Bayan Ko marries Filipino and Cuban flavors together to create dishes that are “perfectly at home with one another.” Mike Sula visits the new Ravenswood restaurant for an innovative menu that draws upon the heritage of its owners, Lawrence Letrero and Raquel Quadreny. The “crown jewel” of the offerings is the pancit luglug featuring rice noodles, saffron, scallops, raw yolk, and “silky” uni, which “contributes an outrageous sumptuousness.” Oxtail kae kare is a peanut-based curry with long beans, served alongside “intensely salty, funky” fermented shrimp paste, while lumpia yields a “surprisingly juicy pork interior” that begs to be dipped in garlic-soy-vinegar sauce. Dessert includes a “wondrous” flan glistening with bitter salted caramel, as well as a scaled-back version of halo halo. [Reader]
French cuisine is making a comeback at two new Chicago restaurants. Over in Roscoe Village, Le Sud “provides an elegant take on French-Mediterranean fare innovative enough to compete with contemporaries but still utterly, timelessly French,” writes Ariel Cheung. Wood-grilled escargots “get a textural upgrade as each bites ends up a little crispy on the outside,” while roasted quail is “fork-tender and well-seasoned.” Among the entrees, pan-roasted duck breast sports a lavender-honey glaze that’s “just floral enough to play off the succulent bird,” and seared pumpkin with fregola pasta is a “warm, comforting dish that stands up to its meat-based siblings.” To finish, “luxuriously rich” orange-imbued chocolate mousse is topped with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Cheung also reviews Taureaux Tavern in the Loop, the latest spot from the team behind Cochon Volant. Lobster thermidor bites star “buttery, plump” morsels of lobster and a “beautifully brûléed” layer of sauce. The specials of the day are where chef Mike Sheerin’s “best dishes can be found,” such as the cassoulet, a “delicious blend” of duck confit, braised bacon, and boudin blanc in a tomato broth. The New York strip and steak frites are sourced from Wisconsin and “highlights of the menu,” and arriving “well-seasoned and with a nice char from the broiler.” [Modern Luxury]