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Two Stars for Bread & Wine; Takito is an Oasis; More

Bread & Wine
Bread & Wine
Photo: Facebook

Bread & Wine is hitting all the right notes according to Phil Vettel. Highlights among the charcuterie include a "slightly aromatic" pig-face pancetta, "silky" chicken liver in a glass jar and a "tasty" blood sausage that's a "touch lighter" than other versions. For offal lovers, lamb heart pate served over rhubarb mustard with croutons and pickled ramps is one of Vettel's favorites, while duck testicles are complimented by a house hot sauce in jelly cubes-form that "perk up the dish considerably." A "beautifully balanced" pink peppercorn and pineapple cake with pineapple relish and coconut pudding is the capper to a two-star meal. [Tribune]

Takito is a bright spot among the many restaurants devoid of aspiration on Division. Julia Kramer writes that the tacos are "delicate and original, [but] are the least impressive things on the menu." The tortillas are "almost too fragile" and they all "greatly benefited" from a squeeze of lime and spoonful of the "brilliant" avocado salsa verde. The salsas are accompanied by masa crackers that are the "perfect balance" between crumbly and firm, while a "positively delightful" salad of hearts of palm, pickled jicama and sunflower seeds is a shared plate worth ordering. Cocktails are "every bit as refined and nuanced" as the food, like the "spicy-but-smooth" El Tamarindo. [TOC]

It might be a special-occasion restaurant, but Brindille is worth the dough. Lisa Arnett opens her wallet for the 1.5 lb Lobster Brindille, whose "flavors are delicate and fragrant," while the lamb saddle resting in a lamb jus that's "OMG-I-must-lick-this-plate-good" is the best lamb dish she's ever had. For dessert, "satisfying" clafoutis is studded with cherries and almonds in a bowl of whipped Chantilly cream. And the bar delivers "killer cocktails" like the vieux carre that's an immediate new favorite. [RedEye]

American Junkie is a national chain that manages to pull off some surprises with Kendal Duque at the helm. The menu is an "aggregation of clichés" that is "largely executed well," as with the "very good" popular pork belly sliders. A flatbread topped with foie gras, pineapple, balsamic syrup and pistachios is "rich and lovely," and supersweet dates pair "darkly and deliciously" with smoked pork jowl. Even wild boar chili cheese fries, which are "way too salty," are nonetheless "hard to stop eating," while a "simple and good" fisherman's stew contains a "perfectly cooked" scallop under a pile of briny salmon roe, surrounded by mussels and smoked trout. [Reader]

American Junkie

68 Pier Avenue, , CA 90254 (310) 376-4412 Visit Website

Brindille

534 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 595-1616 Visit Website

Takito Kitchen

2013 West Division Street, , IL 60622 (773) 687-9620 Visit Website

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