Breakfast is chef Gregory Ellis' favorite meal, so it was natural that he wanted to make morning fare a big part of his first restaurant venture.
I found myself wanting to hum "My Favorite Things" when I recently interviewed Gregory Ellis, chef and co-owner of 2Sparrows, a new gourmet breakfast/brunch/lunch spot in Lincoln Park.
It's rather because Ellis
, who earned his
credentials cooking at Charlie Trotter's and other fine-dining establishments, has filled the menu at his
local, seasonal café with, well, his
Ask Ellis why a chef with his
pedigree would want to flip flapjacks and fry bacon, and he'll answer you with a sly smile.
A former chef at the famed Charlie Trotter's, Ellis
brings a fine-dining sensibility to his menu's comfort foods.
In fact, Ellis
menu so much that when he
did some recent tinkering, he
found it impossible to remove any dishes.
"I can't bring myself to take away anything on it," he
makes almost "absolutely everything" in-house, he
Lacking sufficient space to bake, breads come from Chicago's The Bleeding Heart Bakery.
Oh, and there's that top-quality commercial Dijon mustard.
But other than that, Ellis
commitment to hand-crafting all the way down to the condiments.
signature house-made Thousand Island dressing - which embellishes his
corned beef sandwich - and you'll find it's made from house-made ketchup, house-made aioli and house-made pickles.
employs a highly labor-intensive, multi-step process to produce the colossal, crispy tots that accompany his
"It all comes back to where I started," he
As for the Cuban, "a lot of people are familiar with a Cuban sandwich," Ellis
"My take is slightly different."
uses a chewy sourdough roll instead of the traditional French-style Cuban bread and stacks it with moist and meaty pulled pork, thick-cut pork belly, Swiss cheese, grainy Dijon and those tart house-made pickles.