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Kimski Delivers Inventive Fusion Fare; Duck Duck Goat Mostly Pleases Sula; More

Plus Arbor plays by its own rules

Aron Gent

Kimski is the "hottest place to be this summer," according to Michael Nagrant. Bridgeport favorite Maria's has a new Korean-Polish fusion counter to help soak up the alcohol. Items such as "Maria's Standard"—smoky Polish sausage "remixed with a soulful rice-perfumed, soju-infused" mustard and tangy kimchi kraut—and potsticker/pierogi "potskis" make for a truly original and exciting concept. "Kopo Wangs" are "so crispy that it eats like a chicharron or pork rind" and covered in a spicy housemade Asian sauce while bulgogi cheesesteak is blanketed with Muenster cheese, golden caramelized onions and shishito pepper. Overall, Nagrant lauds Kimski for delivering something "you've probably never seen or tasted in Chicago." [RedEye]

Duck Duck Goat delivers approachable Chinese cuisine but Mike Sula wishes Stephanie Izard would've "pushed the boundaries further." The "remarkable" xiao long bao are "dark, hot and redolent of five-spice seasoning" and jiaozi pot stickers are filled with "unctuous" beef short rib and marrow and garnished with "bright counterpoints" such as fruit, tart Fresno chiles. Other dishes like Sichuan eggplants with goat show off Izard's "affinity for vivid pickled flavors," while she takes a "more fearless approach with spicing" on Chongqing chicken and mapo tofu. Unfortunately, slap noodles and duck fried rice are grease traps that "push the tolerance for fat to superhuman levels." Dessert holds surprises in the form of almond milk panna cotta topped with crunchy cereal and drizzled with thick black vinegar. [Reader]

Arbor eschews conventional dining norms but proves it's still a heavy hitter. Lisa Shames tries the Midwestern Omakase, available on Thursdays and Fridays, and has a dazzling experience. It starts with a creamy asparagus and sweet pea soup that's "pure spring in a bowl," followed by a "wonderful mix of flavors and textures" in a dish of gin-cured salmon pieces with ramp ghee-poached egg, absinthe creme fraiche and pickled shallots. Entrees include two delicious preparations of arctic char and rockfish while desserts feature dark chocolate mousse and pineapple cake. Both provide "just the right balance of sweetness and decadence to end the meal." [CS]


384 Hayes Street, , CA 94102 (415) 626-1211 Visit Website


954-960 West 31st Street, , IL 60608 (773) 823-7336

Duck Duck Goat

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