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Sula Finds Midwest Comfort at Elske; Nagrant Thinks Income Tax is a Neighborhood Gem; More

Plus glowing reviews of Beacon Tavern and Giant

The interior of a fine dining restaurant with a small bar.
Elske
Marc Much

It’s safe to say critics are loving the dazzling-yet-informal cooking from David and Anna Posey at Elske. Mike Sula is the latest to offer his thoughts, eating through a lineup of Midwestern delights. On the tasting menu, diners are treated to stunners such as a "powerfully umamic" composition of roasted leaks topped with melted and congealed bandaged cheddar, as well as confit bass in a squash broth that’s "among Posey’s most luxurious and triumphant dishes." The a la carte offerings include juicy sweetbreads that are greatly improved by cabbage wedges, green grapes and golden raisins, and a brothy ersatz risotto that’s "one of the most pleasantly surprising dishes," made with celeriac, crushed hazelnuts and black truffle shavings. Anna’s desserts also shine—vanilla ice cream is doused in olive syrup and rests on a bed of pink grapefruit and cocoa nibs. [Reader]

Income Tax provides a "very personal and deliberate" experience that "feels like home," writes Michael Nagrant. The restaurant’s menu is broken down by four countries—Spain, France, Italy and Germany—and each section is full of pleasant surprises. Beaucaire, a French salad of endive, beet, celery root and ham, is a "tongue-delighting mélange of bitter, acidic and sweet flavors," but "silky" carrot agnolotti is the "best dish" hands down. The flammenkuchen, a savory Alsatian tart, is a "decadent rich man’s version" featuring flaky cracker crust, creamy fromage blanc fondue, bacon and sweet pearl onions. For dessert, the canele is swoon-worthy and "wafts a haunting pine perfume courtesy of a dousing in sapin liqueur." [RedEye]

Beacon Tavern is a much-appreciated oasis just steps away from Michigan Avenue. Phil Vettel calls the menu "similarly comfortable and familiar," like peekytoe crab dip that’s "essentially a crabcake in spreadable form," and "luxurious" shrimp toast served with deep-fried heads on the side. The blue prawn dish is the "star of the raw bar," with "bursts of acidity and moderate heat that really make the dish come alive." A massive half-pound Roadhouse Burger defies "polite eating," while a hearty lamb shank over a brothy mix of braised lentils, pickled onions and herbs is the perfect dish for winter. The signature dessert is banoffee pie, a satiating banana and toffee pastry that sends Vettel home happy. [Tribune]

Giant is the glorious return that Chicagoans expected from Jason Vincent. Although the space accommodates only 44 guests, Elizabeth Atkinson says the kitchen "makes up for [it] in flavor." Uni shooters filled with "melty, buttery, briny uni" are "attention grabber[s]" while the sortallini is also a star—tortellini in a "refreshingly acidic and bright sauce" packed with guanciale, basil and pine nuts. Dessert shouldn’t be overlooked either as cajeta ice cream brings "nostalgic notes of strawberry crunch ice cream bars." [TOC]

Elske

1350 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-1314 Visit Website

Income Tax

5959 North Broadway, , IL 60660 (773) 897-9165 Visit Website

Beacon Tavern

405 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 955-4226 Visit Website

Giant

3209 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 252-0997 Visit Website

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