Friday, February 29, 2008

What the critics are saying . . .

. . . about:

Hop Haus (646 N. Franklin St., 312-467-4287). "The burger menu—­dreamed up by a couple folks from Alinea—includes 'global' takes on the basic steak burger and exotica like kangaroo and ostrich. The German burger was pretty good, topped with rich butterkase, sauerkraut, and robust brown mustard. But the wild boar was a disappointment, the meat tough, greasy, and well past medium rare. Both come on weirdly puffy egg buns that can’t bear the weight of their contents and are accompanied by seasoned potato wedges."—Martha Bayne (Chicago Reader)

Takashi (1952 N. Damen Ave., 773-772-6170). "The large-plate highlight is the chicken in clay pot, an aromatic blend of chicken and vegetables presented with haricots verts and eggplant. The chicken is subtly but expertly seasoned, and when the pot's lid is removed, that first blast of citrus-laced steam rushing toward you is as effective a stimulus as Pavlov's bell."—Phil Vettel (Chicago Tribune) Read it all here.

Tallulah (4539 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-942-7585). "The food echoes the concept: Fancy-casual dishes like deviled eggs stuffed with Maine lobster, or the simple filet of salmon served with luxurious black truffle gnocchi, are built around the idea that you can get the best of both worlds on only one plate."—David Tamarkin (Time Out Chicago) Read it all here.

Wilde Bar & Restaurant (3130 N. Broadway, 773-244-0404). "Expensively inlaid floors feature buffed wood and mosaic tiles—a perfect backdrop for acres of turned banisters, crown molding, crackling fireplaces and cushy seating. Raised, upholstered booths line the front, while highboys and four tops dot the remaining space. Weathered volumes and burgundy club areas comprise the library. Young couples and groups gather around frothy pints and fancy bar food."—Fred Schlatter (Chicago Citysearch) Read it all here.