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Sula and Tamarkin Praise GT Fish & Oyster; Vettel Appreciates Creativity at Saigon Sisters; More

Mike Sula finds GT Fish & Oyster to be creative and well executed. He believes “GT is a smarter abstraction of the pan-regional seafood shack that contains subtler references to the nautical cliches associated with the form.” He thinks some of the “snacky small cold plates show the kitchen’s creative range,” and finds the “more ambitious dishes are every bit as appealing as the simpler ones.” The whole chorizo-stuffed squid on a saffron bed of rice you “couldn’t find in any paella pan in town” and the key lime pie is “an aggressive but terrific version of the classic.” [Reader]

Although David Tamarkin doesn't love the same dishes as Sula, he enjoys GT Fish & Oyster just as much. He thinks "the food coming out of GT would make any cook a star." He finds chef Giuseppe Tentori's squid ink gnocchi "revelatory" and the tortellini "almost too decadent and lush to keep on eating." Overall, "the guy’s got a nice thing going at this place, which is in every respect more comfortable, affordable and delicious than Boka." [TOC]

Phil Vettel thinks that although Saigon Sisters has very few traditional Vietnamese dishes, chef Matt Eversman makes it work with fun interpretations and well-priced options. In fact, Vettel favors the “least-legit dish on the menu?a textural playground of nutty red quinoa, caramelized fennel, Brussels sprouts and fingertip-size grapefruit segments, over a butternut squash and star anise puree.” He enjoys the grilled octopus, wild boar in nuoc cham broth, lamb luc lac and hoisin-glazed quail but wasn’t impressed by the “disappointingly bland spring rolls” and “overly chewy spare ribs.” The desserts are “terrific” with an “addictive Vietnamese coffee ice cream.” The beverage program is ambitious with a “tidy but thoughtful wine list” and Rashed Islam does a good job “whipping up cocktails on the fly to match particular dishes.” The dining room is “small” and “not comfortable by any means, but it’ll do.” [Trib]

Pat Bruno finds Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap as “one of those sleeper restaurants, where the outside belies all of the good eats you will find inside.” Although not the “epitome of Southern home cooking” Stanley’s seems to do it well. Bruno enjoys the Southern fried chicken, “moist and flavorful meat was sealed in by a crunchy crust.” He thinks the Louisiana crab cakes are good, but “the heavy outer crust took away from the sweet pleasure of the crab itself.” The catfish “has a fresh and clean flavor that hits you at first bite.” “If you saved some room, finish off with a slab of apple pie topped with cinnamon ice cream.” [Sun Times]

Saigon Sisters

567 West Lake Street, , IL 60661 (312) 496-0090 Visit Website