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Chicago’s Top Food Writers Reveal Their Biggest Dining Grievances of 2017

Shutters, variety, and dwindling local food media top the list

Bar Marta

Not all glittered in 2017. To send off the year, Eater asked a group of local Chicago critics and writers about their year in restaurants and bars. The nine questions varied from their favorite dining neighborhoods to what we can expect for headlines in 2018. Here are their answers — copied and pasted, totally unadulterated — for their biggest dining grievance of 2017.

Mike Sula, Chicago Reader: It was difficult to eat anywhere that wasn’t a hotel.

Carrie Schedler, Chicago magazine: Watching restaurants I like vanish before my eyes. (Still miss you and your cookies, Americano 2211.)

Michael Nagrant, RedEye: This is the least creative or interesting dining year I can remember in the last 10 years. There were no leaps, no Verspertines in Chicago. New launches were mostly slight variations on the same old, same old. Mi Tocaya was probably the most brilliant expression of Mexican I’ve had in a long time, but it was one of the few places that really made you think.

Matt Kirouac, Zagat: That Bar Marta closed.

Morgan Olsen, Time Out Chicago: Lack of variety. You'd think it was a requirement that all Chicago restaurants offer shishito peppers, tartare and — worst of all — crispy Brussels sprouts.

Michael Gebert, Fooditor: The worst thing happening in the world of Chicago food isn't to do with restaurants per se— it's the continued shrinking of food media. We lost Chicagoist and DNAInfo in one day, interesting voices continue to scramble for freelance gigs or decide to leave town, and meanwhile we're subjected to endless lists from sites you never heard of that are basically a form of spam, or the restaurant equivalent of Russian sexbots on Facebook. No, Brittany Hardwarestore is not really a 22-year-old in a bikini who wants to make party with you, and The Toothpick did not really dine at your restaurant and decide you were the seventh-best restaurant in Chicago — so you just look foolish when you thank them on Facebook for the coverage, chef.

Chandra Ram, Plate: One day someone will explain why it’s OK for a server to interrupt my conversation to present his unasked-for list of favorite dishes. And needless to say, I think we all understand what small plates are these days, but thanks for asking if I need it explained to me.

Bar Marta

2700 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Americano 2211

2211 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 360-8757

Mi Tocaya Antojería

2800 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (872) 315-3947 Visit Website