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Bottlefork Lifts Small Plates to New Heights; More

Photo: Marc Much

Bottlefork is a River North newcomer that takes the small plates concept to "unexpected heights." Popcorn sweetbreads with a "lively" pickled-peppered aioli are "absolutely addictive" and a bag of potato crisps with poached egg is a "gooey" mess you'll want to eat. A "fascinating" spam and octopus large plate with kimchi-style Brussels sprouts is unlikely to be replicated anywhere else, while "wonderful" roasted half-chicken is lifted by black-truffle chicken jus that Phil Vettel would "happily eat with a straw." For dessert, a "sensational" near-liquid cheesecake with streusel crumble and cherries is a "good bet." [Tribune]

For lunch in the West Loop, La Sardine is worth a visit for its classic French fare. Laura Bianchi starts with "delicate" potato gnocchi in shredded braised oxtail and butter before moving onto a saffron-flavored bouillabaisse with seafood. Other solid options include an "excellent" Lyonnaise salad with "perfectly" poached egg, and housemade sausage served with couscous that "ooz[es] flavorful juices." Finish off the meal with a "memorably flaky" buttery apple tart. [Crain's]

Out in Addison, Elio's Pizza on Fire has "something to please every taste bud" with its excellent pizzas and sandwiches, writes Martin Cusack. A simple Italian beef and sausage sandwich "sings" and "hits on all cylinders" and a traditional Italian sausage and cheese pizza "hits the mark" with a "perfect balance" of mozzarella, sausage, sweet plum tomato sauce and "chewy, fresh" crust. The specialty Elio supreme pie, with prosciutto, Swiss cheese, cherry tomatoes and red onion, is "outstanding in both taste and as a new pizza experience" while the Porky's focaccia features porchetta, provolone and Swiss cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes and special dressing for "the best grilled ham and cheese sandwich you've ever had," multiplied by 10. [Daily Herald]


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