10/01/2012 01:54:00 PM

Zagat Presents: Brunch at Tavernita Sans Pinxto The Dog

On Thursday evening, at the Common Threads cook-off, a tragedy occurred. Pinxto, the smart-mouthed mascot of Tavernita was dog-napped. The captors have started a Twitter account with an image of the Spanish bulldog locked in a cage, but no demands have been made. To show our support for the Tavernita team that has been visibly shaken by these upsetting circumstances, we stopped by on Saturday for brunch sponsored by MasterCard’s Priceless Chicago.

The morning started with kegged cocktails and a chef Ryan Poli’s selection of pinxtos (toast topped with shrimp, cheeses, tuna, eggplant and other savory offerings). The next course was one of our personal favorite brunch dishes anywhere in Chicago right now, and perfect to soak up some illicit activities from the prior evening. Poli's Chilaquiles tasted like gourmet Doritos, slightly soggy and slightly crunchy, topped with scrambled eggs and mahon cheese.

The next two courses worked very well together: house-made lamb sausage with spicky giardiniera and patatas bravas with a fried egg. The final course was a sneak peek at a dish that might (and in our opinion very much should) soon appear on the menu. Cinnamon rolls with an orange-ginger glaze were a sweet yet simple finish to the meal, not drowning in icing – in fact, lacking icing altogether. Poli admitted to eating an entire order (four rolls) before stopping by our table for a quick hello.

The meal was a wonderful start to the weekend, and those who were unable to join us are encouraged to try their Saturday or Sunday brunch menus as well as keeping an eye out for upcoming “Zagat Presents” meals. Finally, for those who are genuinely concerned for the safety of poor Pinxto. We have heard from the captors that the dog’s living conditions in captivity are good, as he continues to taunt in Spanglish those who took him from his home at Barcito.

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