The Slow and Savory Review
There is not a person in this world who wouldn't love to get a Christmas present from Brandy. She is one of those special people that instinctively know not only exactly what to get someone, but how to make it special. With an eclectic group of friends like the one Brandy has, it's not always the easiest task, but every year, she seems to out do herself.
One of the reasons she is so good at gift giving is that she starts early. "I leave nothing to chance," Brandy says, "I know there is the perfect gift out there for everyone and I'll be damned if I'm going to let someone else get it first!" Case in point, recently Brandy was out browsing shops on the Mag Mile when she stumbled across a little antique store where she quickly swooped in and nabbed a rather tarnished looking silver platter that was displayed in the window, thinking of one of her dear friends who is a collector of rare and ancient serving vessels. "Ah, a true treasure!" the owner declared, studying the piece through a pair of pince nez. "It looks to be to be from the coronation of King Alfonso the 12th, is that right?" Brandy asked the man. He winked at her. "Good eye, you have," he said. "Such a pity it's so corroded," Brandy sighed, "I'm sure it was a real beauty in its time." "Nonsense," said the man, "All it needs is a little spit shine and elbow grease and it'll be good as new." "Even so, I think you should knock a few bob off the price," Brandy argued, "Unless King Alfonso forged the thing himself."
After a long morning of shopping, Brandy decided to stop into the shops at 900 North Michigan, rode all the way to the top to get some brunch. Oak Tree, a lovely cafe and bakery on the top floor, proclaims itself to be a neighborhood tradition for over 40 years. "I hope to say the same about myself one day," Brandy grinned.
Oak Tree had a charming swooping dining area with lots of bright colors and a full wall of windows that showcased the beautiful view of Michigan Avenue below. Brandy had no issue being seated right away, even though the restaurant seemed to fairly busy. She noticed that the servers were dressed in rather stuffy, old fashioned uniforms; white long sleeved shirts, khaki pants, and ties. "I would think such a casual eatery that only serves breakfast and lunch would be a bit more relaxed on their employees' dress," Brandy said. Soon after being seated, she was approached by a tall, soft spoken young man who, while friendly enough, seemed to be in a bit of a hurry to collect her order.
Brandy was less than enthused about not only the presentations of the dishes at Oak Tree, but also the lack luster service (her waiter was perfectly polite in the beginning, but after taking her order never came back to check on her or refill her water, and set her check down without so much as a "thank you,"). Overall, she felt there were some good ideas at Oak Tree that maybe just needed to be refined and polished a little, much like the antique silver platter she had just picked up. "One can see the craftsmanship underneath, but the patina is starting to get out of hand," Brandy said, glancing down at the platter in her shopping bag, then up at the restaurant, "All it needs is some attention to detail and a little love to bring it back to it's former glory."
The Short and Sweet Review