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Sula Walks the Red Carpet at BLVD and More Reviews

Plus more thoughts on Margeaux Brasserie

Marc Much

The glitz of 1950s Hollywood makes BLVD the “kind of restaurant where Marilyn Monroe and James Dean would hang out,” and Mike Sula says the food is also full of pleasant surprises. Usual suspects litter the menu but chef Johnny Besch rises above the cliches “fairly often.” Steak tartare with bone marrow butter is a “cannibal’s delight,” while shrimp cocktail served in tomato gastrique and horseradish panna cotta is an “exquisite audacity.” Among the pastas, cacio e peppe is “so thoroughly tossed with Parmigiano and crushed black pepper that it crunches; a simultaneously confounding and satisfying exception to the rule that al dente is always right.” And for dessert, a chocolate-covered candy bar “makes its own statement” with crunchy chew nougat, chocolate ganache, honey-walnut caramel, and a side of buttermilk sorbet. There are a few duds, such as an overcooked burger and a “gristly and choreful to eat” minute steak, but “if you can stomach the particular artifice that veils this place, you'll find more than a few things to like on Besch's menu.” [Reader]

Margeaux Brasserie shimmers with “bygone Parisian glamour” and dishes that are “quite good” according to Jeff Ruby. Chef Brent Balika “sprinkles in enough outliers to lend some personality” to the menu. “You will desire” the steak tartare flavored with dill, chives, cornichons, and an egg yolk. The foie gras parfait spread on toasted sourdough has a similar effect and “pummels you with richness,” while duck wings à l’orange “provide pure Neanderthal satisfaction with a veneer of old-school class.” The biggest blunder, though, is a “desecrated” dover sole meunière. The kitchen “waterboard[s] it with a blunt brown butter and lemon confit sauce so punishing that the white asparagus tucked beneath the fish appear[s] to be hiding in fear.” Dessert turns things back around as the giant chocolate macaron is a “bonkers production involving a confection the size of a cheeseburger.” Although it’ll cost you a pretty penny, Ruby thinks Margeaux is worth splurging on. [Chicago]

The redesigned menu at Rosebud on Rush is “emphasizing the classics” and giving diners “what they expect,” Graham Meyer writes. The food “aims for timelessness,” such as fried calamari and “direct and correct” veal francese sitting on a bed of penne and a “sea” of lemon butter. Pappardelle also swims in tomato-basil sauce that’s “smooth and a little sweet in the candle-in-the-Chianti-bottle way.” Misses include a Caprese salad with only two thick chunks of pinkish beefsteak tomato, and a shrimp roll that “conjure[s] a grocery store deli more than the oceanside and [comes] with gluey afterthought fries.” In the end, the change “isn’t an extreme makeover, but more of a new starched shirt.” [Crain’s]


817 West Lake Street, , IL 60607 (312) 526-3116 Visit Website

Margeaux Brasserie

11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 625-1324 Visit Website

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