Friday, February 8, 2008

What the critics are saying . . .

. . . about:

A Mano (335 N. Dearborn St., 312-629-3500). "Housemade gelato and sorbetto are creamy and intense; they are the best bets for dessert (three scoops for $7). Among the gelato, I like chocolate chip, Amaretto and chocolate-hazelnut. As for the sorbetto, I recommend the orange prosecco."—Laura Bianchi (Crain's Chicago Business) Read it all here.

Elephant & Castle (185 N. Wabash Ave., 312-345-1710). "The fish is very good here, enveloped in a properly crunchy batter made with Bass Ale, wrapped in paper (which looks like newspaper but isn't) and served with soft, skin-on steak fries. What makes this place particularly noteworthy is that you get your choice of fish; Elephant & Castle offers cod fish and chips ($11) and halibut fish and chips ($14). Halibut is a fine choice; the fish is noticeably firmer than the cod but has better flavor and flakes beautifully."—Phil Vettel (Chicago Tribune) Read it all here.

Lao Shanghai (2163 S China Pl., 312-808-0830). "The meat, poultry and seafood menu tantalizes with sweet and savory flavors that finish with subtlety. Shanghai dumplings reveal chubby pouches of pork, but lack enough broth to fully enjoy the slurping. Signature smoked tea duck, marinated in five spices, boasts a crispy skin with tender meat right down to the bones. Pan-fried flat noodles tossed with bits of chicken, beef, pork and shrimp arrive without the excess grease. Juicy beef sauced with black beans, garlic and red and black peppers is surprisingly light."—Valerie Moloney (Chicago CitySearch) Read it all here

Marie’s Pizzeria and Liquors (4129 W. Lawrence, 773-725-1812). "Distressed copper tables, red vinyl booths, chandeliers cut like Superman’s ice fortress, and a colossal mirror painted with the Chicago skyline all contribute to the sense that the place ought to be swamped with mooks wearing pinkie rings. Instead the tables at Marie’s Pizzeria and Liquors are filled with old folks and families, and what brings them in is the superb crispy thin-crust Chicago-style pizza, which has a near perfect grease-to-cheese ratio and is sauced with a sharp gravy. The adjoining space is a well-stocked liquor store with more than 800 wines; you can uncork one at your table for a $2 fee."—Mike Sula (Chicago Reader) Read it all here.

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