Highly-anticipated steakhouse Swift & Sons falls flat so far according to Anthony Todd. The new restaurant from Boka Group and B. Hospitality doesn't "quite match up to the sum of its parts" and it feels as if the kitchen is holding back. The starters are "oddly muted, almost timid," and include a cooked shrimp cocktail with a sauce "so bland" that Todd can't taste anything at all. Similarly, leeks vinaigrette are "bland and tepid."
Steaks don't fare much better as the execution misses the mark. A New York strip ordered medium rare comes with a well-done interior while steak frites arrives both "medium-grey and cold." It's not just the steaks either as half the pieces of pasta in celery root agnolotti "aren't cooked at all." Despite the myriad of problems, there are some positives. The design of the space is "genuinely breathtaking;" cocktails are "perfect;" and there are some "admirable dishes" like a Caesar with "perfect" whole leaves of lettuce tossed with a spicy black pepper and garlic dressing. For dessert, an ice cream sundae that's "probably the single best thing [Todd] ate all night" and a "decadent" S&S cracker jack are also highlights. [Chicagoist]
Via Lima is a pleasant Peruvian surprise in North Center and "there is plenty to like" about it. Phil Vettel says "you'll be happy" starting off with the market fish ceviche in a peppery leche de tigre and the beef heart anticucho, which is "one of the kitchen's best dishes." The "entrée to sample" is the aji gallina, shredded chicken, rice and choclo smothered in a bread-thickened pepper sauce while airport chaufa is a "hearty blend" of pork, fried rice and shrimp omelet. For dessert, lucuma mousse is a "gentle, creamy sweet" and picarones are a "fun" take on beignets, made with sweet potato and pumpkin and served with panela. [Tribune]
Mike Sula praises Lure Izakaya for "some of the most honest Japanese soul food in town." The clean and minimal small plates "allow the superior quality of their product to show." These "small treasures" include a mackerel pike full of "rich meat" as well as "lush" steamed pork belly topped with Asian pear. Likewise, sweet blue shrimp in a togarashi-spiked soy with mountain yam is a "challenging, texturally satisfying dish" while a tasty miso black cod cheek special is "so ephemeral is might have been a ghost." In the end, Sula calls it a "welcome return for Lure" but thinks it's being hampered by an "environment that inhibits the kind of conviviality you'd expect" in a pub. [Reader]
BopNgrill is the perfect spot for a quick, cheap and delicious meal, writes Sam Faye. The menu has something for everyone, from kimchi fries topped with "surprisingly good" caramelized kimchi to a bulkogi bop plate with marinated Korean BBQ ribeye with a "slight sweetness to it that makes it addicting." If you're looking for something healthier, the bi bim bop is a "good mix" of fresh veggies "rounded out nicely" by a sweet and spicy Korean chili sauce and is a "solid way to keep yourself in check." On the burger front, the umami burger is "ridiculous and decadent" but the "excellent" bNg burger is the one Faye "would eat on the regular." [The Infatuation]