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A Critic Finds a ‘Sopranos’-Worthy Muffuletta

Plus, the food at BLVD matches the lavish space

Fisk & Co.
Barry Brecheisen

Michael Nagrant finds the muffuletta of his dreams at Rosie’s Sidekick. The sandwich shop, an offshoot of Italian bakery Sicilia, offers a host of delights. Eggplant parm is “supremely slutty, the cheese oozing over the flaky bread and the sauce and juicy eggplant dripping out the edges. This was some serious Tony Soprano-shit.” The aforementioned muffuletta is served on an “airy sesame seed-studded hubcap-sized loaf” and extremely intoxicating after Nagrant lets it marinate for a few hours. To satiate the sweet tooth, there’s something described as an “Italian Ho Ho, which is basically a Little Debbie Swiss cake roll jacked up on PEDS and sprinkled with pistachio.” [Michael Nagrant]

Stunning BLVD delivers the glam of 1950s Hollywood alongside an equally exquisite menu. Phil Vettel thinks executive chef Johnny Besch “captures the feelings of golden-age luxury dining without taking the style too literally.” Shrimp cocktail is a “thoroughly modern deconstruction,” presented in the form of “hefty” prawns on horseradish panna cotta, spiced-tomato gastrique, and lemon confit. An “astounding” cauliflower dish is marked by “perfect” texture and a mélange of “sweet, salty, bitter, spicy and umami flavors [that don’t] overwhelm the cauliflower.” Entrees include a “beautiful” piece of halibut in a spicy kimchi broth; and an “especially flavorful” leg of lamb. The meal ends with dazzling desserts like an “over-the-top” hot-fudge brownie sundae and sticky toffee pudding served with dulce de leche ice cream. [Tribune]

Fisk & Co. deserves a visit for its mussels and well-executed seafood selection, writes Mike Sula. The beer bar located inside Kimpton Hotel Monaco shows an “admirable” commitment to the sea and stars moules that are “plump and fresh and everything you could ask for in an elemental bowl of shellfish.” Frites are of similar quality — “attractively blond and lightly crispy” — while the rest of the menu also holds its own. There’s “luxuriously smooth” lobster bisque; a “remarkable” mixture of shrimp mousse, whole shrimp and pistachio “mortadella”; and “respectful treatment” of sole meuniere. For dessert, a simple rum bundt cake is “memorable.” The front of the house seems to be the only negative — along with the menu’s many typos — as servers seem “outgunned and harried, flitting around a half-empty dining room, rarely available when needed and ill supplied with requisite information once you finally [catch] one’s attention.” [Reader]


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

Rosie's Sidekick

2610 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 697-3000 Visit Website

Fisk & Co.

225 North Wabash Avenue, , IL 60601 (312) 236-9300 Visit Website