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Time Out Calls Elske 'Approachable' Fine Dining; More Reviews

Plus critics head out to Evanston and Schaumburg

Marc Much

Elske is a "perfect intro to fine dining, with reliable and approachable dishes," writes Elizabeth Atkinson. "Hits come dish after dish" on the tasting menu, starting with an opening course of smoked fruits and veggies that "blend[s] seamlessly together" with an herbal tea of the same components. A tender umami duck liver tart with buckwheat pie shell is a "stunner," and both confit sea bass and wagyu flatiron are "inventive and full of flavor while remaining approachable." Juice pairings also "surprise and delight," enhancing each course in new and interesting ways. In the end, the restaurant is a "completely delightful and enchanting" experience that satisfies fine dining newcomers and vets alike. [TOC]

Thai cuisine is reimagined at Evanston’s NaKorn. The restaurant offers dishes that look like "elaborate architectural constructions," but don’t taste "too much different from the Americanized Thai food." A taro chicken appetizer comes "artfully arranged" on a banana leaf yet Aimee Levitt calls it "plain old chicken satay dipped in a crunchy peanut sauce." Likewise, grilled slice tenderloin looks "complicated and elaborate" but tastes "friendly and familiar." The house special, Khun Sompit’s Big Fish, is a whole branzino that’s "crispy on the outside, tender on the inside," while black sticky rice pudding is unfortunately "more salty than sweet." Levitt concludes that NaKorn is "not as unique as it wants to be … but the food is pretty and, if you feel like spending the money, it's a nice alternative to another round of too-sweet pad thai." [Reader]

Kouzina brings a little bit of Greektown to Schaumburg. Joanne Trestrail is enthralled by the Greek tavern, which carries "the same hospitable buzz" you’d find on Halsted Street. There are "well-made" hot and cold appetizers, like phyllo-wrapped cheese and spinach pies that are an "excellent choice and great for sharing." A shrimp and spinach pasta is enough to "feed a few people" while soups, such as a "superb" vegetable one with white beans, can "satisfy those with smaller appetites." Worthwhile sandwiches include an herby, orange-scented sausage on pita with grilled red peppers, and baklava will "indulge your urge" for a sweet finish. [Crain’s]


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