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RedEye: Prime & Provisions Needs Work; Reader: Boeufhaus' Duck Breast is Best; More

Plus Phil Vettel's glowing review of Formento's.

Prime & Provisions
Prime & Provisions
Prime & Provisions

Steakhouses are a dime a dozen in Chicago and Prime & Provisions is "going to have a tough time competing if they don’t up their game." An heirloom tomato salad is full-out tomatoes "mealier than stale cornbread" but the fried chicken surprises, causing Michael Nagrant to proclaim it's the best he's had. The steaks themselves are problematic: a 45-oz bone-in ribeye is "riddled with a lot of fat" and the edges are burnt and "acrid with carbon." Similarly, potatoes au gratin are "bubbling with char that tasted like ash and covered with dry, frizzled leeks" while the dover sole is "mushy and doused in brown butter." Desserts rebound with a tequila-lime icebox cake that tastes like a "mashup of key-lime pie and killer cheesecake." In the end though, Nagrant deems it "just another below-average expensive Chicago steakhouse" at the moment. [RedEye]

Boeufhaus is the "sort of restaurant every neighborhood deserves," writes Mike Sula. Appetizers provide a "good amount of balance" like a "creamy" stracciatella loaded with smoked onion, a "surprisingly light" polenta topped with minced escargots and a dish of chickpea-flour cavatelli tossed with merguez sausage and fried chickpeas. The dry-aged steaks are "easily as good as—and in most cases better than—anything you can find in the city’s center," have a "proper edge of funk and minerality and are lusciously tender." A plump seared duck breast is also "among the beefiest and best [Sula’s] ever encountered," while dessert offers a "simple, creamy" pot de crème sprinkled with orange zest. [Reader]

Phil Vettel gives Formento’s three stars, calling it a "refined restaurant that makes it look easy." The definitive nonna’s relish tray "should be part of every dinner," packed with many "delightful" tiny bites. A shrimp scampi starter is a "terrific product" and a 42-oz bistecca fiorentina will set you back $125 but is "one of the best steaks [Vettel’s] ever had." Chicken Vesuvio is also worth ordering, served half-bird while "maximizing the juiciness of [white meat] and the tenderness of [dark meat]." The old-school desserts include a chocolate cake layered with chocolate pudding and hazelnut praline, with an exterior of tempered chocolate that "shines like a new stretch of asphalt." [Tribune]

Prime & Provisions

222 North LaSalle Street, , IL 60601 (312) 726-7777 Visit Website

Formento's

925 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 690-7295 Visit Website

BoeufHaus

1012 North Western Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 661-2116 Visit Website

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