clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Vettel Dubs Jade Court as One of Chicago’s Best Chinese Restaurants

Plus Aloha Wagon serves hearty Hawaiian cuisine and more reviews

Gibsons Italia
Barry Brecheisen

Is Chicago’s best Chinese restaurant actually located in University Village? Phil Vettel thinks it’s a real possibility. Jade Court is giving Chinatown a run for its money with well-executed dishes that excite. “Intriguing, complexly seasoned” florets of cauliflower are tossed with dried chiles, dried shrimp, shallot, and garlic, while “perfectly scrambled” eggs are embedded with stir-fried shrimp. BBQ pork jowl is “deeply satisfying,” and the $35 Peking duck stars “beautifully pink” slices of meat. Factor in other specialties, like typhoon lobster that’s been stir-fried and deep-fried, and Vettel says Jade Court is “home to the best Chinese food [he’s] had in a long, long time.” [Tribune]

Mike Sula finds temporary relief from dreary Chicago in the form of Hawaiian plate lunches at Aloha Wagon. The takeout counter cooks up items like barbecue chicken thighs, Korean-style pork butt, and beef patties covered in beef-onion gravy. It’s hearty fare and digging into it “requires you to immediately get moving once finished, lest your plodding metabolism finish you.” Spam musubi — processed pork over nori-wrapped rice — is “sustaining enough in its own right” while the signature aloha burger slathered in teriyaki sauce is a “just as satisfying as the plates.” For dessert, pineapple-coconut cheesecake with a buttery cookielike crust provides a “similarly substantial finish.” [Reader]

Gibsons Italia strikes gold in a “stylish, unfussy setting with a knockout river view” according to Ariel Cheung. Gibsons Restaurant Group’s latest opening “diverges and, in some ways, improves upon the original.” The “world-class” selection of steaks includes “silky slivers” of wagyu sirloin, Austrialian bone-in filet mignon, and short rib brasato. Fresh pastas “flesh out nicely with the addition of a protein” but “also work plenty well on their own,” and creamy risotto topped with “plump, tender” scallops is another “can’t-be-missed dish.” Lunch also offers many of the same items and is “lighthearted and easy to love.” Overall, chef Jose Sosa is delivering a “refined but relatable” experience that “refuses to be overshadowed by its sibling eateries.” [Modern Luxury]

Torali Italian-Steak isn’t the easiest place to find “but it’s worth seeking out,” writes Joanne Trestrail. The Ritz-Carlton’s 12th floor restaurant features “opulent modernist décor and sophisticated menus focusing on steak and Italian dishes.” During lunch hours, the “ritzy” lineup includes a filet with black truffle butter and a burger “jazzed up” with mortadella and fontina. “Delicate” yellowfin crudo with shaved sunchoke is equally impressive, and polenta fries with taleggio fonduta “is fun but staggers with richness; a few forkfuls go a long way.” It’s not just the food that’s compelling, either; the inviting atmosphere and natural lightning of the space means guests “might be reluctant to leave.” [Crain’s]

Gibsons Italia

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

Torali Italian-Steak

, , IL 60611 (312) 573-5160 Visit Website