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Cicchetti's Inventive Italian; The Radler Delivers on German Comfort; More

Photo: Marc Much

The plates coming out of the kitchen at Cicchetti are "as complex, detailed and as pleasing as the stuff you'd find at Spiaggia," according to Michael Nagrant. The dish to order off the cicchetti section is the aged hanger steak carpaccio, topped with wispy cauliflower slices, pale green aioli and sour and fruity sorrel leaves, while "massive, meaty" house-cured sardines are "moist and ruby-colored," their skins "briny and sweet."

On the pasta side, a scrambled egg agnolotti filled with "light cloud-like" egg curd in a parmesan broth with bacon and optional black truffle shavings is what Nagrant imagines "breakfast in heaven tastes like." And for dessert, a plate of micro-cannoli features a chocolate sorbetto "so creamy and rich" it would be the weapon of choice for a death by chocolate. [RedEye]

The Radler is off to a hot start serving up excellent plates of German comfort food. Julia Thiel starts with a "magical" pretzel that's "nutty, slightly sweet, and a little malty-tasting" as well as a "well executed" tender schnitzel with a crispy crust and mild veal flavor.

"Light, crispy, and buttery" spaetzle is the "ultimate comfort food, and one of the best renditions of the German noodle," while the four types of housemade wursts are all "fine specimens of encased meats." Rounding out the meal is a "buttery, nutty" Bee Sting cake, an almond cake filled with rich custard. [Reader]

If you're having dinner in the West Loop, "you're not going to get a better pre-dinner drink" than at Lone Wolf. Sgrippinos are "light and delicious," while the heavier Girolamo Sour has a "lovely citrus aroma that lightens up the bitterness a bit" and the Seven Sisters is "incredibly bitter, but in a balanced way."

The food menu is "hit or miss:" Welsh rarebit is "absolutely glorious" and a Scotch egg is "hearty and can stand up to a strong cocktail," but the mac and cheese royal pie is "heavier and drier" than the varieties offered at spots like Pleasant House. Stick to drinks though and Amy Cavanaugh thinks you won't be disappointed. [TOC]


100 North Tryon Street, , NC 28202 (980) 299-0039 Visit Website

Lone Wolf

806 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 600-9391 Visit Website

The Radler

2375 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 276-0270 Visit Website