Tonight I Dined: Althea
Update: Althea closed permanently in 2023.
Brunch at Althea in Chicago was a novel experience. This all-vegan restaurant is located on the top floor of Saks along the Miracle Mile. It was certainly strange to enter through a department store on your way to chow down...but hey, I'll walk through anything for vegan food.
The all-day brunch had a small, focused menu. I wish I could have tried a bite of each item! For my main I got the flatbread that had a base of sunflower pesto topped with Cipollini Onion, tomatoes, and a tangy macademia nut-based ricotta. The tomatoes were so juicy, and those bites were my favorite (I would eat a side dish of just these). I'm not sure if many other flatbreads could stack up to this one and it's perfect balance.
My boyfriend ordered the oyster mushroom and maitake barbacoa tacos with pepita crema, avocado puree, and greens. It was a small portion, so I only took a wee bite. I liked it a lot, the flavors were great--I would just amp up the spice a lot.
We also ordered a side of crispy herbed potatoes and were served complimentary mini scones with coconut oil butter and housemade apricot jam. The potatoes were roasted, but they were crispy as if they were double-deep fried. These actually blew me away. The scones were nice and lightly sweet. The coconut butter was chilled, which made it difficult to spread on the scone without the pastry crumbling apart--but the taste was phenomenal. Lastly, that apricot jam was everything I needed, it was fruity and rich--almost creamy.