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A Critic Extols the Hoxton Hotel’s ‘Boozy Wonderland’

Plus D Cuisine excels at Cantonese specialties

Lazy Bird’s dimly lit bar area features lamp lighting, stools for sitting, and shelves lined with glasses and liquor bottles.
Lazy Bird is a dark and secluded watering hole.
The Hoxton, Chicago [Official Photo]

Morgan Olsen calls Lazy Bird one of the best new bars of 2019. Dimly lit and configured for privacy, the Hoxton hotel’s basement speakeasy “ticks all the right boxes” for a “quality time with close friends.” Beverage director Lee Zaremba offers “52 classic cocktails that have been refined and perfected,” such as a daiquiri packing an “earthy punch” thanks to an Ecuadorian sugar-cane distillate. The Negroni, which uses a combination of bitters in lieu of Campari, is “soft and harmonious—the kind of thing you want to sip for hours,” while the pisco-based “Don’t Speak” is a “highly addictive, fall-flavored elixir that has serious staying power.” Capping it all off is a “show-stopping” rendition of the classic grasshopper cocktail. Made with oat milk, carob syrup, Fernet Branca, mint liqueur, and an Italian rhubarb aperitif, it proves to be a “sophisticated after-dinner drink that tastes like a Thin Mint in liquid form.” [Time Out]

D Cuisine is a “rare place of reward for Cantonese food outside of Chinatown” according to Mike Sula. The Lincoln Park restaurant serves dim sum all day, though the execution varies. On one visit, deep fried taro puffs and minced pork dumplings create a “crime scene of fryer oil” while pan-fried shredded taro cakes are “so embedded with five spice powder” that they cross-contaminate the siu mai. But other items, such as shrimp dumplings and steamed dumplings, “could pass inspection in Chinatown.” The real highlights are the Guangdong chef specials, which include a “superb” whole roasted chicken with crispy skin and flesh “gravid with unreleased juices waiting to burst forth.” Overall, D Cuisine offers arguably the best dim sum on the North Side and its regional dishes are wholly worth investigating. [Reader]

Ocean Prime offers “an approachable selection of nicely rendered steaks and a hearty list of seafood that pairs perfectly with a sweeping view of Michigan and Wacker,” writes Ariel Cheung. The Ohio-based steakhouse chain does the essentials well. “Methodical broiling” gives steaks a “nice char and an ideally juicy, tender center.” The Kansas City strip is noted for its “buttery, nutty flavor” while lamb chops are another winner, drizzled in a sauce “pungently imbued with thyme and roasted garlic confit.” Appetizers include a lavish surf and turf combo of seared scallops that contrast “perfectly with the deep richness of fork-tender short rib and potato puree.” For dessert, the “beautifully simplistic” butter cake provides a “lovely end to the evening.” [CS]

Bandit is a throwback experience with “better-than-decent food.” The old-school vibe at DineAmic Hospitality’s new restaurant and bar is accompanied by fun bites like disco waffle fries featuring “higher-quality” Hook’s cheddar, bulgogi short rib, and kim chi. 45-day dry-aged rib eye cap makes for a “confusing dish, where adding more actually subtract[s] from the overall effect.” The meat is covered with garlic, onions, and chimichurri, and “all of it is delicious, but the headliner, the aging flavor, dims under the herbs and oil.” Graham Meyer also thinks the Nashville hot chicken tenders are “better without scallion pancakes” and the heirloom tomato salad is “tamped down by a mammoth blob of ricotta.” [Crain’s]


683 Geary Street, , CA 94102 (415) 658-7780 Visit Website

Ocean Prime

87 East Wacker Drive, , IL 60601 (312) 428-4344 Visit Website

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