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The Dawson's Drinks Excel; Four Stars for A10

Photo: Marc Much

Mike Sula recommends The Dawson "based solely on the drinking." The menu continues to change, as a "devastatingly good" cioppino and "terrifically rich" al pastor tacos are no longer available.

Instead, there are charred leaks "loaded with an acidity that takes you by surprise;" housemade merguez sausage balanced by a "cool, tangy, spicy" harissa yogurt; and "one of the most interesting" charcuterie boards in the city featuring bacon-wrapped country pate, nutmeg-scented cotechino and a "silky" rabbit-liver mousse. But the "mostly easy-drinking" cocktails are the real stars, and "there's no better way to end a night" than with a 'Sleepless in Logan Square': Bow Truss coffee spiked with bourbon, Amaro Averna and Madeira, and topped with marshmallows. [Reader]

A10 is a "great neighborhood restaurant" that shows promise for Hyde Park, writes Amy Cavanaugh. Start with the salted cod croquettes that are "just the sort of thing you want to eat while drinking," but skip the smoked eggplant pizza that's "bland overall."

The "real treats" are the entees such as the "seriously decadent" bucatini carbonara, and the "earthier and wholly welcome tweak" of Brussels sprouts with beef tongue and chilies. The boudin noir is "one of the more surprising dishes" and "completely overshadow[s]" a "perfectly fine but safe" strip steak. The meal ends on "high points" with a cannoli soft-serve sundae and olive oil doughnuts that are "crisp on the outside, soft on the inside." [TOC]

The "high-quality pies" at new Lakeview eatery Blaze will be "attractive to anyone who likes good pizza." Michael Nagrant thinks the crust is "excellent" but lacks some of the "awesome pillowey rise at the edges" due to the usage of dough presses.

The barbecue chicken pizza "steps things up" with sauce that has a "nice hint of smoke and sweetness" and a mix of mozzarella, gorgonzola and pickled banana peppers, which "add an acidic zing that cuts through the rich cheese." To finish, a s'more pie heated to order in the pizza oven is a "gooey, addictive dessert sandwich." [RedEye]

A 10

1462 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615 773 288 1010

The Dawson

730 West Grand Avenue, , IL 60654 (312) 243-8955 Visit Website