Revamped Boka is just as good as it ever was and it's almost worth a trip "just to try [the] chicken," according to Amy Cavanaugh. Lee Wolen replicates his success at the Lobby with a new roasted chicken dish that's "still a knockout … comforting but refined, and at $26, feels like a steal."
Other dishes include a broccoli salad that's "cheesy and crunchy, but also elegant," and an "earthy and warm" ricotta gnudi. The lemon sole is a "bright and lighter" entrée perfect for the "excellent" desserts like the yuzu custard with spongy black sesame cake. As for the drinks, the menu offers a "crowd-pleasing cocktails that don't overpower the food." [TOC]
Mike Sula likes some things at Kinmont, but writes that "executional flaws" are "far too common." A dish of eggs scrambled with whitefish is "too delicate for the aggressively salty smoked fish," while a smoked-trout Reuben has a "powerfully acrid flavor."
More disappointments are found in a dish of squid ink spaghetti with shrimp that's "undercooked to the point of doughiness," and a grilled sturgeon that's "unforgivably dry and overcooked." It's not all bad though as a simply prepared trout is "perfectly cooked and one of the most memorably tasty things" of the night and the apple pie dessert is "one of the most appealing" in the city right now. [Reader]
Travelle is a great luxury dining experience with a down-to-earth feel, writes Phil Vettel. The seafood-focused menu offers "imaginative seacuterie" that "mimic the range of a good charcuterie board," such as a "fine" mosaic of octopus reminiscent of head cheese, pickled mackerel and spreadable whitefish rillettes. A "what-on-earth" starter of "flaming saganaki wings" are also "delicious," while main courses include an "excellent" arctic char with tangerine vinaigrette and a "flavorful" hanger steak that's "affordable and interesting." For dessert, a caramel poached apple with vanilla ice cream is "pure Midwest." [Tribune]
Bottlefork manages to surpass Michael Nagrant's expectations with food "created with impeccable technique and great attention to detail … reminiscent of the fare you'd find at some of the city's best restaurants." Smoked salmon layered "parfait" is a reimagined bagel and lox plate that's "almost faultless in flavor and technique," while a "bag" of crisps and eggs is "epically satisfying drunk food."
Equally impressive is the braised beef cheek "poutine," which is the "very essence of a stellar poutine" as well as "tots" that are like a "transcendent" fried baked potato and "nothing like a pedestrian frozen tot." Just about the only misstep is the "ham butt" steak that's so dry that "parts of it had the chew of a tennis ball." [RedEye]