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Sula Goes Green at Clever Rabbit’s Garden Party and More Reviews

Plus critics check out Quiote, Ruxbin, and Au Cheval

Clever Rabbit
Eric Kleinberg

Clever Rabbit is made for summer but Mike Sula thinks its long-term outlook is less certain. The veggie-centric restaurant offers a bounty of greens, such as a $38 crudite platter that’s hit or miss. While the board’s smoked mushroom mousse tastes “almost of meat butter,” the ground-up truffle over white asparagus performs “more like sawdust.” Sula recommends ordering it in late July or early August, “when our vegetables are at their best.”

Elsewhere on the menu, fiambre is a “truly satisfying bowl” of vegetables and a ginger-lime vinaigrette that “somehow tastes creamier and richer than it sounds like it would.” Scallops, which are breaded and deep-fried crispy, are also a “successful exercise” but a trio of “overbrowned and stiff” dumplings filled with pureed carrot tastes like “someone spiked the baby food with cough medicine.” And to finish, a carrot cake of “remarkable density and deep, complex spicing” is offset by a “disturbing splodge of olive-oil jam with a thickness, viscosity, and opacity shared by certain bodily fluids.” For the time being, Clever Rabbit is blooming but “whether it will continue to evolve or hibernate over the winter” has yet to be determined. [Reader]

Quiote is dishing out excellent modern Mexican fare and “outstanding” mezcal cocktails, writes Lisa Shames. Crab tostada is a highlight, topped with crab, radish slices, and uni-spiked hot sauce aioli. Likewise, chorizo verde is an “Instagramworthy” green sausage served with crispy potato while a “must-order” plate of slow-roasted cabbage gets paired with charred sourdough puree, pumpkin seeds, and pickled serrano peppers. Among the meatier options, “fork-tender” pork collar “turns up the heat” with a dark pasilla chili sauce and “perfectly cooked” pinto beans. An impressive mezcal program rounds out the experience and features a “delicious” hibiscus mezcal margarita that’s the perfect summertime libation. [CS]

Ruxbin is seven years in but continues to shine with exciting dishes. Phil Vettel lauds the redesigned space and Edward Kim’s “precise cooking and understated, French-influenced style.” The prix fixe menu unleashes a host of delights, starting with seared scallops that are “lovely from beginning to end.” An indulgent foie gras plate stars two slices of torchon elevated by pickled green strawberries, almond granola, and scattered greens, while “sensational” negra picante adds an “assertive accent” to a duck breast course. Kim puts his talents on display with his tagliatelle: Instead of pasta, sheets of jicama are wrapped around citrus-poached shrimp and yucca home fries, and served alongside a fried shrimp head and General Tso’s sauce. Capping it all off is an intricate baklava with black-sesame ice cream. All in all the meal is worthy of three stars. [Tribune]

Skip the long line at Au Cheval by stopping in during the afternoon. Joanne Trestrail says the best time to go is “after the lunch rush but well before dinner.” The menu offers “supercharged renditions of classic diner food” like its “justly famous” burgers and “equally stellar” fried bologna sandwich. Honey-fried chicken “takes self-indulgence in a different direction”; the skin is “perfectly crisp, the meat tender and tasty.” Don’t sleep on the raw vegetable salad either because “it’s really good” and provides a nice balance to the heavy dishes. [Crain’s]

Ruxbin

851 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (312) 624-8509 Visit Website

Quiote

2456 North California Avenue, , IL 60647 (312) 878-8571 Visit Website

Au Cheval

800 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 929-4580 Visit Website

Clever Rabbit

2015 West Division Street, , IL 60622 (773) 697-8711 Visit Website

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