Michael Nagrant thinks Dove’s Luncheonette "may be Chicago’s very best diner." The new One Off Hospitality spot specializes in the cuisine of northern Mexico with dishes like a "Flintstones-sized" grilled pork chop that’s "juicy to its core," and "crazy rich" chicken-fried chicken covered in chorizo verde gravy. The "life-affirming" pepper and potato hash will help nurse hangovers while the Vuelve a la Vida concoction is like "someone dropped a shot of ceviche into a Bloody Mary." For dessert, a peach jalapeno pie from Hoosier Mama has "jammy, perfectly ripe" peach filling with the "sweet grassiness" of jalapenos. [RedEye]
West Loop newcomer Salero and its "terrific Basque-inspired menu" is not to be missed, writes Amy Cavanaugh. Start with anchovy plate as well as the lunch croquettes, which are "molten, gooey balls" of cheese and ham. King crab legs are "perfectly poached in butter" atop risotto while grilled octopus is a "study in textures" with puffed quinoa, potato cubes, fried olives and crisp tentacles. Cavanaugh’s favorite dish is the confit potatoes a la plancha, a grilled potato cake topped with a fried egg on a plate with mushrooms, eggplant and slabs of Canarejal. To finish, queso fresco flan capped with blood orange gel is a "lovely take on a classic." [TOC]
Laura Bianchi checks out two spots for lunch downtown. At Reverie, too many elements "weigh down" some of the specialty maki, but the "Summer Lovin’" is a "refreshing" salad of pressed watermelon with burrata, grapefruit, avocado and pomegranate vinaigrette. A Peruvian-inspired chicken "sanguiche" is a "messy, pleasing partnership" of poultry, sweet potato and criolla.
At Bar Takito, the menu is "short on options but long on flavor." Pork belly tacos are topped with smoked queso fresco and a spicy Peruvian sauce, while slow-braised lamb in red wine produces a "rich, savory" torta. And order a side of the equites, a Mexican corn custard that "pairs well with any entrée." [Crain’s]