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A Critic Thinks Publican Group’s New French Cafe Is ‘Taking Wicker Park by Storm’

Plus Cafe Antigua delivers tasty Guatemalan snacks

Cafe Cancale
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Cafe Cancale is “taking Wicker Park by storm” according to Phil Vettel. The new French restaurant from One Off Hospitality impresses with “note-perfect” Normandy-style mussels with crispy frites, and “superb” northern California trout that’s prepared almandine with brown butter and truffled peach olives. A “fine” steak is served with “particularly good” frites while a plate of “dressed lobster” is “essentially a bun-free lobster roll” covered in a pudding of mayo, corn starch, and butter. Vettel’s favorite dessert is the strawberry sundae with sea-salt caramel ice cream and to drink, the aptly-named “Superb Last Word” is made with “luxury ingredients” like barrel-aged chartreuse and worth the $22 price tag. [Tribune]

A taste of Guatemala is being served at Cafe Antigua in Jefferson Park. Owners Douglas and Karina Cano provide dozens of snacks and drinks from the Central American country, such as “unctuous and chewy” pigs’ feet and lengua “as beefy and tender as good steak.” There are traditional tamales — “soft, silky” masa enshrouding pork or chicken — as well as rellenitos de platano, which are deep fried plantains stuffed with sweet black beans and powdered with confectioners’ sugar. Shuco, a Guatemalan hot dog, features a weiner topped with cabbage, mayo, mustard, and ketchup on a bun smeared with guacamole, while the tostada de chao mein is a Chinese-influenced pile of stir-fried noodles, peppers, and cabbage showered with cilantro and cotija. Overall, Mike Sula thinks the food “possesses the universally appreciated quality of deliciousness that everyone should be aware of.” [Reader]

Entente has moved but “it will still feel familiar to those already in love with the fine-dining destination.” Kerry Snider enjoys old favorites like the wedge salad, where “every component is elevated,” alongside new dishes like smoked sturgeon with potato puree. But the scallops, served with a reduction of citrus and vanilla, are the “memorable, go-back-for-it dish” of the menu. Drinks “keep pace with the food’s lightheartedness, as evidenced by the vodka-and-grapefruit Pink Cadillac” that tastes like “what a LaCroix hopes to be when it grows up.” Ultimately, “flavor and function harmonize to create the ultimate accord, without compromise,” at Entente. [Modern Luxury]

Bar Sabbia, the current seasonal pop-up inside Eataly, offers “above-average food [that] makes good use of the high-quality ingredients for sale elsewhere in the store,” writes Graham Meyer. Though it’s a beach-themed restaurant, the biggest complaint is that “it’s not comfortable.” But order some bread and “none of the flaws will bother you.” The “excellent” focaccia complements the burrata “ably” while bruschetta with asparagus is toasted to “just the springy side of crunchy.” Roman-style pizza also arrives on “thick, airy crust.” Spritzes dominate the drink menu and the best of the bunch is the Imperia, with Cocchi Americano aperitif and ginger beer. [Crain’s]

Cafe Cancale

1576 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 Visit Website

Entente

700 North Sedgwick Street, , IL 60654 (312) 285-2247 Visit Website

Eataly Chicago

43 East Ohio Street, , IL 60611 (312) 521-8700 Visit Website

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