Cafe Marie-Jeanne is an all-day café with an "almost unmanageable selection of appealing things to choose from," according to Mike Sula. A delicious breakfast can be built from the massive menu, which includes biscuits and "superb breads;" "dependably fragrant" brisket; and sautéed button mushrooms that are "irresistible garlic bombs." Heavy-handed sweetness mars other dishes, such as sweet potatoes hiding an "unnecessary dose" of syrupy concoction and a whole butterflied trout smothered in a sauce that "overwhelms the delicate fish." Similarly, the popular smoked chickens are "so heavily brined" that they're "more Easter ham than bird" but overall, Sula thinks it's "not a bad place to make camp for a few hours." [Reader]
Elizabeth Atkinson thinks Bunny, the Micro Bakery offers "great specials, [and] good portions at fair prices." Doughnut holes are "doughy, sweet and a steal at $1.50 for six" while the "adorable" foie gras toast is another "highlight." The bakery's breads are also a must-try, as is a "bright, citrusy and herbaceous" cooler drink. Specials include biscuits and gravy and a variety of toasts, tartines and sandwiches that are the "perfect way to start the day." [TOC]
Snaggletooth changes everything you think you knew about lox by offering the "real deal" instead. The "rare and addictive addition to Chicago's deli scene" features "delicately spiced, heavenly thin, sustainably fished, super-fresh cured fish," writes Michael Nagrant. On a seafood charcuterie plate, he enjoys jasmine trout that has the "mouthfeel of prosciutto and the astringent herbal essence of a fine tea," as well as trout pastrami with a "delicate flesh more refined than its beef counterpart." They're accompanied by "moist" and "golden brown" matzo crackers that are way better than the usual variety. [RedEye]
Arbor takes an unconventional approach but delivers an unforgettable dining experience. Jeff Ruby sits down to a five-course omakase packing dishes like "powerful" parsnip bisque and "decadent" garlic fettuccine with Parmigiano-Reggiano and grilled duck egg. "Stunners" include fatty white tuna tacos with radish slices acting as tortilla;, and a brined and grilled whole black grouper served with "impeccable" fried basmati rice. For dessert, an "amazing" pot de crème is a fantastic finish.
Two decades later, Lula Cafe is still operating at a consistently high level that makes it one of Chicago's essential restaurants. The dinner menu features "striking dishes" such as a creamy-crunchy risotto with squid ink that's "pure textural dynamite," and a "quietly remarkable" cheddar soup. Other hits include a "gutsy" al dente strozzapreti with caramelized cabbage, Robiola cheese and anchovies; and crispy sunchokes topped with gooseberry preserves. The "terrific" dessert list doesn't disappoint either, offering "tremendous assortment" in an $8 cookie plate. [Chicago]