By Zachary Wright
Editor in Chief
On paper, describing American food is so often synonymous with deep fried or loaded with excessive carbs. Although there is no true American food – as most American food, very much like the country, is influenced by different cultures – Atwood tries to elevate “American” cuisine to a new level.
Located inside Hotel Alise, Atwood sits unassuming near Block 37 and Macy’s. It’s easy to walk pass Atwood. At first glance, potential diners might be intimidated by its simply chic, posh interior. The art deco inspired decal on the window is swanky, matching the interior of polished marble table tops, black leather chairs and sleek, white subway tile. And no, they didn’t get the tile from the CTA’s Red Line nearby.
Basically, Atwood is a gorgeous restaurant. There is a certain air of sophistication in the décor. It’s a welcome comfort when you want to step away from the hustle of State Street. Atwood finds the perfect balance between the perfect place for an easy brunch or a professional meeting in smooth, quiet surroundings.
Due to the proximity to Macy’s and other tourist traps on State Street, it may be wise to make a reservation ahead of time. At least with that, you’re almost guaranteed a seat. You might get lucky and snag a seat walking in, but nothing is guaranteed.
Let’s get to the reason why you’re reading: the food. Simply put, the food is aesthetically beautiful. With the marble table, Instagram foodies can sigh in relief knowing the perfect backdrop is ready to go. To make foodies even happier, some plates come with trendy phrases, like “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.”
The best selection? The eggs benedict. Everyone knows eggs benedict with a lemony hollandaise sauce laid upon crispy but juicy slices of ham accompanied by a hot cup of coffee and a mimosa flute is the most basic brunch order a Millennial can get. Eggs benedict is a brunch staple. Who hasn’t had that? What brunch stop doesn’t have it?
But Atwood’s recipe stands out by being just that. It’s just fluffy poached eggs, succulent slices of ham in bed with a toasted English muffin for the mattress. The Atwood’s recipe is simple. It doesn’t try to be anything else besides that. Now, it’s what they do right. The simple dish is cooked to perfection.
One drawback from the dish, however, is the truffle spinach. It creates a wet, uneven texture that’s honestly just unpleasant. It’s best to just avoid the spinach altogether. Taking it away would not diminish the dish’s simple elegance.
Vegan foodies are more than likely going to be disappointed. Vegan options are slim. The dishes can’t be substituted, which definitely takes away from the overall experience. While I’m not vegan myself, it is annoying that not everyone is able to enjoy the otherwise wonderful restaurant.
Not only, the prices are a little expensive. There’s really no explanation there. It’s a plentiful serving of food though. You can make the assumption the Atwood isn’t too merciful of budget foodies or college kids just by looking inside.
Overall, Atwood is beautiful. The food is simple but refined. The décor is beautiful and strikes the perfect balance between chic with a vintage charm without being corny. If you’re wanting a simple brunch with no airs, where the food is good and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, then Atwood is worth the trip.
7.5 out 10 torches.