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Vettel Thinks Dolce Italian Has Style and Substance; Sula Says Via Lima Showcases Peru; More

Also, The General is a better bar than restaurant.

Dolce Italian
Dolce Italian

Dolce Italian is a "stylish and spacious" spot with plenty of delicious plates to back up the flair, according to Phil Vettel. For starters, the Tribune critic recommends a "beautiful" asparagus soup and an "impressive" caprese salad with a "warm, thick slab" of mozzarella. Pizzas are a "strength" and "winning topping combinations" include the primo amore and tartufata, while beef carpaccio features "very lean but flavorful" beef. For entrees, "you can hardly choose a better [one]" than the whole roasted branzino but the seafood risotto loaded with shrimp, scallops and calamari is "excellent" as well. Desserts are "unambitious" and the chocolate bombe is "probably the best of the bunch." [Tribune]

New Peruvian restaurant Via Lima doesn’t have the star power of Tanta but the dishes coming out of the kitchen are just as good, writes Mike Sula. The Reader critic tries delectable ceviches and sashimi-style tiradito with a "blazing-hot" rocoto chile salsa that a "dark, meaty" yellowtail jack has "more than enough flavor to stand up to." Elsewhere on the menu, skewers of beef heart are "big chunks of steaklike meat" served with a trio of sauces and is an "impressive display of muscle for $13;" fluffy corn soufflé is "so likeable its duck confit topping seems extraneous;" and a rocoto relleno dish "deserves top billing." The "equally uncommon" desserts include a nutty chocolate torte with raisins and almonds that’s "sort of a redemptive version of the Chunky bar." [Reader]

Amy Cavanaugh thinks The General is a "comfortable bar, with good drinks" but falls short when it comes to food. The menu "needs finessing" as taco combinations like smoked bourbon brisket and fried catfish are "structurally unsound, with huge amounts of filling overwhelming the tiny tortillas." Other mishaps include collard greens with "muddy consistency," guacamole that "cries out for salt" and shrimp and grit chimichangas that are a "dry mash-up." Instead, Cavanaugh recommends stopping in for the "solid beer list" and cocktails like the Simmerson and the Abolitionist. [TOC]

Via Lima

4024 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (773) 348-4900 Visit Website

Dolce italian

127 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 754-0700 Visit Website

The General

2528 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 698-8754