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Phil Vettel, Amy Cavanaugh Smitten by CJ Jacobson and Intro

Both the Tribune and Time Out critics exalt the Lettuce Entertain You revolving-concept restaurant and its inaugural chef.

Marc Much

Less than a month in, Lettuce Entertain You's revolving-concept-and-chef restaurant Intro is already garnering critical acclaim. Both Tribune critic Phil Vettel and Time Out Chicago reviewer Amy Cavanaugh laud inaugural chef CJ Jacobson's "rustic-refined" seasonal vegetable-driven menu in the former L20 space.

Vettel is a fan of the "forage-friendly" six-course menu (with an optional seventh course for $40), describing the amuse as like a "pair of edibles found on a forest floor" that leads to "more green to follow." Both critics parallel Jacobson's California heritage with the food at Intro, yet Vettel says the latter courses have a "Midwest sensibility," such as the rutabaga "ramen" and his "most complex" and "artful" dish: butter-poached lobster with black trumpet mushrooms and sugar snap peas. After touching on the desserts and describing the service as "exemplary," the longtime Trib critic wonders what will become of Jacobson after his stint is up at the end of April and advises diners to "experience this food while you can."

Meanwhile at Time Out, Amy Cavanaugh is also smitten with Jacobson's food but makes a point to exalt the value at Intro. After saying the former "Top Chef" contestant "sets a high bar," the critic calls the pricing "a steal" if you're able to snag seats at the $65 dollar level. Describing the menu as "a parade of delicious dishes," Cavanaugh finishes by reminding readers that the chef "won't be at Intro for long."

Intro Chicago

2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 868-0002