Jeff Ruby thinks Sink | Swim is dishing out a menu of "likeable, original dishes." The "well-run" seafood house from the Scofflaw team offers impressive plates like a "gorgeous and savvy" beef and oyster tartare with malt potato chips and horseradish zest. Smoked trout, under a foamy bagna cauda, with zucchini, almonds, celery root and citrus is an "unusual and impressive balancing act" while monkfish liver with caviar, pickled grapes and onion soubise is an "intricate and bold declaration" that "begs to be devoured."
Non-seafood items are equally good, as "gratifying" charred broccoli on "smooth" whey soubise is boosted by pecorino and furikake, and chicken paillard "becomes an off-kilter charmer" on sunchoke puree, charred greens and hazelnuts. Just about the lone letdown is a dessert of gjetost custard weighed down by chocolate sauce, hazelnuts and crushed Whoppers. Complementing the food are "top-notch" cocktails such as the "strawberry-tinged" Pellet Gun #2. [Chicago]
Pub Royale does British-Indian right with a menu "packed with hits" and a drink list that "rivals the best beer bars in Chicago," according to Amy Cavanaugh. You'll want to get the "gently gamy" lamb dumplings in chili oil; "warm, salty" samosas filled with salt cod and potatoes; and "big pieces" of fried chicken with "super-crisp" skin and mild heat. For dessert, the Knickerbocker Glory is a multi-layered sundae with fruits, ice creams and "crispy elements." Drinks include a "super boozy but refreshing" funky frozen mango lassi as well as the Royale Cup #2, a Batavia Arrack drink with "subtle spice" from Ancho Reyes. [TOC]