Cantina 1910 is an "ambitious project" that is "easily one of the best new restaurants of the year—Mexican or otherwise—and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be packed all day long." Mike Sula writes a glowing review and weighs in on the current controversy surrounding the Andersonville restaurant. He thinks chef Diana Dávila "pulls no punches when it comes to heat levels and intentionally bitter notes, and knows how to balance them with bright and assertive flavors" on items like esquites and guacamole.
There’s a lot to like on the menu, from puerco en cazuela loaded with pork loin, carnitas, chorizo and strips of skin to thin sheets of cured beef heart with diced turnip and green apple, all drizzled with cured egg yolk. Carne asada tacos are "emboldened" by chicken liver and housed in "wonderful" housemade corn tortillas while a "towering" sesame cemita belongs in the "Sandwich Hall of Fame," featuring black beans, chicken Milanese, al pastor and a slab of headcheese. To finish, "upscale takes on familiar desserts" include churros, a milky tres leches cake and sopapillas. Sula ends by calling out the neighborhood, stating "if you can’t support [Cantina 1910] there’s no hope for you." [Reader]
Michael Nagrant visits Swift & Sons and thinks it has the potential to be one of the city’s finest but there are "still some trifles, poorly cooked dishes" and more to work out. Housemade agnolotti is "silky" and "one of the best pastas" he’s eaten this year and the autumn chopped salad is a refreshing mix that fills him up with the "satisfaction of a carnivore and virtuosity of a vegan." Pierogi are "ethereal like perfect gnocchi but still [need] a heavy pinch of salt," as do the "everything" roast fingerling potatoes.
Moving onto the meat, filet mignon inside the beef wellington is "quite fabulous" but wrapped in an undercooked puff pastry that’s "gluey and raw." Desserts are innovative and include the S & S Cracker Jack, a peanut butter mousse topped with "magnificent" popcorn-infused sherbet and garnished with caramel corn that’s so good it could "put Garrett out of business." Food aside, service is "attentive" to start but goes M.I.A. at times while the space reminds Nagrant of the "grand ballroom of the Titanic." [RedEye]
At GreenRiver, Phil Vettel opines that the "drinks pull you in, the food persuades you to stay and the service makes you want to buy a nearby apartment." Fried chicken oysters are light snacks akin to the "thinking man’s buffalo wings" while larger starters include "fearlessly caramelized" sea scallops and Hamachi crudo with "delicate beauty." A killer Slagel Farms dry-aged rib eye has "enough rich flavor to make any beef-eater happy" and dish of saffron spaghetti with uni and clams is also a treat. "Pleasant" desserts like a "beautiful, postmodern" carrot cake are the perfect, sweet ending to Phil Vettel's three-star meal. [Tribune]