Staytion, located in the hotel’s lobby. Here at Raised he’s created something unique while maintaining the familiar elements found in our favorite breakfast dishes. His team manages to work with local suppliers for important details like baked goods and honey. Is all of this hard work evident in flavor? Yes.
Brunch at Raised
I began, of course, with the Bloody Mary. Satisfyingly spicy, this house-made mix was anything but boring tomato juice. Without any garnishes, it stood well on its own but was generously stuffed with Spanish chorizo, shrimp, bacon, cheese, and olives. Groups of four or more should opt for the IG-worthy Bloody Mary Tool Box, a wooden box with compartments for each garnish, vodka, and tomato mix. If bloodies aren’t your thing, order the Mimosa Tool Box. Same concept but sweet instead of savory. It comes with sparkling wine and fruit garnishes.
This is a great excuse for organizing a summer brunch with close friends.
Up next were the Bagel Chips and Lox, the traditional made lighter by a chip thin bagel. Instead of a mouth full of bread in each bite, I enjoyed fresh salmon, eggs, and sweet red onions on a bed of fluffy cream cheese. A more guilt-inducing nosh, the Egg Scramble was fashioned in a pastry cup full of eggs, fried mortadella sausage, cheddar and dijonnaise. Cute, flaky, and yummy.
Remember when desserts and hors d’oeuvres served in adorable little mason jars were everywhere? The Chorizo Hash is perfectly packaged in a short jar, layered with a poached egg, salsa, sausage, potato, and cheese. Ooey-gooey delicious, it’s the most date appropriate (read: less messy) option.
I recommend ending (or starting) with either the Muffin Basket or Frassant, the latter being fried croissant dough doused in cinnamon sugar served alongside chocolate and berry jam. There are other sweet options on the menu but these are the most brunch apropos choices. You won’t be disappointed.
- Drink: Bloody Mary
- Brunch: Bagel Chips and Lox, ending with Frassant
I didn’t request the Chicago Lobster Rolls or Peanut Butter & Jelly Push Pop this time but I’ve had both before and they’re amazing. Truly. Both would make a fine addition to any light-hearted brunch.
Raised, An Urban Rooftop Bar
1 West Upper Wacker Drive · Chicago, Illinois 60601
Disclosure: As is common with restaurant reviews, meals were provided by Raised. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, Kari Herrera, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Raised.
All images taken by Kari Herrera unless stated otherwise.