Phil Vettel gives 42 Grams three stars, deeming it excellent. The experience at the new restaurant with underground dining roots starts with a deconstructed cocktail, the "Juniper Jump," that consists of a clear cube of gin gelee, frozen rose water "snow," powdered hibiscus and a green sphere of cucumber and lime juice that's meant to be mixed in your mouth.
"Standout" courses include a potato soup "so rich in flavor it's like drinking liquefied fingerlings," a "seafood salute" to Charlie Trotter and a "delicate" and "vividly colored" salad of beet macaroon with a quail egg. Likewise, the "buttery creaminess" and "just-plucked freshness" of the sea urchin is a "revelation." Desserts show a bit more of the "playful side," offering a white chocolate ball filled with kalamansi and topped with cherry blossom, and a cheese course of pecorino foam and pecorino fondue. [Tribune]
Kinmont shows "plenty of promise" according to Lisa Shames. The rotating selections of oysters are "perfectly shucked briny beauties" and the Skuna Bay salmon in a tartare dish is chock-full of "clean, pure flavors."
Soft-scrambled eggs with pieces of smoked Lake Superior whitefish, roe and minced chives is a breakfast staple "ready for prime time," while the "hands-down winner" of the meal is the Rushing Waters trout simply prepared with brown butter, capers and parsley. A couple of missteps keep it from perfection though as the pasta is "tough" in the squid ink spaghetti and Parker House rolls have a "textural problem" of being too stiff and leaving a "greasy film" on the fingers. [CS]
Out in Winfield, Union House is a hit or miss affair. Fried pickles are "full on flavor" but shrimp hush puppies are the evening's "biggest disappointment" as they lack "shrimpiness" and are "somewhat mushy on the inside." Simlarly, shrimp corn dogs "lack any zing," but the chicken wings are "tasty, succulent and meaty" and the sliders are a "tasty version" with tender pork slices on a soft pretzel roll. "Save space for dessert," the chocolate pecan pie is "decadence rolled in down-home love" and just on its own is "worth a return trip." [Daily Herald]