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Sula Thinks Ella Elli is a Welcome Surprise; Vettel Calls Fulton Market Kitchen an Overlooked Gem; More

Plus reviews of venerable Manny’s

Ella Elli
Galdones Photography

Chef Matt Eversman has “found a place to exercise his creative muscles” with Ella Elli. Though the menu is focused on the “trends of the day,” Mike Sula has mostly good things to say about the newest spot from Four Star Restaurant Group. The avocado toast is “no joke,” featuring charred rustic bread, a blanket of “green goo,” and a shower of everything-bagel spice blend. A roasted carrot salad tossed with pickled celery and avocado, and dressed with za’atar and harissa, is a “kaleidoscopically colored dish, alive with loud, jousting flavors.” Bucatini with sungold tomato and Parmigiano is a “marvel of simplicity,” while fettuccine with rock shrimp, mint, and peas is “so spring like you might start sneezing.” Entrees are less stellar as swordfish and lamb chops are overcooked, but the burger is memorable thanks to a disk of soft ripened cheese and “powerfully rich” cognac-and-cream-powered poivre sauce on the side. [Reader]

Phil Vettel thinks Fulton Market Kitchen is flying under the radar but “deserves your attention.” Chef Chris Curren’s menu ranges from “charmingly rustic to artistically precise,” starting with foie gras mousse wrapped in mandarin-orange gelee. Simple-sounding dishes “impress in execution,” like English pea salad that “screams ‘spring’ in the early summer,” while entrees “succeed on flavor.” The “exceptionally juicy” venison with blackberries is a “must-order,” and a creative composition of tuna and tripe is a “surf-and-turf for an alternative universe.” For dessert, an “artful” peanut butter semifreddo is accompanied by bruleed bananas, pretzel streusel, chocolate crumble, and chocolate shards. [Tribune]

Decades later and Manny’s is still as good as ever. The Chicago institution recently “spruced up the space just enough without killing the old-timey vibes.” The corned beef sandwich is piled high with meat and the “usual reason” Sam Faye craves Manny’s, while the pastrami offers a fattier bite. Matzo balls “the size of your head” are a staple that should be ordered with any sandwich and the potato knishes are also a “great side for sharing because there’s no way to not overdo it here.” In the end, Faye says “if you find yourself craving traditional Jewish deli food, Manny’s will always fill that void.” [The Infatuation]

Joanne Trestrail also visits Manny’s and says “nothing beats the charm—and the corned beef—of the venerable dining hall.” Don’t expect frills, just “fluffy” matzo balls, “lean and tender” corned beef, “superb” cold turkey on rye, and “delightful” peanut butter cookies. Little has changed except for the addition of separate takeout-only deli, but after 75 years, Manny’s still “plays by its own rules.”

Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli

1141 South Jefferson Street, , IL 60607 (312) 939-2855 Visit Website

Fulton Market Kitchen

311 North Sangamon Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-6900 Visit Website

Ella Elli

1349 W. Cornelia, Chicago, IL 60657 Visit Website