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Vettel Gives Two Stars to Ceres' Table; Bordel is a Mixed Bag; Sula's BBQ Roundup

This week's reviews include the Tribune critic's take on the relocated Italian spot

Ceres' Table
Ceres' Table
Photo: Timothy Hiatt

Phil Vettel thinks the newly relocated Ceres' Table is "superior to its predecessor in nearly every way." There's a "beautiful" vitello tonnato topped with pink beets, radish, oregano flowers and parsley leaves as well as a "colorful composition" of swordfish carpaccio, which is smoked for an "unexpected depth of flavor." Ground pork liver adds a "sense of rusticity" to the pappardelle Bolognese while summer truffles and grana padano cheese add "luxury," and a whole-grilled orate with salmorigano dressing is a "wonderful dish." Among the desserts, the salted-caramel budino is the "best of the bunch." In the end, this new version of Ceres' Table elevates a good restaurant to great one worthy of two stars. [Tribune]

Division St. newcomer Bordel Puncheon Club & Cabaret needs some time to find its footing, writes Kate Bernot. An Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail is "well-balanced" and "well-priced," but others like the Light Guard Punch and Boston Club Punch feel a bit "steep" at $12 for a small teacup. Overall, the cocktails and décor are "right on" but service and atmosphere are holding it back from competing with the city's best bars. [RedEye]

Mike Sula tries a few BBQ joints around town and finds little to like. Bro-N-Law's Bar-B-Que is the most palatable of the bunch featuring "enjoyable chewy" rib tips and "good" ribs with "juicy, chewy meat." But it's not good news at Husky Hog Bar-B-Que, where the meats are all "bone-dry:' pulled pork tastes like "finely shredded sweet jerky" and brisket "gives cardboard a good name." Amazingly it somehow gets even worse at Last Pit Stop Barbecue. "Desiccated" ribs "practically crack apart" and "leathery strips" of turkey and brisket arrive "drowned in ketchup sauce." Sula calls it a "real achievement: engraving itself in [his] memory as the worst barbecue [he's] ever eaten in Chicago." [Reader]

Ceres' Table

4882 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640

Ceres' Table

3124 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL