One of the most popular restaurants in La Grange has finally rolled out a new weekend brunch menu. Located at 14 W. Calendar Avenue, Fourteensixteen now welcomes diners from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday for a delightful brunch experience. Chef Bret Bohning maintains a commitment to fresh, local food. By letting the seasons dictate the menu, he crafts items based on local, sustainable ingredients. This has always created a wholesome, winning culinary experience and the new weekend brunch menu is no exception.
I was recently invited to bring a guest to sample this delightful new menu. We were seated on their newly-renovated rooftop deck – now covered and ready for patio season. Fourteensixteen is a lively, family-friendly space and very inviting for people with different dietary preferences, particularly vegetarian and gluten-free.
For starters, I suggest trying out their Lobster Deviled Eggs (with black truffle and lemon). Think about that for a moment – lobster, truffle, lemon. How can you go wrong? In full disclosure, I must admit that in the ten years I have lived in the Midwest, I had never tried a cheese curd until this visit. The Cheese Curds at Fourteensixteen were outstanding. My guest, who has eaten plenty of cheese curds over the years, informed me that these were unusually light and airy. They are lightly battered and served alongside a house-made Green Goddess dressing. If all cheese curds were like this, I would eat them all the time!
No brunch menu is complete without a variety of omelets and Benedicts. With their commitment to fresh, locally-sourced ingredients Fourteensixteen will offer different options for both omelets and Benedicts throughout the year. For our visit, we sampled their superb Spring Benedict (asparagus, tomato, mozzarella, English muffin, and pesto). The eggs were perfectly poached, the grilled vegetables were fresh, and the hollandaise was just piquant enough to complement everything. All of the omelets and Benedicts are served with hashbrowns.
On their menu of house specialties, I opted to try their Huevos Rancheros (black bean, goat cheese, chorizo, avocado, tomatillo, corn tortilla, two eggs). The hint of spiciness from the ground chorizo was just enough to supply some interest without overpowering the dish. This is a surprisingly light preparation with each individual ingredient shining through. It looked like a small portion at first, but it was just the perfect portion size – especially having shared an appetizer earlier.
If you prefer to lean more towards the “lunch” side of brunch, you will not go wrong with any of the soups, salads, or sandwiches. The most intriguing of the salad options is the Asparagus Salad (frisée, grapefruit, pine nuts, goat cheese, ramps). I figure, if you are going to order a salad, order something different that you would not necessarily put together at home. This one is bright, fresh, and has a lovely balance of tart, bitter, sweet and savory. For me, the standout sandwich is the Cauliflower Melt (honey & curry aioli, tart apple, Cabot cheddar, wheat bread) – a perfect option for vegetarians. Their Four Beef Burger is also superb.
Although I rarely indulge in dessert, I was drawn to try their Beignets. Take my advice – order this dessert even if you order nothing else. The dough is light, fluffy, hot, coated in just enough sugar and accompanied by a rotating selection of sauces. For my visit, the Beignets were served with dark chocolate and passion fruit sauces. All I can say is, “Wow!”
For those with dietary restrictions, a surprisingly large number of items on the brunch menu can be made vegetarian and/or gluten-free on request. Very few restaurants offer so many menu items with those options. Be sure to talk to your server about ingredients. Since Chef Bohning tries to use only the freshest most local ingredients, there may be slight variations from what is listed on the menu – based on what’s available at local markets during any given week.
Fourteensixteen is located at 14 W. Calendar Avenue in La Grange, IL. The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, call (708) 469-7896, email [email protected], or visit their website. You can also follow their social media conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.