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Restaurant Tue Oct 23 2007
It's a gray, dreary morning, almost bone-chilling. It's been unseasonably warm for the past few weeks, and I'm utterly unprepared for the chill. As I walk a few steps from the car to the door of Tweet, breeze from the lake stirs up the few fallen leaves on the pavement, and I bury my chin in my fleece jacket. Once inside the restaurant, though, the scene undergoes a drastic change: it's warm, cozy and welcoming.
We were greeted by friendly waitresses, and were promptly shown inside. Large, boldly colored sculptures of various birds were perched on a high shelf behind the hostess' counter. Local photographers' works lined the walls. I liked the orange and green m&m's-shaped cushions scattered along the bench that ran the length of the restaurant. It seemed as if attention literally rained on us: glasses were immediately filled, two bite-sized pieces of coffee cake appeared (in a little European-antique-ish plate), and, without waisting a minute, a waiter in a Tweet tee shirt poured coffee for the decaffeinated.
Our extremely friendly waitress took our orders, and waiting for our Saturday breakfast, I watched with amazement as this notched-up Uptown diner quickly filled up with customers. All of them, bundled up in this autumn's first jackets and scarves, were greeted warmly and cheerfully at the door, and an older woman, who I assumed to be the owner, made jokes about seating them at the "beautiful outdoor tables." Patrons responded with hearty laughs and counter-jokes; this seemed to be just the perfect way to start a weekend, especially a cold, gloomy one.
Our breakfasts--a croissant sandwich with sausage patties, accompanied by a generous serving of fresh, assorted fruits for me and a plate of "biscuits and gravy benedict" for my partner--arrived in a short while. The sandwich was nice and filling, and the extremely fresh fruits were a huge plus, but the real winner was the sausage and gravy, which was creamy and spicy, nothing like its flavorless, globby cousin sometimes found in the city.
But that might be a misstatement, too, because I think the true winner was the service. Not that the food left anything to be desired--it was very good, but the service was exceptional. Somehow, the Tweet staff made us feel welcome and a part of their extended family without making the whole thing feel intrusive, artificial or forced. Maybe it's the personality of the individual servers and the owner, or maybe they truly enjoy working there and it showed, I don't know. But in any case, we had an exceptionally comfortable time in the restaurant, and I must say we are hooked. As soon as we got out of the restaurant (now packed to the brim after just 40 minutes from the opening), we were already talking about going back. If not for the yummy sausage and gravy, then to be in that warm, homey atmosphere again.
Tweet is at 5020 N. Sheridan Rd., just north of Argyle, and open for breakfast and lunch, every day except for Tuesdays.