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Beatrix is a Refreshing Surprise; The Lobby Reaches New Heights; More

Beatrix [Photo: Barry Brecheisen]

The menu at Beatrix is a mashup of recent food trends but "each dish has a spin that makes it seem a little bit new," according to Anthony Todd. A "fresh and crunchy" kale salad is mixed with celery, mint, romaine and pineapple for an "unlikely-sounding but successful combination;" potato salad deviled eggs "take you back to the summer picnics of your childhood in a single bite;" and the "decadent" pasta with poached farm eggs and truffle is the "perfect dish after a hard-fought day at work." As for the beverage program, cocktails are "delicious but universally sweet and fruity" while the wine bar is "likely to become one of the most sought-after late summer spots in the city." [TOC]

Chef Lee Wolen has turned The Lobby from a "capable restaurant into a dining destination." Phil Vettel finds it three-star worthy, starting with a salad of peekytoe crab and asparagus that's "saturated with vivid colors" and "looking like something that washed ashore." The octopus is "superb," complemented with chorizo, potatoes, tomatoes and sea beans while an "absolutely flawless" lamb loin with goat milk feta, toasted chickpeas and roasted eggplant is noteworthy. For dessert, treats include gold flake-flecked tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream and crème fraiche as well as a "deceptively simple looking" composition of soft chocolate cake and dark chocolate pot de crème. [Tribune]

Yan Bang Cai "deserves more attention" for showcasing the subregional cuisine known as Xiaohebang of Sichuan, writes Mike Sula. There are plenty of "violently red" dishes that "don't just look delicious, they look dangerous" like the Zigong-style poached spicy lamb delivering "numbing, face-melting, ma la properties that in proper doses can catalyze out-of-body experiences." The quick-fried seven-step duck "tastes as if it were unearthed from a salt mine" while the Salt Miner's eggplant is a "terrific, assertively flavored" dish that's "the best thing on the table." Among the standout cold plates, the bone-in spicy rabbit in a thick brown sauce is "loaded with enough tingly ma la energy to power a Corvette." [Reader]


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