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Critics Rave About Entente, Bad Hunter and Smyth

Fall’s biggest openings have been huge hits

Marc Much

The Dream Team ensemble at Entente are cooking up "Michelin-level quality" cuisine, writes Michael Nagrant. Chef Brian Fisher delivers chicken liver, topped with Concord grape jelly, that’s "smoother than all other contenders" and "elicits the same kind of savory-sweet satisfaction you’d get from a childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwich." Wedge salad is taken to the "G.O.A.T." status thanks to a mayo- and sour-cream-based- herb-infused green goddess dressing, while Carolina Gold risotto flavors are a nod to Schwa’s iconic quail egg ravioli and are "as comforting as a glass of Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old bourbon gulped down while sitting next to a roaring fire." For dessert, a profiterole bursting with chocolate and sour cherry and a root beer-like perfume is a "complex and compelling update" of the French pastry. [RedEye]

Although the menu is not entirely devoid of meat, Bad Hunter is an "oasis for anyone who prefers to keep blood out of the mouth." Mike Sula sings the praises of veggies as the restaurant offers items like tempura-battered fried lemons and delicate squash that are the "sweet-and-sour snack every movie-theater concession should aspire to." White anchovy-spiked beet tartare "tastes as meaty as the dish it models," while the seared chewiness of butter dumplings, stuffed with corn, shiitake, Asian pear and oyster kimchi, is a "seductive distraction." Unfortunately, the much-hyped veggie burger is a "disaster" but a chocolate cremeux topped with porcini ice cream is "near the top of [Sula’s] list for the year’s best desserts." In the end, the "flavor-driving forces of fat and umami are deployed with such assuredness that even the most hard-core carnivore won't miss meat at the center of the plate." [Reader]

Smyth hits all the right notes from start to finish. Lisa Shames lauds the recently-minted Michelin Star fine dining restaurant after several unforgettable meals. Sweet Dungeness crab and rich foie gras are "terrific together and made even better" with the addition of a custard made with crab innards and eggs, while an aromatic dish of caramelized lobster with a pumpkin and root vegetable consommé and black truffles "pair[s] beautifully" with the simple Brouwerij Rodenbach Grand Cru sour ale. Heartier portions include ninety-day aged beef characterized by a "terrific iron tang" and saddle of lamb that "gets weird in a good way" with a powerful dot of fermented kelp marmite. To finish, the signature egg yolk dessert that’s soaked in salted licorice and served with yogurt meringue is "familiar and unfamiliar in all the right ways." [CS]

Bad Hunter

802 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 265-1745 Visit Website


700 North Sedgwick Street, , IL 60654 (312) 285-2247 Visit Website


177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3773 Visit Website