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Praise for Due Lire, NoMI; Slams for Ole Hardwood

Time Out Chicago's Heather Shouse had somewhat of a hit-or-miss experience with Lincoln Square's Due Lire. In a series of visits, Shouse appreciated the simple space, welcoming host and homemade pastas: "Some taste as good as they look, especially the tortelloni, bursting with soft swiss chard and tossed in a sage brown butter sauce with little nubs of roasted chestnuts. This dish is neck and neck for best dish with the short rib ravioli, plump pouches holding beautifully braised beef that’s a strong match for boozy porcini sauce and shards of Parmesan."

Shouse also loved the arancini and "one of the most perfectly medium-rare filets" she's ever had. Not everything garnered praise, however, and the desserts fell short, like "a disaster of a tiramisu tasting more of a walk-in cooler than espresso or booze and a sour pomegranate panna cotta circled by a ring of gritty balsamic glaze." [TOC]

Julia Kramer, meanwhile had nothing good to say about the now-shuttered Ole Hardwood: "I would talk about the pulled pork, but I couldn’t taste it beneath the quantity of melted cheddar cheese on the sandwich. As for those $30 Competition ribs, it would be better for my appetite if I could forget the tough, congealed-tasting meat, caked with mushy dry rub. The stringy brisket delivered not a whiff of smoke." She said the corn bread tasted like uncooked dough; cooking meat "on the rock" offered nothing more than a lot of smoke; and to end the meal? "Something that stretches the boundaries of what we call dessert: A banana, drizzled with chocolate sauce." Maybe the fire that gutted it last week was the restaurant putting itself out of its misery. [TOC]

The Sun Times Pat Bruno, always looking at the here and now, heaped a whole lotta praise on NoMI, calling it the restaurant of year: Snag a window table and your experience — food, wine, service — as you look out over Chicago’s premier-landmark Water Tower and North Michigan Avenue will be nothing short of extraordinary." [Sun Times]

· Fire Causes "Significant" Damage at Ole Hardwood [~EChi~]

Due Lire

4520 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625 (773) 275-7878

Alinea

1723 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 Visit Website

Girl & the Goat

555-3 Mateo Street, , CA 90013 (213) 799-4628 Visit Website

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