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A Critic Laments the Uneven Service at Lettuce Entertain You’s First Wine Bar

Plus About Life Knife’s steaks are below par

Bar Ramone
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Bar Ramone offers “fascinating pours and shared bites” but service could use refinement. Though the wine list is “fascinating,” Maggie Hennessy’s server “rarely strayed from a tight script” and she hopes that the “beverage team better equips its staff with the know-how to do [the menu] justice.” To start, a “crisp and elegant” Galician albariño is an “ideal match” for the first nibbles. Steamed clams in a yuzu kosho vinaigrette is a “perfect marriage of verdant earth and salty sea” while “knockout” fried artichoke pintxos are served atop toast lathered with olive-piquillo puree. Other flavor combinations fall flat, such as a “muddled” dish of charred avocado in a “viscous” sauce of parsley oil and walnut-goat cheese vinaigrette. Patatas Bravas XL are a “playful twist” on the Spanish staple, featuring “hedonistic,” churro-sized potato sticks with a smoky paprika mayo. If Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises can fix some of the issues, Hennessy thinks Bar Ramone is capable of reaching its full potential. [Time Out]

About Last Knife is a “three-meals-a-day jack-of-all-trades” that needs to narrow its focus according to Graham Meyer. Hanger steak comes out “tougher than steakhouse-standard hanger steaks and bearing an ashy, bitter char” and beef Wellington is “quite small, the steak not much larger than the bowl of our soup spoon.” Better is the steak sandwich nestling “tenderer” strips of meat in “tenacious” focaccia with giardiniera, and the roasted Brussels sprouts served with a brown butter-orange sauce. Service is also lacking; servers act “like first-day trainees” who are unfamiliar with the menu. [Crain’s]

Bar Ramone

441 North Clark Street, , IL 60654 (312) 985-6909 Visit Website

About Last Knife

168 Michigan Avenue, , IL 60601 (312) 392-2440 Visit Website