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A Critic Experiences Inconsistencies at Logan Square’s CBD Cocktail Hotspot

Plus mfk is a delightful lunch spot

Young American
Wade McElroy

Young American offers intriguing plates and CBD-infused cocktails but “more than once, the menu sacrifice[s] pleasure in the name of creativity,” writes Maggie Hennessy. Director of food Nick Jirasek “applies cerebral artistry to protein-rich vegan fundamentals” and creates dishes like the “habit-forming bar snack Calmonds, nuts coated in lemongrassy CBD oil, honeyed chamomile and savory chicken salt.” Brandade – featuring fermented black beans, whipped potatoes, and dried seaweed – “may as well have been crafted by merfolk” while goth bread is a blackened loaf with a butterkase heart and duck yolk topper.

Other dishes, though, border on “self-punishing.” The “Nighttime Sisig” is a “slipper mélange of fatty braised pork bits in need of a crunchy contrast,” and edamame, prepared in the style of mussels, is a “fun idea that [falls] flat on execution.” On the beverage side, “botanical, bittersweet and spiritless cocktails shine brightest,” such as the citrusy “Hey High Hello” with gin, Pineau de Charentes, and sherry. Less successful is the “Creature of Love,” a sherry-and-bourbon cocktail imbued with lemon and tart cherry liqueur, that “taste[s] so overwhelmingly sour that it was hard to identify any other flavors.” [Time Out]

Mfk’s lunch menu “sings, blending bold flavors and strong textures.” Graham Meyer says the tapas de jamon – skewered ham, manchego cheese, and pickled mushroom – “outdoes any house-party toothpick appetizer.” Salt-cured anchovies “practically burst with piscine delight and [leave] the kiss of the sea” while prawn heads and a xato sauce “make magic together.” Basque cake is the only dessert option but it’s a good one. [Crain’s]

Mfk Restaurant

432 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 773 857 2540 Visit Website

Young American

2545 North Kedzie Boulevard, , IL 60647 (773) 687-8385 Visit Website