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Sula Praises Pastas at Charlatan; Flavors at Oak & Char Excite Nagrant; More

Plus Homestead's hearty, rustic fare is worth your time.

Marc Much

Pastas are the star of the show at Charlatan, writes Mike Sula. Rabbit casoncelli has the "richness of its brown butter sauce and savoriness of chanterelles contrasted by sweet golden raisins," while rigatoni is tossed with a "simultaneously meaty and vegetal" wild boar ragu. Classic spaghetti and meatballs are sauced in a "bright, vibrant" marinara that "completely overshadows the somewhat mealy meatballs," a feat Sula calls "reassuringly authentic."

Other dishes on the menu include the "beefiest-tasting octopus you’ll ever encounter" as an appetizer and a "complicated" but "tasty" rendition of beef carpaccio that displays a "terrific mix of textures and contrasting umami-rich and bright, acidic flavors." Flaws are evident on entrees like the "leathery and overcooked" skate wing and a whole oxtail that "could use some salt and something acidic to offset its richness." Overall, "pasta is really what it’s all about" and Sula thinks you can’t go wrong with any of them. [Reader]

Michael Nagrant finds plenty to like at Oak & Char, where the "food is exciting, the service is excellent … and the room is warm and inviting." The flavors on the duck dish are "concentrated like a dry-aged steak, and its flesh was spicier and richer than your average duck," enhanced by a smear of concord grape jam and duck liver vinaigrette. Maple syrup, sherry and gochujang (MSG) chicken wings are inspired by the ones at Crisp and feature a "thick, satisfying texture" with a "super-crispy flaky pie-like crust" and served atop a "complex, imaginative" smoked-cilantro yogurt dipping sauce. Just as pleasurable is the ravioli doppio, a "comforting, soul-satisfying" pasta that can help heal wounds, while the only dish that misses the mark is a jar of cold-smoked oysters that’s "overpowered" by pickling juices. [RedEye]

There are a "few issues with the food" at Homestead on the Roof, but it’s "still a more than deserving place to spend your money and time" according to Sam Faye. The rustic, farm-to-table restaurant features addictive homemade chicken skins with Sriracha honey mustard that’ll have you wondering "how many should you order," while Moroccan spiced mussels are lifted by fried chickpeas that "add a new and welcoming taste to seafood." A "hearty and well balanced" half chicken dish has "nice textural contrast" with fried artichokes, but Slagel Farms lamb is the "most disappointing dish—" full of bone and fat. [The Infatuation]

Oak + Char

217 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 643-2427 Visit Website

Homestead On The Roof

1924 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 332-2354 Visit Website


, Chicago, IL