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Week in Review: Bristol Gets 4 Stars; Duchamp Grabs 2

[photo credit: Martha Williams for TOC]

David Tamarkin goes into the Bristol with much excitement and high expectations and comes out giving it four out of six stars, but isn't totally thrilled with all the food options, leaving us a tad confused with the high rating. He raves about the creamy Manchengo in the heirloom apple salad and the crispy chicken thigh (pictured); but later in the meal, things started going downhill.

I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty when they followed us a fourth time and ordered the dill-and-sea-salt monkey bread, because I should have warned them that it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it sounds. In fact, it’s just plain bread, the dill flavor so mild as to be undetectable, and it’s put to best use sopping up remnants of other dishes (like that raviolo). I felt a similar pang of disappointment with the “smoky fritters,” which also failed to meet the menu’s description (they were not so much smoky as they were oddly sweet), and again with the watermelon ice, a chalkboard special that turned out to be a weak, watery dessert.

One thing to note is that the specials on the chalkboard are ever-changing and Tamarkin highly recommends getting the beer cheese, assuming it's on the menu. [TOC]

Phil Vettel was surprised at how laid back and unfussy Duchamp was and gave it two stars, which for him means he liked it. He did feel the artistic bent to the menu was a little busy, but overall was pleased with the meal. "I'd reorder the East-West chicken wings, a sort of cross between Asian and American barbecued wings. The meaty wings, about five pieces, are bathed in a sticky sauce with lemongrass, ginger and jalapeno notes. They're tasty but messy; we were glad to receive hot towels moments later." [Tribune]

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