The tacos at Del Toro stand up with the best of them, writes Michael Nagrant. He starts with "pure comfort" queso fundido and "refreshing" ceviche before diving into the tacos. While the steak and chicken are both "excellent," it's the Puerco adobada that's the best of the meats, along with fish tacos that are "beautiful." Even the burger stuffed with Chihuahua cheese and fiery habanero with chipotle crema is a knockout while the tres leches cake is "maybe the best tres leches [Nagrant's] ever had." [Sun-Times]
Piccolo Sogno Due's disappointments unfairly overshadow its successes according to David Tamarkin. Fried white bait "cries out for salt" and scialatielli "fails to pop," but trapanese is a dish that's "impossible to stop eating." Likewise, pasta pockets with foie gras are things you'll eat again and again while roasted octopus might be the "most tender in the city" and rabbit loin is "among the juiciest." Unfortunately, the highs are tempered by meatballs and pizzas that are at best "inoffensive" and gelato that's melted before it arrives.
Grass Fed offers only a single main course but struggles mightily at it. Julia Kramer reviews the steak frites and writes that the salad is a bowl of mixed greens and cubes of "undercooked beets" that resemble something you'd assemble at a Whole Foods salad bar. Frites taste like "soggy, old In-N-Out fries" and the steak is a "really bad steak" with "no beef flavor." The add-ons are equally disappointing with sides like roasted cauliflower that haven't caramelized and a butterscotch pot de crème dessert that's a "mishap." [TOC]
Lao Yunnan picks up right where its predecessor Spring World left off. The Yunnanese restaurant offers beef with Yunnan dry mushrooms that Mike Sula says maintains a "tensility that fraternizes well with the chewy flesh." The Lao Special Whole Fish is served in bathing red-hot chile and the "silky and sweet" flesh pulls easily from the bones. Fish hot pots include freshwater fish "bubbling" in an oily brew with mushrooms, sour cabbage and chile, and tofu with Chinese wolfberries. But ultimately, Sula remarks that perhaps the reason there's been little buzz surrounding the restaurant is because little has changed. [Reader]
Joe Campagna has completely underwhelming experiences at the Trencherman and thinks it needs a lot of work. Corn Tortellini lack salt and are "more tepid than hot" and the sturgeon is "so cold it couldn't be eaten." Similarly, duck breast also arrives cold while short ribs are "gristly and tough." A few highlights include "really good" kale with carrot-quinoa cake, and bacon cured sweetbreads that are a "dish to order every time." Overall though, Campagna says service is lacking and has more questions and concerns than answers. [ChicagoNow]