After 27 years at the Sun-Times, Pat Bruno was fired this past week. Below are his last two reviews, which appear in today's paper.
Pat Bruno thinks Prasino is "one savvy operation." Although "not exactly an inexpensive place to eat" Bruno thinks you do "eat well." He describes the "City Farm" omelet as a "masterful piece of work" and the buttermilk pancakes as "feathery light." For lunch he tries the lamb sandwich, where the lamb was "a little tough" but he "enjoys the flavors of the other ingredients." He devours the "togarashi grilled escolar" which was "big enough for two to share" and "perfectly grilled." Overall, he believes his various meals "all add up to culinary creations that are quite enjoyable and well thought out." [Sun-Times]
Bruno is also impressed with his experience at Telegraph. He describes the place as "casually romantic, a bit rough around the edges." He finds the wine selection "inspired and varied" and the menu to be "short in selection" but "tall in stature." Although the menu is brief, he believes that "within each of those choices a thoughtful relationship exists between the primary ingredient and what comes in around it." He uses the Amish grilled half-chicken as an example, "with a dried fruit glaze and plated with sauteed rapini and slices of fried lemon, the dish moved beyond the ordinary into the exceptional." [Sun-Times]
Mike Sula thinks poor execution is a problem at Bistro Voltaire. Starting with the previously frozen baguette, "you could say much of the vibe and menu at Bistro Voltaire is frozen and rewarmed to meet the American ideal of what an actual French bistro is supposed to be." The French wine list is "commendable" and several of the appetizers are "encouraging." However, "some of the most iconic dishes can evince a startling disconnection from fundamental technique." The sole fillet is "overcooked" and served with a "gummy, heavy risotto." The foie gras flan has the "texture of Jell-O pudding" and the "fatty lamb chops" came with "watery mashed potatoes." The pastries don't redeem the meal, as they "have an institutional, mass-produced character." [Reader]