Archive for Restaurant reviews

Dinner at el tendido

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Dinner tonight at el tendido rivaled lunch, which i thought couldn’t happen. The ingredients in this city are full of flavorful and need little embellishment. For dinner, we shared fried eggplant with honey, potatoes/egg/jamon, steak with piquillo pepper sauce and garlic tomato bread with brie and carmelized onions. I am amazed by this food and jealous that i do not have access to some of these high quality ingredients.

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Buena Vista (BYOB Mexican in Lakeview)

I am so full, OF DELICIOUS ENCHILADAS DE POLLO CON MOLE. (chicken was much better than ground beef) I have walked by this store front a hundred times and not until tonight did I experience its tasty, cheap food thanks to a quick Yelp search. Perfect spot for BYOB and/or Mondays when many other restaurants are closed.

I ate this all.

Thai Pastry Restaurant

Love Asian bakeries, including Thai Pastry which is just south of Argyle and Broadway. Where else can I buy a custard pastry in the shape of a bird?

Cute!

Tank Noodle Restaurant

Yum yum. Enjoyed some spicy TANK regular pho with all the extra sauces. A friend ordered the sizzled crepe which was huge and tasty. Great spot for some well-made pho and super close to the argyle redline stop.

Spicy and warm.

Ripasso (my favorite Italian spot in Chicago)

So glad Chef Theo did not leave Chicago when Terragusto closed! The food at Ripasso is just as delicious as it was at Terragusto and the service has improved greatly. They make their bread and pastas daily.

We ordered the 3-course chef’s selection menu and licked each and every plate to completion. Highlights included onion custard with braised mushrooms and all pasta dishes!!! And, the chef was very amenable to a completely vegetarian meal.

Ripasso beats any Italian restaurant in Chicago, including Spiaggia.

Onion custard with braised mushrooms

Wild mushroom risotto

Ravioli with asparagus

Semolina gnocchi with pine nuts and spinach

Eduardo’s Enoteca

Simple food and great value in a cute, casual wine bar. Nestled in a neighborhood known for its aging frat boy bars, this was a welcomed find for an early Saturday night dinner. The argula avocado salad was refreshing and seasoned well. The potato-gorgonzola cheese pizza was light and flavorful. All plates are reasonably priced and the atmosphere is fitting for a first date, a weeknight regular, or a group of friends.

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate (Artisan American)

Not sure why vegetarians love their menu as only a couple dishes were veggie.

Great beer selection.

I will have to return, likely just for dessert and maybe to give the dinner a second chance. The concept of the restaurant is high quality, fresh American, but the execution of my hamburger caused the great fall. I asked for medium and burger came out charred and well done, killed the cow all over again. Even the chips and pickles being freshly made and the adorable, individual sized ketchup and mustard bottles couldn’t compensate for such a fundamental flaw.

For dessert, the hype is worthy as the innovation was evident on the menu and execution rocked on the plate. I had a dreamsicle baked alaska and it was complex and delicious all at the same time. Next time, I obviously will also try the signature hot chocolate.

Criollo (Flagstaff, AZ)

For a small town like Flagstaff, Criollo is a stand-out. While on the pricier side, the freshness and balance of dishes and quality of ingredients make it worthwhile. If this restaurant was in Chicago, I would become a regular.

Dinner:
salmon tostada ~ citrus cured alaskan salmon, chevre, black bean spread, jalapeƱo glaze, lemon crema, baby greens, toasted pepitas

The balance and seasoning of this dish was perfect. I enjoyed the acidity of the lemon with the smooth salmon texture and flavorful greens. I’ll have to find a way to make this at home…

Sourcing list.

So good!

Border Grill (Santa Monica, CA)

After being on Top Chef Masters, I expected a lot from the restaurant of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. I ordered three different tacos; lamb, quinoa cake, grilled fish. The lamb was most flavorful and innovative but the overall experience was..meh… I applaud the chefs for their dedication to quality ingredients and sustainability. The dessert was a mousse-on-mousse-on pastry decadence which I’d happily return for.

Tacos a-la-carte.

Crazy mousse dessert.

Quartino (Italian tapas)

A table for two was available immediately on a Thursday night around 8:30pm. The place was bustling with chatter and service. For the area, the prices are reasonable and their ‘small plates’ are the perfect size for me. I ordered a spinach and pear salad and minestrone soup. Both were seasoned well and tasty. Great weeknight dinner spot!

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