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A Critic Thinks This Is ‘Chicago’s Most Exciting New Restaurant’

Plus, Flat & Point is smoking high-quality barbecue

Jeong
Jeong/Hahm Visuals

The accolades continue to pile up for Jeong. Jeff Ruby plunges into the tasting menu and says it’s “exciting to watch as [Dave Park] steps into the spotlight and absolutely kills it.” The first dish is full of “assertive flavors” — king crab with pickled ginger, chili-braised fern, and maesil (Korean plums) sit atop a base of silken tofu. Salmon tartare is Ruby’s “favorite thing from 2019 so far,” lifted by doenjang yuzu gastrique, dabs of crème fraiche, and toasted rice orbs.

The savory portion of the meal is capped off with two “stone-cold masterpieces.” Slices of seared duck are served with yulmoo rice and “deep-flavored” kimchi. “The beautiful triptych feels modern but preserves the spirit of Korean cooking.” It’s followed by a sunchoke croquette, “whose earthy tones make the ideal foil for a medium-rare bavette of American wagyu with a powerful kimchi-truffle emulsion.” Desserts don’t let up and feature a chestnut financier — sandwiched between caramel and flanked by whipped chocolate ganache — that “captures everything about where Park is right now: at once nostalgic and inventive, and constantly refining.” [Chicago]

Phil Vettel also thinks Jeong is a “start-to-finish delight.” The Tribune critic calls the tasting menu a “conspicuous bargain compared to menus of similar size and skill,” but “there’s no drop-off in quality among the a la carte options.” Tteokbokki bathes in a spicy chile sauce and is topped with marinated quail eggs and pickled mustard seeds, while wok-stirred broccoli “offers a riot of textures and flavors.” Entrees are “all terrific” and include a “beautiful” piece of cod surrounded by a seaweed broth. The “must-have” is the pressed duck confit that “looks dense, but yields to the slightest prodding of the fork.” Desserts “entice and delight;” the chestnut financier with smoked-chestnut cream and doenjang “offers an abundance of complementary, comfort-food flavors.” [Tribune]

Flat & Point isn’t a typical barbecue joint and owner Brian Bruns is putting out “high-performance, quality-sourced, and confidently creative food.” Mike Sula cautions readers to “don’t come expecting barbecue as you know it.” Instead, there are meaty delicacies, such as a “sublime” piece of wagyu brisket that’s “laced with buttery intramuscular fat rendered clear and jiggly and suffused with gentle smoke flavor.” An “unconventional” porchetta features pork belly rolled around housemade sausage, and served on a bed of creamy polenta. Other highlights include an “intensely beefy” brisket burger, and lamb terrine wrapped in ramp leaves and served with pickled mustard seed. The offerings might come at a higher price point compared to its competitors but Sula suggests to just “think of it as a gift from the gods.” [Reader]

Jeong

1460 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 877-5016 Visit Website

Flat & Point

3524 West Fullerton Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 904-7152 Visit Website