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Michael Jordan's Steakhouse is Ambitious; Vettel Enjoys Quay; More

David Tamarkin is glad that Michael Jordan's the restaurant "does not rest on the laurels of Michael Jordan the person." It was apparent "in the menu and in the service and in the room" that this place was trying to stand on its own. One highlight was the beverage program that included local beers and spirits, unlike many of the other steakhouses. To Tamarkin, "the steakhouse’s efforts at originality were evident in its nonsteak entrées, a list of options that frankly called out to me more than the steaks did." The lamb chops with merguez sausage and harissa was "innovative" with "flavors that pop." Unfortunately, he found the steaks, "light on flavor and a little mushy in texture." [TOC]

Phil Vettel thinks Quay has somewhat of a split personality, but in this case that's not a bad thing as there is something for everyone. Vettel enjoys the food, which he describes as, "solid and reliable — comfort food with a bit of style." His "happiest experiences have been seafood related" including the halibut; scallops with braised short ribs; and the whimsical fish fry. As for first courses he enjoyed the oysters and mussels but felt the flatbread pizzas "needed work." Most of the side dishes are unnecessary, except Vettel "would go back" just for the signature mac and cheese. Desserts shined as well, but service needs work as it seemed to "approach indifference." [Tribune]

Daniel Zemans thinks few places outside of New York put out good New York slices, but that Jimmy's Pizza Cafe in Lincoln Square is one of them. He thinks, "The crisp and chewy crust is just limp enough to demand diners fold their slice if they want to eat with one hand." The sauce is a little "pasty" but the sausage is a nice Chicago twist to a NY specialty. The biggest surprise is that Jimmy's also serves beignets, an idea that stemmed from from "zeppole he'd seen in some New York pizzerias but wanted to do something lighter." Zeman's thought the pizza and beignets combination was so good, he walked out thinking "this actually makes sense." [Slice]