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Takito Kitchen Raises the Stakes; Leadbelly is a Solid Burger Alternative; More

Takito Kitchen
Takito Kitchen
Photo: Looky Tasty

Wicker Park is not bereft of taco joints but Takito Kitchen has "managed to raise the stakes" and should "attract eaters from across the city" according to Mike Sula. Starters like an "outstanding" Yucatan-style chile soup, "supersmooth" guacamole and "rich, fatty" polenta "steal the show from the main event." The tacos are made with "very delicate and sublime" precision with the best one being the "lamb chorizo," a single "sizzling" link with a charred and melted slab of Scandinavian Brun-uusto cheese sprinkled with crushed peanut. A simple side of roasted cauliflower is an "immensely surprising and fresh take" while desserts like the thick chocolate ganache and brandied cherries in a rocks glass are "pretty special." [Reader]

The burger spots continue to pop up and while it's not the second coming of Kuma's, Leadbelly is still a "solid alternative." Laura Baginski writes that the "bulbous buns" stand up well to the "insane mess" of the Midnight Special burger, a "somehow-delicious heap" of chipotle-cream sauce, jalapeno-jack cheese and pico de gallo with chili-cheese Fritos. The thick, ground-in-house beef patty mixed with pork belly has a "noticeable smokiness" and is complemented by double-fried fries that "manage to stay crispy" underneath a mound of Parmesan and garlic. A "forgettable, brittle" butter cookie comes with every burger but the "thick, rich" chocolate shake is a "far better dessert." [TOC]

Elizabeth continues to push the farm-to-table envelope and impress even the skeptics. Lisa Shames finds herself "smitten" with offerings such as the salmon and winter vegetables, "the vibrant color of the fish [hinting] at its luscious flavor," and a "beautifully plated" lichens and cattails course of reserved day lily petals, buttermilk and cardamom pudding, Wisconsin blue cheese and cured bear loin. Another dish of chicken breast mousseline, chicken terrine, crispy chicken skin and a slow-cooked quail egg topped with shaved black truffle and served with housemade focaccia and chicken liver mousse will win over poultry haters. The meal concludes with a mirepoix dessert that's a creative play on the classic vegetable combination. [CS]

Takito Kitchen

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

Elizabeth Restaurant

4835 North Western Avenue, , IL 60625 Visit Website

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