Thursday, December 04, 2008

Café des Architectes in the Hotel Sofitel, Brunch

How's the Thumb Thing Working?

The VI family, especially the girlz of the VI family, love a good tea, especially a good tea around the winter holidays. One year in search of good tea we discovered the well designed Café des Architectes in the Hotel Sofitel just off of Rush Street. Impressed enough with tea, we returned for what we found to be a stellar brunch. So, when the Thanksgiving weekend denouement required a brunch, Mom and Dad pushed for Mado brunch, but since we had already imposed Thai on younger daughter the night before, we let her have her way with Sofitel. The thumbs gave this one nine, which the wife thinks points out the limitations of the system. In true MikeG-ian fashion, I would say that is exactly the kinda of result that makes the system work. Let's go to the score cards.

Mom - She's happy not doing dishes. She likes upscale-ish types of place. She likes brunch. She's somewhat aghast that from the basket of French pastries brought to the table at the start of the meal--a strong plus for this place--that our younger daughter manages to eat the whole pain au chocolat without giving her a taste. Mom's a bit peeved over certain service flaws, but will leave that to other thumbs. She very much enjoys the brunch sampler consisting of three juice shooters, a four plate combo of scrambled eggs with chorizo (the hard Spanish kind), avocado tian, french toast and smoked salmon, and ending with three mini desserts (pumpkin cheesecake, maple creme brulee and chocolate-orange cake). Mom does note that nothing beats the truffled eggs she had at her first Sofitel brunch, but the cooking overall is very good. Two Thumbs

Dad - Dad...Dad, did someone say local? Dad detects quality ingredients! The salad side on the steak sandwich he splits with daughter is like salad at home. Sauteed fingerling potatoes, while a bit underdone are very sweet. Late research confirms this [ed. such a foodie, you did not even know about the Noguier hire?]. The split thing gets Dad plenty of tastes, but he allows daughter a much bigger portion of steak sandwich. Darn, as it's quite good, both the meat and the meat juice soaked toast. See, there's all sortsa stuff on the brunch sampler daughter avoids like the caviar on top of the avocado and the aforementioned smoked salmon, so she gets more steak. Two Thumbs

Older Daughter - All good. No one complains as much when she eats the entire pan au raisin. Not being Dad, asparagus alongside crabcakes and eggs does not bother her (that much). Two Thumbs

Younger Daughter - Any surprise here? Endless glasses of orange juice (all tables seem to get all-you can drink juice and coffee), the bigger bits of the mini-desserts, pain au chocolate, croissant AND several slices of baguette (don't ignore the last just because there's fancier stuff around). She did not pick this place on a lark. How many thumbs can she give it? Two Thumbs

Elijiah - How would our picky and persnickety friend react to the uniformity of opinion above. Well, Elijiah's here to make sure we see all. He's duly impressed with the look of the place; loves his coffee like they serve it, in French press pots, but also finds said coffee a bit on the weak side. Elijiah demands better service from such a place. He practically holds a stopwatch to the time it takes to clear dirty plates. The way the waiters make the rest of us pass dishes around annoys him too. Like some of the commentators on LTHForum, he's snobbish over anything molded in a ring these days, even if the avocado tian tasted fine. He wants his guacamole deconstructed not Frenchified. And the brioche. While the rest of us found pastries in the basket to love, he found a dry and tired brioche. Elijiah is not happy. One Thumb

Café des Architectes
20 East Chestnut Street
Chicago, IL 60611
Nine Thumbs

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