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Vettel Thinks Cherry Circle Room Reaches New Heights; The Spice Room Indian Impresses Sula; More

Plus Centennial excels at beer and food

A throwback wood-paneled bar.
Cherry Circle Room
Marc Much

Two years after opening, Phil Vettel thinks Cherry Circle Room is finally “realizing its considerable potential.” The restaurant boasts “one of the most handsome spaces in Chicago” and offers pleasures like raw oysters with grilled rose petals and tuna tartare topped with shaved foie gras. $30 for six grams of osetra caviar is an “indulgence [Vettel] can recommend, given the significantly higher entry point for caviar at so many other restaurants,” while entrees include pork chop with a “deep-flavored, touch-of-fruitiness glaze” and a “superior composition” of duck. Desserts like the carrot cake with carrot-pineapple sorbet are a big “hit” and the beverage program “remains strong” thanks to a “thoughtful and interesting” wine list. [Tribune]

“Every neighborhood deserves an Indian restaurant like [The Spice Room],” Mike Sula writes. There’s “no reinvention or fusion happening” at the Logan Square restaurant but the “execution is at a level that would indeed stand out on Devon.” Chicken 65 features boneless chunks of meat in a “bath of potent compounds” that “impacts your cerebral cortex like a meteor shower” while gobi Manchurian—deep-fried cauliflower tossed in hot sauce—is a “sweet, crunchy crack that ought to be sold in movie theaters.” Proteins are “of a relatively high quality” too as the breast meat in haryali chicken is “silky and tender amid intense flavors of green chile and cilantro,” and bhuni jinga—garlicky dry-shrimp curry—is like a “subcontinental shrimp de jonghe.” For dessert, the mango lassi is “thicker and fruitier than you might’ve encountered elsewhere.” In the end though, Sula says The Spice Room’s “most redeeming quality is the consistent freshness and vibrancy of familiar dishes.” [Reader]

Centennial raises the standard for food at beer bars. With more than 50 taps offered, Graham Meyer says the “high quality of Centennial’s food feels like a bonus.” The best dishes “give off whiffs of the keg and smoker,” such as pork rillons in porter mustard, and a pork belly BLT. Strawberry-fennel jam on the croque-monsieur turns it into a “brunchy sandwich,” while smoked duck breast on the charcuterie board hits the “smoky-meaty goldeneye.” Overall, the bar “does both beer and lunch well enough to reward going there for either.” [Crain’s]

Centennial Crafted Beer & Eatery

733 North LaSalle Drive, , IL 60654 (312) 284-5353 Visit Website

Cherry Circle Room

12 South Michigan Avenue, , IL 60603 (312) 792-3515 Visit Website