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Vettel Bestows Three Stars on Taus; Reader Thinks Pearl's is 'Worthwhile' Southern; More

Plus NoMI Kitchen shines with simplicity.

Taus Authentic
Taus Authentic
Marc Much

Michael Taus makes his triumphant return with Taus Authentic, opines Phil Vettel, which garners three stars from the Tribune critic. Cavatelli with trumpet mushrooms has a bit of "warmth and sweetness" thanks to a brown-butter sauce and asparagus-kohlrabi puree while poached lobster and oxtail-filled ravioli are lifted by a lobster broth that’s "light but rich in flavor." Meaty dishes "offer more robust flavors" and include "excellent" fried chicken and a pork chop with carrot pierogi and roasted heirloom carrots that’s "perhaps the best dish on the menu." Desserts excel too as the "To Be Named" chocolate cake is an "artful, linear composition" of milk-chocolate terrine, white-chocolate meringue, bitter chocolate cake and Turkish coffee ice cream. [Tribune]

Pearl’s Southern Comfort is a "worthwhile place to sate a craving" for Cajun and creole cuisine, according to Gwynedd Stuart. Starters impress such as pimento cheese that’s "impossibly creamy but still has some heat" and boudin balls that are "luscious inside, and have a subtle organ-meat funk." Catfish fillet is "moist and fresh tasting, and the collards that accompany are as good as any," but "mud-colored" gumbo is a "muddled mess of flavors" while barbecue from the smoker "lacks character." For dessert, peach cobbler has a "surprising amaretto-like flavor that deepens the taste of the tart fruit." [Reader]

The latest iteration of NoMI Kitchen focuses on "thoughtful use of ingredients" and a "subtle unexpected flavor or two" to produce winning dishes. Lisa Shames enjoys foie gras with a hint of Chinese five-spice and a mango compote, which helps push it into "more exotic territory," while beef tartare becomes "almost delicate" with the addition of gochujang, sesame seeds and crisp rice cracker. Entrees include a "perfectly seared" Ora King salmon that’s "beautiful in its simplicity" and herb-crusted venison loin with marbled potatoes that’s a "creative take on the standard meat-and-potato dish." Similarly, a "wonderfully creative" smoked chocolate mousse is a "lovely and fitting way to end a meal." [CS]

Pearl's Southern Comfort

5352 North Broadway, , IL 60640 (773) 754-7419 Visit Website

Taus Authentic

1846 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (312) 561-4500

NoMI Kitchen

, , IL 60611 (312) 239-4030 Visit Website