“Mirror, mirror on the wall,/ What’s the prettiest place for brunch of all?” It’s Labor Day weekend, and we’re expecting warm weather, good vibes, and excellent food all-around. If you’re looking for something special to do over the next couple of days, then why not do brunch? I’ve always found brunch to be a perfect occasion to reconnect with family, enjoy good food, and relax after a crazy busy week. If you’re like me and looking at brunch as a special occasion, then I encourage you to visit Lark in Boystown, and you will not be disappointed.
Tucked in a vibrant neighborhood, Lark combines artistic flair with entrepreneurial spirit. The design of the restaurant is welcoming and stylish: wood panels, warm lights, a neat looking bar area. The walnut-finished oak bar features 15 craft beers, an extensive wine selection, and signature cocktails. But it is Lark’s patio (Boystown’s largest) that takes your breath away with its colorful plants and exotic paintings.
The mix of live flowers and painted flowers ensures a welcoming ambiance, and the attention to detail displayed in mixing the two is remarkable. This patio is hip, friendly and fun, perfect for date night, groups, weekday dinner or weekend brunch with the family.
I visited Lark with my friend Marina one very hot Sunday morning. It was one of those days when it’s usually better to stay inside and to enjoy the comfort of your air conditioned surroundings – and yet, we had chosen to go out. We had been invited to check out Lark’s new themed brunches: Disco Brunch on Saturday (featuring the best get-down music of the ‘70s and ‘80s) and Queen of Pop Brunch on Sunday (featuring tunes from pop music’s best singers).
A cocktail gets any brunch off to a good start!
Lark’s brunch menu comprises an extensive array of items, from eggs Benedict to pizza and from sandwiches to burgers. I tried their Traditional Chilaquiles first, which features tortilla chips layered with scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, salsa verde, crema fresca, and pickled peppers. This dish was undoubtedly the star of my brunch. I loved the crispiness of the chips, which held their own in the luscious salsa verde, as well as the slightly crunchy peppers, which had been pickled just long enough to maintain an assertive bite. This dish was earthy, colorful and inviting, and its generous size made it perfect for sharing.
Next on my brunch list was Lark’s 1/2 pound vegan Beyond Burger, which comes with avocado, cashew “cheese”sauce, pickled sweet peppers, lettuce, tomato and onions on ciabatta bread. The cashew “cheese”sauce and pickled peppers were the stars of this dish. Vegan patties are sometimes dry and dull; thankfully, that was not the case with Beyond Burger’s plant-based patty, which was soft and full of refreshing veggie flavors. Adding the cashew “cheese” sauce and the fresh avocado was an inspired move, which provided creaminess and helped to create a nice textural contrast in the dish.
My friend ordered the Avocado Toast with a side of crab salad. She said it was delicious and ate it all!
We couldn’t leave without trying Lark’s artisan wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza – and what better to try it than by going back to the basics aka to a classic Margherita? The crust of this pizza was light, chewy, and very easy to eat. No wonder this pie has got such great reviews!
By that point, I was really full and couldn’t take one extra bite – and yet, the alluring mystique of the Brownie Sundae on the menu proved too tempting. I caved in and took it to-go, and enjoyed it at home with my family. The flavor of the brownie was light and had just enough sweetness to make the dish pleasurable to eat. The texture was decadently moist, especially when paired with the vanilla ice cream. What a special dessert that was!
Speaking of specials, Lark has some interesting brunch offerings this Labor Day weekend. Following the usual themed brunch on Sunday, on Monday Lark will present a special $25 prix fixe brunch, with free-flowing mimosas, Bloody Marys, Bellinis and choice of entrée, with a two-hour seating time limit. Lark’s regular brunch menu also will be available.
I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at Lark. The food was delicious, the service attentive and professional, the patio welcoming, and the music right up my alley (I grew up in the ’80s and I know a thing or two about pop music 🙂 ). Are you ready to enjoy brunch this Labor Day weekend? Then go to Lark, and look no further.
*Disclaimer: While I received a complimentary tasting to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed here are my own.