Goosefoot doesn’t err in running a fine-dining operation in a non-prime neighborhood. Julia Kramer thinks the eight-course menu is “cooked perfectly” with “technically flawless” nubs of lobster and “texturally winsome and faultlessly prepared” fillet of sea bass. But she also has a caveat that the food doesn’t surprise or excite and is “not especially memorable.” Truffles “cut off the expression of other ingredients” in the chestnut-mushroom soup and Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheeses “fight to be heard” next to a celery-truffle caponata. Those issues aside, Goosefoot succeeds in bringing “vibrant and personal” food to Lincoln Square.
David Tamarkin feels punished by BLT American Brasserie. The pizza is topped with “anemic” slices of waterlogged tomato and the Caesar salad is “California Pizza Kitchen-grade.” Even worse, the French dip is “flavorless” and arrives without the dip and the Negroni cocktail tastes nothing like a Negroni. Delivering the final blow is the spiced chocolate cake and its “bits of unidentified waxiness" floating in the batter. Ouch. [TOC]
Yusho continues to raise the bar on the izakaya trend, writes Mike Sula. The “devastating” urchin dish pays attention to detail and a salad of woody burdock root is a “pleasure to chew.” Some of the weaker items are the twice-fried chicken cutlets that were “fried far too hard” and a “somewhat dry” takoyaki that needs less time on the griddle. The “audacious and committed” beverages program features “one of the more challenging and delicious” Manhattans Sula’s ever had. [Reader]
Michael Nagrant thinks Bar Toma is a solid, yet unspectacular tourist spot. Pizza crusts are good but not a “game changer” and the pork belly meatball pizza features “dry, tasteless meat hunks.” Fortunately, the Sicilian is topped with pungent fennel and “sweet winey bursts” of raisin and “luscious” pork sausage. The fried lemon and cod is wrapped in an “unfamiliar, buttery and satisfying” capsule that includes sesame, pumpkin and poppy seeds. “Juicy, caramelized hunks” of lamb dripping with “rich” black truffle compose the Rosticcino di Abruzzo, but the chocolate chip gelato is not as glorious with its “ice-mill texture and watery flavor.” [Sun-Times]
Hotly anticipated Tavernita is living up to the buzz surrounding it. The new Spanish sibling of Mercadito offers a shared-plates menu that includes raw seafood, dishes served with bread, and other small and large plates. Hamachi with tiny cubes of avocado, cucumber and hints of jalapeño and sea salt turn Lisa Arnett’s taste buds into a “pinball machine, with flavors bouncing from salty to crunchy to creamy to spicy.” The escalivada is a “killer vegetarian choice” and the chocolate crema is the “clear winner” of dessert. [Metromix]
Public House delivers upscale fare masquerading as humble comfort food. Laura Bianchi says the fried cheese curds are “fancified” with eggplant caponata and the corn dogs and brisket are born of Kobe beef. The house-smoked and rubbed chicken wings “bring all that [barbequing] talent to the table” and the “rich, cheddar-packed” mac and cheese has multiple ingredients to add. The seafood is equally as good with an “elegant” seared scallop with bacon jam. Mindy Segal provides the desserts such as the chocolate and Kahlua pot de crème. [Chicago Business]
Eater Chicago intern Jeffy Mai contributed this article.