The folks at One Off Hospitality Group (avec, Big Star, Nico Osteria, etc.) have done it again. Dove’s Luncheonette is a unique concept serving up large portions of delicious and elevated diner food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Wicker Park. Designed to be evocative of a 1960’s counter-service diner, Dove’s delivers Southern-inspired Mexican cuisine, alongside its famous tequila and mezcal-focused bar program. Though Dove’s is open all day, staying true to the offerings found at a diner, the menu does not change throughout the day, save for a few rotating breakfast and dessert selections found on a board above the back counter. Plus, with the ability to add a fried egg to literally anything on the menu, a typical dinner item can easily become breakfast.
I recently visited Dove’s for dinner, and immediately loved the throw-back feel of the space. From the swiveling bar stools, to the jukebox, to the servicewear, I felt as if I were transported to somewhere in Nevada in the 1960’s. That is, until I tasted the food. This was no ordinary diner.
After briefly perusing the menu, I immediately knew what I wanted to order – the sweet corn tamal. While the recipe changes with the seasons, my version featured collards in the middle, alongside a mound of delicata squash, all of which topped sour cream-infused scrambled eggs, and a sofrito of tomato, onions, and banana peppers. Forget breakfast for dinner, I want this dish for all meals! Currently, this dish features chili garlic gulf shrimp, and I cannot wait to return to try it.
My husband ordered the larger-than-your-head Smoked Brisket Taco Norteño, a plate-sized flour tortilla, filled with smoked brisket, avocado-buttermilk puree, watermelon radish, red onion, and habanero lime vinaigrette. While difficult to finish in one sitting, he managed to do so and enjoyed every bite.
We also shared the Pepper & Potato Hash that came highly recommended by our server. Oh. My. Gosh. While sinful, these potatoes were worth every calorie. Fried potatoes were mixed with cubanelle peppers and aioli, and topped with charred scallions and queso fresco. Move over breakfast potatoes, these tots are the real deal, and I want more right now.
We had absolutely no room for dessert, but for those looking to end on a sweet note, Dove’s features pies from Hoosier Mama Pie Company – one of my favorites – as well as ice creams by Dana Cree, pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Blackbird.
So, head to Dove’s with your appetite, grab a stool at a window seat overlooking Damen Avenue, and enjoy a tequila cocktail and a delicious, filling meal.
Dove’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Reservations are not accepted.
1545 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622