Eater Chicago intern Jeffy Mai contributed this article.
Jam [Photo: Jam]
The new Jam in Logan Square is serving up a dinner menu that should satisfy many palates, writes Lisa Arnett. She tries out several rotating daily blue plate specials ranging from venison stroganoff to pot-roast with polenta. The winner though is the memorable pot pie filled with chicken confit, butternut squash and golden raisins. Sadly, there is no dessert menu but Arnett thinks Jam has what it takes to be more than a number two to Longman & Eagle. [Metromix]
David Tamarkin finds the dishes at Mitad del Mundo “tired and out of sorts.” The latest in a long line of restaurants by chef Geno Bahena is plagued by plasticky chicken, oversalted soup and gray lamb chops. Even the cocktails and wine miss the mark, coming off as stale and “the color of something you’d get from a two-liter bottle.” Meanwhile the moles are bittersweet, hinting at something Bahena is capable of but not pulling off. [TOC]
Daniel Zemans takes a bite out of Paul Kahan’s burger at Blackbird. With the patty made entirely of short rib, he finds it “one sensational half-pound piece of meat.” The red wine shallot jam adds depth to every bite and the sesame seed bun is ideal for the “soft and intensely flavorful burger.” Equally as fantastic are the fries, which are the “epitome of the crisp exterior/pillowy interior that most places only dream about.” Mmmm. [A Hamburger Today]
Out in Lake in the Hills, La Trattoria is a hidden Italian gem dedicated to fresh, made-from-scratch cooking. Carolyn Walkup tries the menu, dominated by pastas, and finds the selection “very good.” The meat ravioli is comforting and vegetarians and meat lovers alike can enjoy the ricotta cheese stuffed shells. The tender, thinly pounded chicken breast in the chicken Marsala is the meal’s highlight and the cannoli is a “perfect rendition of this classic.” Walkup finds the prices a bit on the high side, but says La Trattoria plans to offer smaller portions for lower prices starting next year. [Daily Herald]