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Vettel Gives Trotter's 4 Stars; Bruno Digs Barn & Co.; More

Charlie Trotter's North Dining Room
Charlie Trotter's North Dining Room
Photo: Charlie Trotter's

Phil Vettel thinks that even after 25 years Charlie Trotter's is still going strong. Although "the attention and accolades don't pour in quite so regularly these days" and "there have been snubs" there is "no evidence of a restaurant that had lost a step or surrendered an inch of vitality to the years." Trotter himself believes that their "story is still extremely vibrant and valid," and thinks if they moved and changed nothing people would respond by saying 'Oh, my god, this is so awesome.'" Vettel agrees. He is impressed by the "dazzling assortment of boutique ingredients" and the impeccable service, and actually found his last two visits to Trotter's "fun." Even a small flub was "handled adroitly." [Tribune]

Pat Bruno finds tasty barbecue at Barn & Company. With the "white washed" walls and the "colorful renderings of pigs" Bruno describes it as an "in-your-face barbecue joint." He finds the pit master salad "very creative, very delicious." The baby back ribs were "the kind of ribs that let you get into them in a way that is down-home (a bit messy) but uptown (fingers not shellacked with sauce)." The french fries he paired the ribs with were very good, but the cornbread "needs work." The brisket is "the best 11 dollars you will ever spend on food," and in Bruno's opinion, arguably "some of the best [I've had] in Chicago." [Sun Times]

Julia Kramer thinks that Quay serves exactly what you'd expect from a contemporary American restaurant. Kramer doesn't think there is anything wrong with "popular" food, but Quay "lacks personality and authenticity." The New York strip was a "perfect medium rare" but the halibut was "dry and overcooked" and the scallops "had that rubbery edge from too much heat." Overall the meal was "neither a bad meal nor a good exactly what you'd expect." [TOC]

Charlie Trotter's

816 W Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614 773-248-6228