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Amy Cavanaugh is Pleased By The Kitchen's Execution; More

Plus Bow & Stern's highs and lows, and department store-dining at Mariposa.

The Kitchen
The Kitchen
Nick Fochtman

Amy Cavanaugh thinks The Kitchen is a "solid" spot with "well-executed" cooking and a "crowd-pleasing" menu for downtown workers. The space itself is "gorgeous" and the food presentation is equally "beautiful." Flavors on the bruschetta are "exactly right" while the Bolognese is a "rich and satisfying" bowl of beef, pork and lamb sauce with trofie. Underseasoning is the biggest complaint on a few dishes, marring bass crudo, a squash salad and a whole small trout. As for the beverage program, "well-crafted" cocktails include the Templar (Scotch, sherry, Cynar), a "good nightcap" to end the evening. [TOC]

It’s a love-hate relationship with Bow & Stern for Sam Faye. While there are a "few fantastic dishes to accompany the quality selection of oysters," not enough of them reach an "exceptional caliber" and the restaurant constantly runs out of items. The East and West Coast oysters are the real deal though with a "distinct smoky taste," while crispy whole fish is "really well done" and "light, flakey, well seasoned, and not overly fried." Burrata and chips are the best things on the menu—an "awesome mix" of burrata, Brussels sprous, kale, artichoke, cauliflower and oyster mushrooms—but challah French toast is just "average" and the Bow benedict’s whitefish brandade doesn't "taste like whitefish at all." [The Infatuation]

Neiman Marcus’ new restaurant Mariposa is "more attractive" for a midday meal than one might expect in a department store, writes Laura Bianchi. Pasta e fagioli soup has "well developed flavors" but the citrus dressing on the crab salad is "lifeless." You can’t go wrong with the "colorful" seared scallops entrée; it’s as "thick and meat as a good steak and beautifully plated," although it lacks the promised Thai flavors. Other successful items include a "meaty" pulled-pork sandwich and grilled cheese on sourdough bread, while a wafer of chocolate mint candy to take home is a "nice touch." [Crain’s]

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar

1371 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 988-0644 Visit Website

The Kitchen, by Cooking with Que

6529 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 462-4184 Visit Website