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Nagrant Thinks Gus's is Fried Chicken King; Sula Calls Sociale a Hidden Gem; More

Plus the steaks at STK are "quite solid," according to Amy Cavanaugh.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Ashok Selvam

Simply put, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is "serving some of the best fried birds in the city." Michael Nagrant is smitten with the chicken at the new West Loop joint, describing the skin as "shattery" and the breasts as "juicier than what [he'd] find at some of the better fried chicken places in town." Fried pickles are also the "best fried cukes in Chicago, hands down," while fried green tomatoes are "so awesome they would make a Southern preacher howl with delight." For dessert, pecan pie has a "satisfying sugary and crunch finish" but disappoints with its "fairly leaden crusts." [RedEye]

Sociale is a "very good restaurant" that's flying under the radar, writes Mike Sula. The food is "far more than the sum of its cosmetic parts" featuring tapas such as grilled octopus "so tender it's basically shellfish butter." Lamb meatballs have enough "gamy goodness to punch through a bright, thick" tomato sauce while excellent wood-fired flatbreads are topped with ingredients like house-smoked salmon and crème fraiche or bacon, onions and grated egg yolk. "Remarkable" entrees include roasted branzino, roast chicken and giant grilled red prawns but the piece de resistance is a "stunning" pair of pork chops that are "almost steaklike in texture and flavor." To cap it all off, the bougatsu dessert leaves Sula with a memorable lasting impression. [Reader]

Joanne Trestrail checks out Sociale as well and declares it a "promising addition" to the South Loop. For lunch, brandade fritters "stand out for their unusual presentation" and are the perfect portion size while squash soup is "another good option." More substantial bites include chistorras—chorizo wrapped in crispy thin slices of potato—and a short-rib and bacon burger. Also located right next door to the restaurant is Cafe Press, a 22-seat eatery that offers coffee and tea from Sparrow Coffee Roastery and a selection of sandwiches and baked goods. [Crain's]

Amy Cavanaugh thinks STK is a "solid new effort." The 20 oz. bone-in rib eye comes "perfectly cooked with delicate fat rippling through it," and the filet is equally impressive and served with a sweet crab and béarnaise sauce. Dessert is another "high point," with the "remarkably balanced" Champagne room (white chocolate Champagne mousse and strawberry sauce in a chocolate sphere) being the "way to go." On the beverage side, "well-made" cocktails include the "Smokeshow," a mescal and tequila negroni. [TOC]

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

847 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 733-1971


9 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654


3665 Sacramento Street, , CA 94118 (415) 921-3200 Visit Website