Friday, February 15, 2008

What the critics are saying . . .

. . . about:

Cafe Matou (1846 N. Milwaukee, 773-384-8911). "(The) daily changing menu—think bouillabaisse, Bordeaux-braised lamb, apple beignets with house-made caramel ice cream—reflects the seasons and (Chef Charlie Socher's) Paris culinary training. But don't expect frou-frou food here; instead you'll find hearty French comfort with nary a pretension in sight. And the same can be said of the cozy interior, with its exposed brick walls, tin ceiling and art from local artists."—Lisa Shames (UR Chicago) Read it all here.

The Dirty Libertine (1615 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-654-1782). "While Galzin’s pissaladi√®re (flatbread) topped with sweet caramelized onions, briny anchovies and picholine olives isn’t exactly an original, it’s executed pretty remarkably, with a bubbled, crispy crust that could convince you there was an in-house wood-burning oven (there’s not). The chef also shows some skill with one of the easiest Italian creations to mess up—his gnocchi were perfect, plump little pillows swimming in brown-butter sauce with sage and roasted squash. The dish’s only fault was the dry and somehow stringy pork belly."—Heather Shouse (Time Out Chicago) Read it all here.

Hugo's Frog Bar (1024 N. Rush St., 312-640-0999): "Fish offerings are impeccably fresh, and a long card of daily specials accompanies the regular menu. The kitchen also appears happy to accommodate requests. Want Mahi ($25) blackened instead of mesquite grilled? No problem. Overall menu preparations for filets are straightforward — planked, grilled and broiled. Look for local catches, too, such as Lake Superior whitefish ($21), perch ($23) and walleye pike ($24)."—Alison Neumer Lara (Crain's Chicago Business) Read it all here.

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