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The Ladies’ Room Lauded as a Magical Hideaway; Bareburger Shows Promise; More

Plus, fourteensixteen and Pro Samgyubsal are worth a trip to the 'burbs

The Ladies’ Room
Marc Much

The Ladies’ Room is a whimsical speakeasy that Elizabeth Atkinson says will make you "fall in love." The small cocktail bar attached to Fat Rice is just the spot for date night, offering card or board games at each table and "reinforcing the Chinese-gambling-hall feel of the 19th and 20th century Macau red light district." Drinks are full of "non-traditional recipes and ingredients you might not expect to find on a cocktail menu," such as the Dr. Manhattan, featuring "speculative Dr. Pepper ingredients" that turn it into a "fruity but boozy departure from a traditional Manhattan." A hot tea cocktail (Rare Tea Cellar’s Freak of Nature) hits the tongue with a "liquor-forward bite that you’ll fall for," and like the rest of the menu, is "packed with ingredients you won’t be able to stop asking questions about." [TOC]

Although the execution needs improvement, the "condiment and flavor combinations happening at Bareburger are a cut above," writes Michael Nagrant. The New York chain joins the crowded burger scene and shows that it can mostly hang with the best. The "Buckaroo" features slices of "barbecue joint quality" smoky brisket, sharp cheddar and "savory and earthy" mushrooms but the beef patty arrives "well-done, bordering on dry." Similar problems arise on the Hog Wild but spicy pimiento cheese and pickled green tomatoes offer a "delightful acidic punch." Beef aside, there’s also a "top-notch" fried chicken sandwich as ell as a "life-changing" raspberry shake that bursts with "farm-fresh raspberry essence" and closes with a "comforting creamy finish." If the kitchen can smooth things out, Nagrant thinks "these should be some of the better burgers in Chicago." [RedEye]

Phil Vettel thinks La Grange's fourteensixteen has the potential to be a dining destination. The menu strives for Midwestern flavors, starring noteworthy dishes such as an "elegant" grilled loin of venison accompanied by diced root celery and roasted beets; and an octopus salad with black kale and pumpkin puree, united by chorizo vinaigrette. Flatbread pizzas are strong starters, arriving on "brittle, wafer-thin crusts," while wood-fired steaks like the Kansas City strip are "very nice." The meal ends with a "cute" Snickers bar dessert of chocolate, nougat and peanuts. [Tribune]

Pork lovers should head over to Northbrook, where Korean BBQ spot Pro Samgyubsal is delivering delectable cuts of meat for diners to grill. There are five choices of pork belly, each with "subtle textural differences," and they’re complemented by sliced white onion, garlic, chili peppers and pungent kimchi. Additional offerings include wagyu short ribs, bibimpbap and a few soup options. The menu is decidedly simple but as Mike Sula says, "all you really need is three layers of flesh." [Reader]

The Ladies' Room

2957 2957 West Diversey Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 661-9170 Visit Website

Pro Samgyupsal

3420 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook, IL 60062 (847) 715-9073


1416 Calendar Court, LaGrange, IL 60525 (708) 469-7896


3357 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60657 (773) 697-3079 Visit Website