South African chicken chain Nando's Peri-Peri has landed in Chicago and its "fiery succulent" flame-roasted birds "taste much more like the rustic homey offerings from mom-and-pop" spots. Michael Nagrant drops in and finds that his favorite, "juiciest cuts" are the leg and thigh. The chicken has a "deep smoky essence" and the skin is "crisp, mahogany and flecked with pepper."
Other options include a "decent" ribeye sandwich that has a "nice mix of tangy, spicy and rich flavor, but the beef [is] a little chewy." Sides impress as well: "Refreshing" Macho peas are tossed with "cooling mint, searing chili and bright parsley" while creamy red skin mashed potatoes taste "more like mom's rustic mashed potatoes than franchise food." And for dessert, a slice of dulce de leche cheesecake is "rich and dense with some satisfying caramel notes." [RedEye]
Despite being a restaurant geared toward carnivores, Boeufhaus surprisingly "gives as much thought to its non-meat dishes," writes Amy Cavanaugh. "Ridiculously good" starters include a "firework" of "beautifully presented" fresh crudités served with a creamy green goddess dressing and "velvety" polenta topped with escargot that she'll "dream about come cold temperatures." Steaks are a "little let down" as the 55-day aged ribeye is "well-salted with a nice funk" but served "lukewarm," while desserts feel "[feel] like an afterthought." To pair, the wine list is "excellent" and filled with "winners" like a "multidimensional, minerally" Muscadet. [TOC]