Little Market Brasserie is a great establishment for a hotel restaurant, according to Julia Kramer. The best food here will "take years off your life" like the "stupidly delicious" pull-apart bread with honey butter; mushrooms dripping with cream piled on toast with shallot marmalade; and the Big Baby griddled cheeseburger which is a "blessed break from the big, fat, grilled patties" other high-end places use. But the menu is also "simultaneously scatterbrained and boring" with items such as "perfectly average" ravioli and monkfish "that tastes like paint thinner." As for the "charged cocktails" drinks program, the housemade sodas that pair with spirits are "so sweet, though, that the resulting drinks feel less like a new idea and more like a step back toward rum and Cokes."
David Tamarkin thinks that Gather is the type of place you go with a group but should order for yourself. Shareable dishes such as the charcuterie boards and steak tartare with housemade brioche are "satisfying enough," but it's plates like the tagliatelle with a "perky" mushroom sauce that are the stars. Likewise, the half-roasted half-fried chicken is "all perfect" while sticky buns that are a "soft, buttery mess of dough and caramel" and apple fritters that are "light and airy" make for a fine ending to the meal. [TOC]
Little Goat is the late-night diner we've been waiting for, writes Mike Sula. The nearly-endless menu contains many highlights, including "breakfast spaghetti and clams" that somehow keeps all its flavors and textures intact, and a boneless pork chop that "practically disintegrates" at the touch of a fork and "brings us closer to the animals." A "mountainous" plate of nachos is a "skillful upscaling of stadium food," while the blood orange meringue pie is "dainty but potent." There are some to-be-expected misses on a menu this large though, like the banh mi on a French baguette that's flat out "just wrong;" a "bland" egg-and-paratha burrito; and home fries that arrive "unseasoned and hardly crisped." [Reader]
The pizzas at Reno are "puffy charred and chewy," and the "cousin of the great Neapolitan pies served around town." Michael Nagrant enjoys the pies alongside other dishes, like a curly butter frisee and sweet spinach salad that's a "nice companion" and a creamy side of grits with lobster roe and housemade merguez sausage that's also "very comforting." But the rigatoni carbonara is "limp and overcooked" and a "touch slimy and larded with blobby bits of gelatinous bone marrow," and the great brownie sundae is "dry, [and] so crispy" it nearly scratches the top of Nagrant's mouth. For breakfast, the vegetarian quiche "feels like eating lukewarm French toast" and is "not particularly memorable," but the bagels are "certainly better than most local options." [Sun-Times]