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A Critic Thinks One of Chicago’s Best Chinese Restaurants is in Greektown

Plus Mordecai continues to shine in Wrigleyville

Mordecai
Barry Brecheisen/Eater

Mike Sula embraces the heat at new Hunanese spot Sizzling Pot King. The region’s cooking, “generally regarded as spicier and brighter than Sichuanese food,” includes a “marvelous” platter of “Chef’s Magic Tofu” and iconic Wuhang hot-dry noodles. The main attraction, though, is the dry hot pot, described as a “customizable stir-fry with endlessly variable options.” Diners can choose from several spice levels and flavors but Sula recommends the ma la option, “particularly if you enjoy the sensation [of spice] in moderate levels.” Ingredients range from catfish and cuttlefish to pork ribs and lobster balls, and they arrive fully prepared as “riots of textures and flavors.” Although the restaurant is located in Greektown and not Chinatown, Sula implores Chicagoans to seek it out and to “please pay your respects.” [Reader]

Mordecai “embodies Wrigleyville’s slick new direction” with “mostly successful seasonal plates, booze-forward cocktails and expensive vintage spirit pours,” writes Maggie Hennessy. Aside from a goat brat and cheeseburger, Jared Wentworth’s veg-forward menu is a refreshing change of pace for the neighborhood. A panzanella salad “transcend[s] its desk-lunch descriptor” and is something that Hennessy could eat every day, while arugula pappardelle is just as impressive, mingling with veggies atop a swipe of asparagus puree. Hanger steak is “one of the tenderest [she’s] had — cold-smoked and coaxed to just rare beneath a glistening, charred exterior.” The vintage spirits list includes a four-year-old Transcontinental Rum Line Jamaican pour that tastes like a “pitch-perfect tiki cocktail in straight booze form.” And for dessert, there’s a “softball-sized” donut coated in caramel popcorn that bursts with “silky” Bavarian cream. [Time Out]

With a combined 45 years of service between them, Le Bouchon and La Sardine continue to produce “utterly authentic” French fare at a high level. Though the two bistros are similar, Phil Vettel thinks each has “very nice” specials that help distinguish itself from the other. At Le Bouchon, maple-glazed sweetbreads with a “creamy-textured interior” are “remarkable” while the lamb shank served with couscous, pomegranate, and carrots is “another menu strength.” On the other hand, La Sardine presents a “picturesque tableau” of seared scallops surrounded by fava-bean puree, oyster mushrooms, and pickled strawberries, as well as “airy and custardy” pike quenelles in a lobster-bisque sauce. Both offer “superb” tarte aux pommes for dessert, which is “highlighted by a memorable crust, caramel-drizzled apples and house-made vanilla ice cream.” Overall, Vettel says the two spots “seem well-equipped to achieve more” in the coming years. [Tribune]

The “casually sophisticated” Fisk & Co. is a “jolly destination” for lunch according to Joanne Trestrail. Mussels and frites, the restaurant’s signature items, are unsurprisingly “terrific” but the rest of the menu is “impressively well-executed” as well. Gnocchi with wild mushrooms, asparagus, snaps peas, and pecorino is “rich and fabulous,” while seafood charcuterie includes “savory bites you won’t find anywhere else,” such as shrimp and pistachio mortadella and smoked whitefish rillete. To drink, the beverage list offers “inventive” cocktails and “interesting” local beers. [Crain’s]

Fisk & Co.

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

Mordecai

3632 North Clark Street, , IL 60613 (773) 269-5410 Visit Website

La Sardine

111 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 421-2800 Visit Website

Le Bouchon

1958 North Damen Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 862-6600 Visit Website

Sizzling Pot King

769 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60661 Visit Website

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