A Curious One-Star For Taxim; Chilam Balam Rises To The Occasion

Flatbread with basturma at Taxim
Flatbread with basturma at Taxim Photo: ehfisher/GSChi Flickr Pool

Taxim’s departure from Greek-American saganaki stereotypes and appreciation for local sourcing charms Phil Vettel, who finds nothing to complain about food-wise whatsoever, though the restaurant’s popularity means that service can occasionally lag. Oddly, Vettel bestows only one star, a punitive rating that seems inconsistent with the tone of his review. [Tribune]

• Julia Kramer find youth and exuberance in chef Chuy Valencia’s creations for Chilam Balam, but they’re executed with a mature expertise. A few misses — a one-dimensional chocolate-spiked lamb, weak desserts — but the overall experience is revelatory. [TOC]

Rustico tries to build on the success of its sibling, Mixteco Grill, notes David Tamarkin, but it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. The flavors are good, to be sure, but the place lacks a sense of soul. [TOC]

• Kramer’s take on Falafill takes the form of a three-step guide: skip the pita, go light on the sides, and go crazy at the salad bar. You won’t even notice that the falafel isn’t really all that great. [TOC]