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Beatrix's Creative Mix; The Grid Nails Pub Grub

Photo: Barry Brecheisen

Beatrix is a hodgepodge of ideas that manages to work, according to Phil Vettel. Tsukune, Japanese-style chicken meatballs, are "soft and tasty with nice ginger notes" but "way too salty overall," while a low-calorie "enlightened" Caesar salad is a "good salad." The entrees are "particularly attention-worthy:" Korean-spiced short ribs are "light and lively," a caramelized pork shank is "one of the menu's caloric indulgences," and the prime burger is "another indulgence." Desserts include the "Oh my" caramel pie, a "pile of sweet richness" on a shortbread-cookie base, and a banana split that's "pleasant but a bit of a mess." [Tribune]

You won't find a sports bar with better food than the Grid, writes Amy Cavanaugh. Dirk Flanigan's menu is the typical sports bar fare, but "elevated and much better executed" with options like "extremely light" calamari, "meaty" and "crispy" chicken wings in a buffalo-blue cheese coating, and a "nicely spiced" housemade sausage sandwich. The pizzas are the "most surprising … slightly charred and smoky, but appealingly so, and well-salted," and just about the only miss is an orb of burrata that's "too dry" and served with an "overdressed" arugula salad and a "perplexing smattering" of salmon roe. [TOC]

Those looking for a craft brew and "innovative pub grub" in Aurora should give Hopvine Brewing Company a try. Marty Cusack munches on candied walnuts and the popcorn of the day while starting with the beer sampler, before moving onto "succulent" Smoked Chicken Wings that are "in no need of a sauce." The Hopvine Burger topped with pulled pork, bacon, onion strings, white cheddar and a red wine sauce "hits the mark" and "satisfies the biggest appetite" and the "spiced-up" Smoked Potato is a "filling entrée." Lastly, the beer even extends to dessert with options including a Chocolate Stout Ice Cream Cookie. [Daily Herald]


834 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 733-0370 Visit Website

The Grid

351 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60610 312 321 1351 Visit Website