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Cherry Circle Room Is a Charming Revival; Sula Says Cotton Duck Is Muddled; More

Plus 3 Arts Club Cafe is a stylish lunch spot.

A low-lit dining room with sturdy wooden booths.
Cherry Circle Room
Marc Much

Cherry Circle Room is an overlooked stunner inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, writes Lisa Shames. The all-inclusive menu features a beef tartare complemented by a chili emulsion, anchovy-spiked salsa verde and grated aged Gouda, while another "terrific starter" is grilled Spanish octopus that "reaches beyond its normal confines" with the addition of gochujang and spicy pickled pineapple. Entrees include a "tasty" triple cheeseburger, crispy roasted branzino made "even better" with caramelized cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, and a farro "risotto" with a "depth of flavors." For dessert, a "delicious and comforting" Chocolate and Raspberry creation is a "lovely" deconstructed plate of chocolate cremeux, raspberries and miso-caramel ice cream. [CS]

New West Town concept The Cotton Duck features a new menu every three months, inspired by the gallery’s artwork, but Mike Sula thinks drawing a connection between the two is "a bit tricky." He finds "little harmony or balance" between the competing flavors in each dish. Breaded and fried oysters with a tomato jam and vinegar-infused whipped cream is "so disparate that the only sensible way to them was in a sequence rather than all together" and uni "gets lost" amidst dry-aged steak tartare. Seared scallops sit atop a pile of "redundantly rich and sweet pureed salsify, with no counterpoint to the shellfish’s sweet richness," but Sula’s main complaint is with the kitchen’s heavy use of salt, which "blows out the palate and makes everything start to taste the same." Things even get "heavy" at dessert as bombolini "do battle" with parsnip ice cream and an "intensely funky" blue cheese cheesecake "overpowers" the accompanying maple-pepper caramel and blackberry sorbet. [Reader]

3 Arts Club Café inside the new Restoration Hardware is "as elegant a setting" as it gets for a meal. Joanne Trestrail drops in for lunch and thinks the food is "delicious—indulgent but not necessarily highly caloric." A bowl of chopped roasted root vegetables is a "great autumnal lunch" while a club sandwich with bacon and pickled green tomatoes" also "shines." To finish, stop at the coffee bar outside the café and enjoy sweets like a lemon-poppyseed doughnut from Doughnut Vault. [Crain’s]

The Cotton Duck

939 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL (773) 661-6131

Cherry Circle Room

12 South Michigan Avenue, , IL 60603 (312) 792-3515 Visit Website

3 Arts Club Cafe

1300 North Dearborn Street, , IL 60610 (312) 475-9116 Visit Website