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Telegraph Interests Sula; EL fails Kramer; More

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Telegraph Wine Bar
Telegraph Wine Bar
Photo: Timothy Hiatt Photography

Mike Sula thinks the prices are high at Telegraph Wine Bar, but that the wine selection is well thought out and fascinating. What really impresses him is the "interesting, spare menu." He finds a "ballsy percentage of fairly adventurous dishes" with cinnamon-scented seared frog legs and lamb saddle paired with plump oysters. Some menu items go "wildly off course" with an "unappealing funky" tartine and a "pillbox" omelet. The simplest plates are the winners for Sula, like the grilled chicken that has "a fruity glaze that reminds me in the best way of the oven-barbecued chicken of my youth." A few service issues occur but overall, Sula doesn't think those issues "or the markups are going to prevent this restaurant on the Square from getting very busy, very often." [Reader]

Julia Kramer finds there is a lot she'd like to forget about EL. The service is very attentive and the space is "more pleasant" than Kramer anticipates. The first dish of Hamachi is "high-quality fish, supple and clean" but it's set on a "pudding that was slimy and unappetizing." It is clear that the dishes "demonstrate exceptional, solid technique," but the complete dishes "don't do justice to these accomplishments." In other words, "domineering flavors interfere with otherwise pleasant plates." Overall, "the problem is not that EL isn’t a one-of-a-kind, unusual experience I’ll remember vividly for some time to come. The problem is, there’s a lot of it I’d rather forget." [TOC]

Lisa Arnett from Metromix checks out Masa Azul and finds the drinks to be very good and the food to be fair. She tries the parmesan-dusted fried artichokes, and thinks the "crispy, cheesy little guys are almost as addictive as cheddar popcorn." The cocktails that are on-point are "killer" including the Hot Senorita with anejo tequila, ginger, prickly pear and papaya juice. Although "every entree looks good" most just fall short although they "mean well." Overall, the "food isn't at showstopper level yet," but she's happy to have it as a "fun hangout for the neighborhood. [Metromix]

Telegraph Wine Bar

2601 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647 773-292-9463 Visit Website