Filini has a bright future ahead, writes Phil Vettel. The sleek, spacious restaurant at the Radisson Blu hotel stays close to chef Christian Fantoni’s rustic roots with “rich to indulgent” gnocchi surrounded by braised oxtail-vegetable ragu. On the lighter side are “very good” poached halibut and “terrific pieces” of bacon-wrapped veal loin. Pitfalls include braised beef with polenta that “needs considerably more seasoning to become interesting,” and cioppino that “needs a spark.” Desserts are mostly done well but a “too-dry” tiramisu just misses the mark. [Tribune]
Mike Sula thinks the food at Goosefoot is delicious but could stand to loosen things up a bit. The “auspiciously cohesive” lobster nuggets and squash agnolotti is only “exceeded in richness” by a chestnut soup topped with truffle foam. The main complaint comes from ancillary garnishes that “rarely harmonize with the whole,” and Sula suggests that chef Chris Nugent has “enslaved a guild of Lilliputian florists to dress up these dishes.” The cheese course would make an “unstoppable alliance” if the ingredients could unify, but a square of chocolate mousse with reduced mull wine sauce could be a “synergistic template” for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. [Reader]
Trattoria Porretta churns out some solid stuffed pizzas for carry-out. Daniel Zemans enjoys a “thick, rich sauce” that is tangy, sweet and loaded with herbs. The oddly shaped chunks of pork sausage are “short on flavor and texture,” but not enough to detract from an otherwise fine pie. Unfortunately the thin crust pizza was not as successful, with “run of the mill” pepperoni and heavy-handed garlic negating the onions. [Serious Eats]
Lombard’s French Quarter is ambitious and hits on all the right marks. Izadora Angel finds the andouille sausage and chicken gumbo boasting “great depth and flavor,” while the crawfish arancini provides a “well-balanced execution and were texturally fun.” Amish fried chicken is a “superb rendition”—deeply golden, succulent and addictive—and the Southern Comfort-brined Berkshire pork chop is similarly “amazing.” [Daily Herald]
Eater Chicago intern Jeffy Mai contributed this article.