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Bonci’s Unique Pizzas Earn Praise From ‘Time Out’ and More Reviews

Plus, BLVD is heating up the West Loop

Bonci
Nick Fochtman

Chicago doesn’t need more pizzerias but Bonci is dishing out “springy, crispy pies piled with all manner of artisanal goodies [that] taste like nothing you can get around here,” writes Maggie Hennessy. The crust is the “Goldilocks of rise and caramelization, a cobwebby, lightly tangy interior encased in a shell of crispiness.” It’s covered in an ever-changing collection of toppings, such as zucchini and ricotta speckled with pepper and lemon zest; and “tender, peppery” meatballs under a “blanket of Parmesan snow.” Don’t let the wait deter you, as this West Loop newcomer “worth braving the lines.” [Time Out]

BLVD is a beautiful and approachable fine diner. From “gleaming chandeliers” to a “tsunami wave-shaped towering central staircase,” the dining room is “probably the most magnificent restaurant interior [Michael Nagrant’s] seen in years.” The food matches up as well, starring dishes like a cacio e pepe worth going “full Cookie Monster” on. Tournedos Rossini, a French classic, is revived “well” here while jiggly scallops, “briny, and perfectly rare at the center are complemented by a white corn soufflé, making this sort of a scallop version of shrimps and grits.” Best of all, “everything is seasoned perfectly.” For dessert, the moist and gooey chocolate peanut butter cake is marriage material. [RedEye]

Anthony Todd says Proxi is a front-runner for best restaurant of 2017. The globally-inspired spot from the Sepia team is “firing on all cylinders, with food, service and atmosphere near perfect.” Fried fish collar with garlic-chili sauce is “the platonic ideal of fried fish, perfectly crispy and so good you’ll be ripping bits off and chewing the bones.” Tempura elotes—the “best snack [Todd’s] tasted all year”—is “somehow both crispy and melt-in-your-mouth,” while a salad of snap peas and carrots topped with sesame and yuzu is a “bright, complex take on possibly the most childhood-like veggie combination on the planet.” Among the larger dishes, grilled whole fish is a “perfectly cooked” specimen. And finally, Spanish-style gin and tonics are the “big standout hit” on the beverage side, served in a “huge goblet and filled with fruits, herbs or spices.” [Chicagoist]

City Mouse is “off to an impressive start” according to Phil Vettel. Just like Giant, Jason Vincent has made the Ace Hotel restaurant “freewheeling, flavor-focused and just plain fun.” Start with the “irresistible” Country Mouse appetizer, a fried cheddar ball on a dot of sweet-corn puree that’s topped with caramel tuile and caviar. The “light and easy and quite good” tagliatelle pasta dish is tossed with Gulf shrimp, tomatoes, and chile butter, while the striped bass “combines sweet flesh with well-crisped skin.” Desserts are similarly “rich and fun” and include pull-apart funnel cake with peanut butter and grape-jelly ice cream.” [Tribune]

Bonci Chicago

161 N. Sangamon St., Chicago, IL Visit Website

Proxi

565 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 466-1950 Visit Website

BLVD

817 West Lake Street, , IL 60607 (312) 526-3116 Visit Website

City Mouse

311 N Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 764-1908 Visit Website

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