Sun-Times food critic Pat Bruno seems to be an island in a sea of food criticism in Chicago. First, he names NoMI the restaurant of the year, which is perfectly acceptable save for the fact that the restaurant a) has been open for years; b) lost its executive chef earlier this year and c) just shut down for a major rehab, signaling that even its team knew it was time for a change.
Now, he confuses us with his 2010 Best Dining write up, where he totally disses Girl & The Goat and many of the restaurants that received Michelin stars, including Alinea ("is more about molecular gastronomy than real food"), Ria ("Ria? Not in my book"), and Graham Elliot,
SchawSchwa and Longman & Eagle ("which really don’t deserve a star" about all three). He felt Lincoln Park's Riccardo Trattoria deserved a star; we ate there last winter and thought the food was mediocre at best.
His top 10 list was also confounding. He includes restaurants that have been open awhile, some for 34 years like Rosebud, and a bar with decent food, The Fifty/50, that also opened prior to 2010. There Bruno praises the boneless wings, fried chicken and club sandwich. Best restaurant material?
He does include places like Henri and Prairie Fire, which are both well received and opened in 2010. Clearly his list is based on places he reviewed in 2010. We just thought lists like these are supposed to be about places that opened in any given year. Just sayin...
· Praise for Due Lire, NoMI; Slams for Ole Hardwood [~EChi~]
Henri deserves Bruno's praise [Photo: Anthony Tahlier]