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Time Out Thinks Ronero is Style Over Substance; Mango Pickle Moves Sula; More

Plus critics review Bad Hunter and Slightly Toasted

Ronero
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Ronero’s sleek setting can’t make up for its somewhat lackluster food, according to Time Out Chicago’s critic. “Dishes aren’t executed with the same precision” that Elizabeth Atkinson has come to expect from chef Corey Morris. The bisteca is “somehow totally absent of the rich, meaty flavor” while diver scallops are “squishy and rubbery.” However, diners will be “just fine” if they stick to small plates. Ropa vieja with goat cheese and focaccia is “flavorful” and housemade empanadas are “hearty and delightful.” Drinks “don’t disappoint either” with “interesting house cocktails designed to grab your attention.” As a whole, small bites and drinks are worth a visit but when it comes to main courses, Atkinson says “you can do better than a pretty face.” [Time Out]

Mango Pickle is a “brilliant expression of Indian food, neither shackled by tradition nor disrespectful of it.” Chef Marisa Paolillo, who has spent time cooking in India and other Chicago kitchens, impresses Mike Sula with her vision of the cuisine from the country’s western coast. Saag paneer, a spicy puree of grilled cheese, chopped almonds and cashews, roasted cauliflower, and mushroom, is a version that opens the dish “to the possibility of evolution.” On a dish that “seems designed for Instagram greatness,” whole roasted purple eggplant is impaled upon chili fried chicken thighs to create something akin to CFC (Chennai Fried Chicken). The daily dal plate is “so simple, pure, and affirming that you get to live an extra year just for eating it,” while success also extends to the cocktails. They include a “bitterly refreshing” negroni made with black-cardamom-infused gin, and an “exuberantly assertive” gin and tonic. The desserts don’t live up to the rest of the menu but overall, Sula thinks the restaurant’s bold offerings are outstanding. [Reader]

Bad Hunter makes veggies exciting and worth skipping meat for, Atkinson writes. The restaurant, which “feels like a cozy greenhouse” and “boasts a lush, trendy vibe,” focuses on vegetable-forward dishes that “totally work.” Maitake mushrooms dressed with parsnips, smoked pecans, parmesan shavings, and lavender are “so savory and hearty that you won’t miss your usual steak.” Likewise, “perfectly wrapped” butter dumplings change seasonally but Atkinson “wouldn’t hesitate to order this dish again and again.” Complementing the food is a low-ABV cocktail program with favorites like the spicy carrot cooler made with carrot juice, Jamaican jerk bitters, pineapple, and tequila. [Time Out]

Slightly Toasted is an appealing spot to grab lunch according to Joanne Trestrail. The toast, expectedly, “shines” and provides a “meaningful foundation” for sandwiches. Open-faced hummus toast is a “big enough deal to be a satisfying lunch for lightish eaters” and a BLT served with “impressively delicate” chips “takes the diner standard up several notches.” For starters, a “lusciously multicultural bowlful” of muhammara is fun while cinnamon toast “turns out to be a lavish dessert, good for sharing.” [Crain’s]

Ronero

738 West Randolph Street, , IL 60661 (312) 600-6105 Visit Website

Slightly Toasted

22 North Clinton Street, , IL 60661 (312) 967-2830 Visit Website

Bad Hunter

802 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 265-1745 Visit Website

Mango Pickle

5842 North Broadway, , IL 60660 (773) 944-5555 Visit Website

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