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Mixed Results for Juno; Mott St Delivers on Bold Flavors

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Juno
Juno
Photo: Barry Brecheisen

Anthony Todd writes that Juno is a hit-or-miss affair. While there's an "excellent, beautifully presented" chef's selection of sashimi, the same quality of fish "doesn't show up much in the sushi." The smoked sashimi dish is one of the "unexpected smash hits" with tiny garnishes that have an "addictive, smoky deliciousness" and the grilled wagyu beef is "similarly pitch-perfect." Unfortunately, grilled baby octopus is "incredibly chewy and covered with so much salt" and the duck confit ramen's pork broth leaves much to be desired. [Chicagoist]

Mott St is another winner from the crew behind Ruxbin. Amy Cavanaugh chows down on "mild but flavorful" Chinese sausage fried like a spring roll; oyster mushrooms that are an "umami bomb" drenched with miso butter and thyme; and pork butt-stuffed cabbage with sticky rice and kimchi broth that "gives the Eastern European staple a brilliant Asian twist." Also satisfying is the kimchi udon with spicy cod roe that "pop when you bite into them," but a few missteps include "unremarkable fried rice" and dry 'everything wings.' All is forgotten though by the end of the meal after Cavanaugh tries a "whimsical" chocolate-dipped mini-banana coated with peanuts, Szechuan peppercorns and salt. [TOC]

Michael Nagrant also thinks Mott St avoids the sophomore slump with a "deeply personal restaurant focused on big flavors." The "soulful" miso soup brims with the "sour funk" of dried anchovies while egg rolls are stuffed with "fluffy, juicy" pork with a dip that "bursts" with fish sauce and mint. Likewise, crab brain fried rice is rich and "comforting," but the whiskey-marinated pork neck is "slightly dry, a little tough and devoid of whiskey flavor." As for the drinks, the Summer Storms cocktail feels like "drinking the essence of a spring garden drizzled with cooling rain." [RedEye]

Go to Endgrain for the biscuits. Sam Worley writes that they have to be "tasted to be believed," but the rest of the menu doesn't fare as well and is a "little boring." A crispy perch starter is "soggy as hell" and "bland;" housemade kimchi is "really, really salty;" and the slaw in the smoked fished sandwich has "no kick to it, no freshness, and no bite." Instead, order the "wonderful" mushroom and rapini tart with Parmesan that's an "unapologetic blast of umami" and the fried chicken dinner with "magnificent" and "succulent" legs and thighs. [Reader]

Mott St

1401 North Ashland Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 687-9977 Visit Website

Endgrain

1851 W Addison, Chicago, IL 60613 773-687-8191

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