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Vettel Gives Kitsune Three Stars, Mango Pickle’s Clever Indian Dishes Impress Ruby, More

Plus, The Ruin Daily nails modern urban lunch

Marc Much

Iliana Regan’s Japanese cuisine with Midwestern ingredients at Kitsune is worthy of three stars from Phil Vettel. While the food isn’t authentic, the Tribune critic lauds the bread service as “a thing of beauty,” says Regan’s team “absolutely masters” soft-cooked eggs in the pickled-vegetable plate and on top of the ramen bowls, describes the okonomiyaki (savory pancake) as “a riot of flavors, not a harmonious one, but it certainly isn't boring,” and reveres the ramen bowls as “generous and terrific.” Those savory items combined with “appropriately simple” desserts and a tiny space with “eye-catching details” add up to a three-star experience for the critic at the follow-up to Michelin-starred Elizabeth. [Tribune]

Though he goes after the low-hanging fruit, writing that the restaurant’s decor makes “it feels like it’s perpetually Diwali,” Jeff Ruby is enthralled with Mango Pickle in Edgewater, believing the best is forthcoming. Even getting through the initial cheese, Ruby shows he’s a fan of the butter chicken and writes that he “can’t recall one as satisfying as Mango Pickle’s.” The overnight-marinated pork belly vindaloo “truly captures the essence of the restaurant” with Kashmiri chili-garlic vindaloo masala, a red wine braise, and a ginger-infused vinegar finish. The restaurant wanted to get away from traditional Indian desserts, but they need work as they “may be the operation’s only blind spot.” [Chicago]

The Ruin Daily is “the very model of a modern urban lunch experience, hitting all the important points square on the nose,” according to Crain’s Joanne Trestrail. The sandwich shop with bar from 16” on Center (Dusek’s, MONEYGUN, Revival Food Hall) specializes in “meaty monsters.” The little magician (rare roast beef, foie butter, horseradish sauce, pickled onions) and gym shoe (sliced lamb, corned beef, other beef, tzatziki mayo) star. The main veggie option, the Buffalo cauliflower, isn’t up to that level as “though flavorful and inventive, [it] could have used a lot more cauliflower in with its shredded lettuce and blue cheese dressing.” [Crain’s]

Mango Pickle

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

The Ruin Daily

328 South Jefferson Street, , IL 60661 (312) 929-2707 Visit Website


4229 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60618