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A Critic Believes Quality French Food Lives on in Roscoe Village

Plus, an Irving Park Mexican spot delivers extraordinary carnitas and more reviews

Le Sud
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

French restaurants are an endangered species in Chicago, according to the Tribune’s Phil Vettel. That’s why he believes Le Sud in Roscoe Village is a welcome addition to the city’s dining scene. The roasted quail is superb, he writes, and the foie gras tart “is a visually elegant slice of foie-gras cheesecake topped with chopped toasted almonds and squiggles of plum-sherry caramel.” The steak frites come “impeccably executed;” the oven-roasted chicken suffers from dry white meat; but the pork chop is “lovingly handled.” Though a roof deck will open next year, Vettel writes there’s “no reason to postpone your visit.”

Chicagoans can find quality North Side Mexican food, and Carnitas La Esquinita in Irving Park is proof, writes the Reader’s Mike Sula. Chef Oscar Hernandez plays double duty, working at Carnitas during the day, and then heading to Devon Pakistani restaurant Khan’s BBQ at night. Sula believes that Hernandez makes “extraordinary carnitas” — he doesn’t place the pork under heat lamps after cooking the meat low and slow, he leaves it in the pan in its own fat. He then chops the meat up on the flattop, “achieving an ideal matrix of tender shoulder and chewy skin, a perfect balance of the fatty, meaty, and crispy.” Posole rojo and caldo de pollo are other highlights. [Reader]

Cold cabbage rolls stuffed with beef tartare and melted gouda, and a summer spaetzle with basil, radish slices, red wine vinaigrette, and spiced walnuts are prime ways Funkenhausen “spins what could’ve been fusty grandma food into modern standouts,” writes Chicago magazine’s Jeff Ruby. Ruby praised chef Mark Steuer’s ability to balance sweet and savory inside his German/Southern restaurant in West Town. Ruby enjoyed the fried quail legs as he “sank [his] teeth through the juicy meat and marveled at the unusual tingle of Aleppo pepper and coriander.” Ruby’s also keen on the broccolini, calling it the best item on the menu. In a nutshell, “Funkenhausen is the cheeky restaurant we need.” [Chicago]

Despite initial skepticism, Starbucks’ new bakery and bar impressed Crain’s Joanne Trestrail. In a sea of trendy restaurant along Randolph Street, Princi, delivers “magnificent loaves of artisanal bread, along with party-perfect pies and pastries.” Trestrail called the olive-studded sfilatino filled with pistachio mortadella “a brilliant sandwich.” [Crain’s]

Le Sud

2301 West Roscoe Street, , IL 60618 (773) 857-1985 Visit Website

Princi

1000 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607 +1 312-243-9097 Visit Website

Funkenhausen

1709 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (312) 929-4727 Visit Website

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