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Shames Thinks Salero is King of Spanish Cuisine; Vettel Says Acanto Hits the Right Notes; More

Acanto and Salero continue to garner praise from critics.

Marc Much

The accolades keep rolling in for Salero, this time from Lisa Shames. There’s a "terrific riff" on the classic Spanish dish of octopus and potatoes, with puffed quinoa, fried olive and cod foam "taking it in a playful direction" A "perfectly cooked" sherry-cured mackerel with crushed avocado, grated cured egg yolk and grilled grapefruit has an "exchange of unique flavors," while the "hearty and rich" glazed pork-belly entrée with tart preserved lemon and refreshing mint is a well-balanced dish. The meal is capped off with "ubercreamy" flan that’s "cleverly topped" with a layer of orange gelatin. [CS]

Acanto makes the loss of Henri a little easier to swallow. Phil Vettel tries the new Italian spot and finds the veal parm "as indulgent" as you’re ever going to find along with a "superior composition" of "suckling pig x three." Pastas are also excellent and include duck spaghetti with creamy pork sugo that’s a "sinfully rich indulgence," while a "very nice" amberjack crudo with pickled ramps and currants is a fine way to start the meal. For dessert, a "very good" panna cotta ends things on a high note.

Out in Hinsdale, Vistro nails the casual concept with a solid, uncomplicated menu. The walleye slider in the surf n turf appetizer is "one of the best fish sandwiches you’ll ever have" while the beet salad mixed with Asian pears and concord grape syrup is so good "you’ll want to keep [it] to yourself." Entrees include a "very tasty" sand dab in lemon herb butter, but the fried chicken is "too greasy." A "deeply satisfying" chocolate layer cake rounds out the meal. [Tribune]

Coppervine is a "mixed bag" that has its highs and lows, writes Mike Sula. Order the "luscious, silky" duck breast with slabs of duck pate, roasted pumpkin, charred cranberry-flavored marshmallow fluff and sweet Mexican-style caramelized milk. It’s "one of the most absurd dishes" Sula’s ever had and is rivaled on the menu only by "delicate, vibrant" scallion tagliolini that’s "strangely delicious." Unfortunately, other dishes aren’t so successful like "inexplicably dry" pork belly and an overcooked, "leathery" skate wing. And keeping it simple for dessert, gooey chocolate chip cookies go down best with what else? A cold glass of milk. [Reader]


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