Tete Charcuterie is "first-rate" and offers the "kind of rustic meats you might find in tiny European butcher shops," but with a fine-dining "level of refinement and balance." Michael Nagrant digs the pate en croute, a "holy trio" of foie gras, Duroc heritage breed pork and rich duck balanced by fruity mission figs and a touch of vinegar, but finds the $29 price a bit steep.
Filipino sausage is mixed together with crispy shrimp fried rice, a poached egg and candied red chili marmalade and "taste[s] like the best fried rice ever," while the headcheese features pink cubes of "luscious" pork, spiked with vinegar and a dusting of nutmeg. The main disappointment comes from the rillettes, which are "underseasoned" and "need more salt." [RedEye]
At Bottlefork, the "bottle is stronger than the fork" when it comes to the menu, writes Amy Cavanaugh. Serving dishes hinder the poutine, which is "dry and entirely devoid of gravy on top," but popcorn sweetbreads are "addictive" and quail Scotch eggs wrapped with bratwurst and fried are "ideal for snacking on" while drinking. The "ambitious" cocktail list includes "good versions" of Vieux Carres and Boulevardiers as well as some more expensive options like the $35 Bill Brasky, a "solid" Manhattan. Cavanaugh suggests "stick[ing] to the bar" for now, at least until some changes are made. [TOC]
Phil Vettel thinks the food at Dusek's is "approachable, a little rustic and a lot of fun." General Tso's sweetbreads is an "artful dish" of sweetbreads with roasted shishito peppers, pickled daikon and ginger and chili sauce, while brandade fritters have "a lot of nimble flavor balancing taking place." Coffee-rubbed short rib with smoked mushrooms and salt-roasted carrots is "comfort on a plate," and the "bright notes" and "creamy richness" of the broccolini and cauliflower gratin make them "good side dish options." For dessert, a "killer concoction" Black & Tan root beer float features stout, chocolate soda and malt ice cream served alongside chocolate shortbread cookies. [Tribune]
SideDoor, a new gastropub sibling to Lawry's the Prime Rib, is "worth a look and a climb" for lunch according to Joanne Trestrail. The "cozy rather than grand" space is a fine spot for a "meaty meal." There's prime rib in several forms: on a baguette; on a meat board with breads and dips; in chili; or chicken-fried with fennel and arugula salad. The wedge salad is a "lighter choice" while house-smoked pastrami with giardiniera and cheddar rarebit on a pretzel roll is "messy but satisfying." Desserts are "fine but skippable" so opt for the "boozy sweet draught" of Not Your Father's Root Beer. [Crain's]