La Duni's Too-Good-To-Be-True Brunch
Housed in an upscale strip center across the street from Al Biernat's, La Duni seems smallish from the street, but the interior actually is rather large, undulating with the kind of curves and angles that would fascinate any architect. The place was quite packed when we arrived, and we were all set for a wait, when our hostess asked if we would mind sitting at the table for two by the window which just happened to be open. We agreed and soon found ourselves seated in a unique indoor-outdoor cranny, tailor-made for our requirements. Perfect for watching both the street traffic and the dynamic indoor scene as well.
La Duni's cocktails are legendary, so we started with a traditional Cuban mojito for my spouse and a Caipirinha for myself. Ten dollars per drink is a tad steep, but these are not exactly your typical, watery Happy Hour affairs either, and these were prepared by knowledgeable bartenders. The mojito featured Bacardi Silver Rum, hand-muddled limes (lots of slices), sugar, soda, crushed ice, and fresh sprigs of mint. The flavor was bracing like a proper sipping cocktail and only slightly sweet. Similarly constructed was the Caipirinha, which sported Cachaca (Brazilian sugarcane brandy), and again a tiny dose of sugar, crushed ice, and more hand-muddled limes. La Duni's drinks deserve their numerous accolades but savor slowly if you're smart, and cash-strapped.
This sandwich was full of roasted pepper flavor and again, more outstanding crispy potatoes road sidesaddle. After brunch, we considered taking home a generous slice of the Cuatro Leches or Venezuelan Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake, but settled instead for more drinks. As usual.
Service was paced leisurely for brunch and quite attentive, and their multilingual skills came in handy when tending to the needs of the large Spanish-speaking party at the next table. In sum, quite an elegant yet simple brunch at La Duni, combining perfect cocktails, food, and weather-- almost too good to be true. And civilized.
La Duni Latin Kitchen & Baking Studio
4264 Oak Lawn