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Sula: Intro’s Japanese Pasta's Muted; 'TimeOut': Duck Duck Goat Lacks Value; More

Plus Roister’s lunch brings upscale dishes to a casual setting

Intro Chicago
Marc Much

Intro goes off the beaten path with chef Hisanobu Osaka’s new Japanese Trattoria menu. Using "quintessentially" Japanese ingredients to create Italian dishes, he offers "appealing" bites such as crispy arancini composed of sushi rice, Japanese pickle and tangy aioli; and "likeable greasy" tempora-fried calamari. The signature uni carbonara is marred by "small and withered" pieces of uni that make the price point "sting like the spine of one of those unfortunate creatures." But the rest of the pastas fare much better: lobster arrabiata is an "arresting bowl" and kabocha agnolotti with matsutake mushrooms and a mushroom dashi broth has an "adult savoriness." A "massive, indulgently tender and fatty" lamb shank is an excellent entrée, while desserts include coconut fitters with yuzu cream. Despite some "very good dishes," though, Mike Sula thinks the "interpretation seems to mute the charms of both cuisines." [Reader]

Duck Duck Goat is an admirable attempt at "reasonably authentic Chinese food" but there are "better (and much cheaper) renditions of these dishes if you’re willing to venture to Chinatown." Elizabeth Atkinson laments that seafood fried rice is "too greasy to eat with chopsticks" and xiao long bao results in a "big brothy mess," but praises the walk-up window as a delight. Here, arancini-like fried rice balls with pork sausage and bacon are "perfect for lunch," and Taiwanese beef noodle soup features a savory beef broth with "just the right hint of spice" and is teeming with housemade egg noodles that have a "great bite." For dessert, a blueberry rhubarb ice dish is "interesting but all over the place, with so many textures it’s hard to discern what you’re tasting." [TOC]

Graham Meyer tries the lunch menu at Roister and finds it just as "excellent and enjoyable" as the rest of the Alinea Group restaurants. "Good" grits are accompanied by the usual shrimp but also carry crab curry and Thai basil while hush puppies get an elevated upgrade with corn crème and sour cream. "Quick-to-disappear" cheddar rillettes "relay a surprise of cauliflower," and the much-hyped fried chicken sandwich might be the finest of its kind in the city. Lastly, the foie gras dessert "puts the liver in a candy bar, to luxurious effect." Best of all, the restaurant falls into the category of places "you don’t need an excuse to go to." [Crain’s]

Intro Chicago

2300 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 868-0002


951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 789-4896

Duck Duck Goat

857 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 902-3825 Visit Website