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Chop Shop is Strong on All Fronts; Next Reimagines Bocuse d'Or; More

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Chop Shop [Photo: Marc Much]

Michael Nagrant thinks Chop Shop is "making good on its attempt at serving all comers" as a butcher/restaurant/bar hybrid. The bone-in Berkshire pork chop topped with "velvety sweet and smoky" bourbon-quince butter is "juicy and satisfying," while the Butcher's Burger is a "top ten Chicago burger" with fries that are reminiscent of the ones at In-N-Out. The signature butcher board features "silky" pork pate, a "buttery hunk" of duck rillettes and a cup of chicken liver mousse that's "smoother than a Justin Timberlake album." Downstairs, the bar "turns out some killer cocktails" like the First Ward Pimm's, a version of the Pimm's Cup that's a "more substantial foil for the fall chill." [RedEye]

The Bocuse d'Or menu at Next might not recreate the whole experience of the competition, but it's still "delicious" according to Amy Cavanaugh. The meal starts with hors d'oeuvres like a "gorgeous" spoonful of osetra caviar and a "lovely" prawn soufflé before moving onto a "strange" cauliflower custard that has "too much" going on in terms of textures and flavors. A course featuring ivory char is "too busy to feel like a cohesive dish" but the "firmly Midwestern" smoked pheasant is the favorite of the night. Desserts cap things off on "two very high notes:" a cheese course served with cashew butter and pear, and a "wholly American" dish of apple pie ice cream bombe with cinnamon meringue and a smear of marshmallow. [TOC]

Three Dots and a Dash lives up to the hype, delivering "transcendent drinks," writes Mara Shalhoup. The Jet Pilot and Poipu Beach Boogie Board are both "delicious" sweetness followed by "alternating and balanced layers of acidity and bitterness." But the "best in show" is the Saturn, a "perfect calibration between the ingredients" that continues to "intrigue through the last sip." With winter approaching, the drinks offer a perfect excuse to keep returning to this tiki paradise. [Reader]

Chop Shop

1366 Memorial Drive Southeast, , GA 30317 (404) 370-1818 Visit Website

Three Dots and a Dash

435 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 610-4220 Visit Website

Chop Shop

2033 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL