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Bruno Enjoys South Branch; The Black Sheep Surprises Sula; Tamarkin Appreciates the Simplicity of Rustic House

South Branch
South Branch
Photo: Facebook

Pat Bruno enjoys his meal at South Branch. Bruno finds the interior "cosmopolitan" and the menu "broad...with one of the most appealing selections of salads." The Baja fish tacos were "hefty...a case of fold ’em and hold ’em and finish them off." In Bruno's opinion, "the kitchen at South Branch has its act together." [Sun Times]

Although annoyed by the focus on rock-and-roll, Mike Sula finds the food at The Black Sheep to be surprisingly delicious. The English pea soup is "phenomenally good" and so is the "simple Caesar salad riff." He thinks "the taste of many of these dishes can quickly give you the idea that Toland is more than capable of harmonizing multiple textures and flavors, subtle and bold." This "dramatically presented food" is complimented by "well-drilled servers who "finish many of the dishes at the table." Sula is impressed by pastry chef Sarah Jordan's "ambition" and finds a "cocktail list that leans sweet but incorporates interesting signature ingredients." As for the new late-night menu, the "black sense of humor" is "appealing" but "with small plates ranging between $12 and $14 and larger ones ascending to the mid-$30s, the prices aren't as chef- and musician-friendly as he once promised." [Reader]

David Tamarkin appreciates that Jason Paskewitz took the understated route with Rustic House. Rustic House is so close in size to Gemini Bistro, that "it's impossible not to see it as its sequel." Tamarkin appreciates "the confidence to the design of the room," a comfortable space "that makes you want to eat, not look around." Although the menu may be dubbed "unprogressive" there isn't anything "that you aren't happy to see again." Even if the execution on a few of the dishes are flawed, "more often than not, things will go as planned." He finds the rotisserie chicken, "juicy and meaty, salty and herby" and the Pommes Anna "addictively crispy on top and creamy below." Overall, these foods aren't meant to surprise, "Because you don’t order this food, or come to this restaurant, to be challenged. You come to be consoled." [TOC]

Rustic House

1967 N Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60614 312 929 3227 Visit Website

The Black Sheep

1132 W Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642


2075 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60614 (773) 525-2522 Visit Website