Seafood lovers will want to make their way over to West Rogers Park, where new BYOB spot the Angry Crab is "serving up pristine, affordable family-style Cajun-spiced" fare, according to RedEye. With live lobsters, "hulking" dungeness crab and crawfish arriving daily, Michael Nagrant writes that the selection is "super-fresh" and prices are "really reasonable" compared to market value.
Each order is cooked with a housemade seasoning sauce and spice mix while Nagrant's favorite is a blend of all three sauces as the "garlic butter and Cajun seasoning [meld] pretty well with the sweet meat of the dungeness crab." The lobster is also a winner, featuring "super-tender" tail and claw meat. Sides include red skin potatoes and corn on the cob, which have a "nice bite," and a "fantastic" andouille flecked with garlic and hot peppers. Overall, Angry Crab "really has no parallel in Chicago right now." [RedEye]
The return of Michael Taus' "steady cooking" to Wicker Park with Taus Authentic is a solid experience, writes Amy Cavanaugh. For starters, chicken liver mousse is a "lovely rendition" but "fragrant" sunchoke dosa is even better, stuffed with spiced cubes of sunchoke and sweet golden raisins and a pool of curry sauce. While lobster with oxtail ravioli is "perfectly cooked," the ravioli and broth "weigh the dish down." Moving onto entrees, veal cheek "pot-au-feu" is a "solid update" on classic French beef stew and a massive order of fried chicken is enough to feed two. And for dessert, a fruit tart is stuffed with apple, caramel and lemon-thyme syrup. [TOC]
Luella's Southern Kitchen is the latest soul food spot to hit Chicago and while results are mixed, Mike Sula thinks it's a welcome addition. The shrimp is "remarkably good, fat and sweet" and resting in a pool of "ultracreamy" grits but they're "overwhelmed" in the po' boy. Chicken and waffles is also "one of [the] better" dishes, mounted on "thick, crispy, sweet" Belgian waffles while a braised short-rib mac ‘n' cheese is an excellent modernized mashup. Unfortunately, a southern flatbread topped with deep-fried pickles, smoked chicken, andouille and pimento cheese and drizzled with barbecue sauce is a "cartoonish attempt to knit together incompatible regional foods." Desserts are also flawed: beignets are "leaden, cakey, and greasy" and Mississippi mud pie "nearly collapses from the powerful chocolate burden it bears." [Reader]