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Lonesome Rose is a Fresh Spin on Tex-Mex and More Reviews

But Beatnik parties too hard

Lonesome Rose
Clayton Hauck

Lonesome Rose’s borderlands-inspired menu “has enough crowd-pleasers to at least keep pace” with its crowds, writes Mike Sula. There are a “few curveballs” in the customizable taco selection, such as a “fire chicken” taco made with gochuchang, roasted nori, crispy shallots, and pickled daikon. A creamy, rich sweet-corn soup is “better than it has any right to be in the depths of winter” while cotija-caked elote with chili gastrique, pepita aioli, and chili worm salt is “similarly miraculous at this time of the year.” And for a Tex-Mex classic, the chili con queso that hides a “dense understory of black beans and chorizo” is a “real gut buster.” Paul McGee also puts Mexican touches on the drink list, like “bourbon spiking the horchata” and “maguey sap in the old-fashioned.”

Beatnik “tries to flood all your senses” but sadly “ends up shortchanging” all of the elements. There’s so much going on at the clubstaurant that “the kitchen might sometimes wander into the weeds and get sloppy.” Curry meatballs are “so oversalted they seem to mummify,” oysters are “rubberized” and served “wallowing in a green hot sauce and a gooey, eggy jam,” and roasted lamb ranges between “slippery soft and impermeably solid.” There are some “moments of clarity” as slices of pork shoulder steak are “deeply flavored” while spaghetti squash with tomatillo, cotija cheese, and is a “winter salad that banishes winter.” Overall, though, Sula thinks Beatnik needs to “turn it the fuck down.” [Reader]

Gibsons Italia “aims to please high-rollers” with classic fare and “so far seem[s] to be hitting [its] mark” according to Joanne Trestrail. Winners include pastas “made daily using stone-ground Italian flour,” risotto with four “plump” scallops, and “silky” panna cotta with gooseberry chutney and a “beautiful” tuile. On the other hand, the $15 half-sandwich and soup combo features a panini that’s “tiny and dull” and “thick, taupe, and tepid” Italian wedding soup. Service during lunch is also “frantic … efficient enough but ungracious.” [Crain’s]

Lonesome Rose

2101 North California Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 770-3414 Visit Website

Beatnik

1604 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (312) 929-4945 Visit Website

Gibsons Italia

233 North Canal Street, , IL 60606 (312) 414-1100 Visit Website

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