The food at Ada Street still shines amidst the loss of Tim Lacey. Mike Sula orders the “lip-smackingly juicy” southern-fried quail and salmon tartare with “bursting” bubbles of roe. Octopus is charred on the suckers and “meltingly tender” underneath, the cured meats platter bears prosciutto that renders the accompanying salamis “practically invisible” and even the unremarkable dishes are “prepared with a degree of care.” As for the drinks, they “go down easy, never ponderous and always balanced.” [Reader]
Michael Nagrant thinks Au Cheval has raised the bar for gourmet diners. The “matzah ball soup” is a “glorious” and “cloud-like” dumpling in a moat of “golden” chicken broth while “stuffed cabbage” is a hunk of “silky” pork wrapped in a “translucent scrim of caraway-perfumed,” slow-braised cabbage. General Jane’s fried chicken is “as transcendent as any yardbird” Nagrant’s ever known and “kicks the stuffing” out of his previous favorite, Crisp. His favorite dish is the peppery duck heart in gravy-smothered hash and the Napoleon dessert’s “devastating cream” cures all ills. [Sun-Times]
RPM Italian is another in the line of recent “nitropubs,” and the kitchen still needs some fine-tuning, writes Phil Vettel. Prosciutto and fontina-stuffed arancini offer “perfect creamy-crunchy balance” and the squid-ink pasta with chunks of king crab are a “perfect match” for the room but there are also some stumbles. Grilled octopus is “unremarkable in texture or flavor” as are the duck agnolotti and gnocchi with asparagus. The biggest miss is the “underseasoned jumble of leaves” that is the Brussels sprouts salad. For dessert, a plate of figs loaded with broken amaretto cookies, mascarpone and drizzles of honey is “perfect.” [Tribune]
At Storefront Company, there is very little to excite or remember. Julia Kramer starts with onions with slices of potato that lack “pop,” but the bigger missteps come with the entrees. Lamb arrived “strangely unseared,” just-overcooked monkfish is plated with “greasy, mushy” fried rice and agnolotti is “plasticky.” Even the desserts are a mess with a parsnip cake that “smacked unmistakably and repellingly” of mustard and to-go chocolate cookies that are “chewy” and “dry.” [TOC]
Eater Chicago contributor Jeffy Mai contributed this article.