Chicago diners have waited for OON since Matt Eversman signed the lease at 802 W. Randolph in 2011. Finally opening on July 1, the menu focuses on a fusion of contemporary American and Southeast Asian cuisines. Eversman's team, including Sean Currie of Bin Wine Café and Jon McDaniel of Purple Pig, has stayed busy since day one. Now that it's been open over a month, check out the early word on OON.
The Good News: OON received three out of four exclamation points from Red Eye, signifying that the new addition to Randolph Street is "off to a good start." Lisa Arnett writes, "Eversman's food pushes without going off the deep end" and that in spite of expected opening glitches, "OON can hold its own" in the neighborhood. Arnett also touts the cocktail menu, headed up by beverage director Jon McDaniel along with three "hotshot mixologists." [RedEye]
The Bad News: Time Out Chicago's Amy Cavanaugh was intrigued by the menu until she tasted it. Cavanaugh, who reviewed OON just Tuesday, wrote that she "loved the idea" of numerous menu items, but declared that "execution trouble was evident throughout the meal." [Time Out Chicago]
The Ambiance News: Splash described the minimalist style as "relaxing" compared to the other restaurants in the area. Daily Candy agrees that "the cozy space is a hushed haven from the hustle of Restaurant Row" and adds, "Earthy materials (tamarack root chandeliers, pagoda-inspired gateway) enhance the Eastern Zen philosophy." [Spash, Daily Candy]
The Veggie News: Amber Gibson of Serious Eats is pleased to report a variety of vegetarian—and even vegan—menu items. Gibson highlights a memorable dish titled "Foraged," which includes braised daikon, maitake mushroom, roasted Brussels sprouts, and carrot-ginger purée. [Serious Eats]
The Twitter News: Scott Kleinberg of the Tribune tweeted of his OON experience, "Absolutely phenomenal. The pork roulade is incredible." Tasting Table Chicago tweeted, "A smoky highlight from @oonchicago: grilled octopus, Mexican chorizo & smoked strawberry purée." [Twitter]
The Worth-The-Wait News: One reviewer's enthusiasm for OON made Yelp's "Review of the Day" on July 31: "Waiting a year for a restaurant to open could lead to great disappointment and woe. To let you know, OON does NOT disappoint!!!" The reviewer enjoyed everything from the grilled octopus with "delightful hunks of fried chorizo" to the chocolate banana layer cake, and is confident that you will "bow down to their culinary mastery." [Yelp]
The Recommendation News: Food Mafia Godfather Caitlin Greenwood went to OON twice before it was even open a full week. But if you're only going to go once, Greenwood recommends the chilled udon, octopus, quail, and scallops. Greenwood also suggests The Serb King & I cocktail (Serbian Slivovitz Brandy, Contratto Bianco, St. Germain, lemon, orange bitters). [Food Mafia]
· All OON Coverage [-ECHI-]
Eater Chicago intern Janna Kaplan contributed to this story.