This week, the Reader heads to two heavily reviewed restaurants and makes similar pronouncements, and to a third restaurant that we hadn’t even heard of until this morning - shame on us!
Rob Christopher had a fine time at The Gage, where he found the large menu to be both cohesive and of uniformly high quality (even for the price). He especially enjoyed dishes that combined cooked greens and creamy, cheesy sauces (Gage N-17 Fondue with Butter Kaase, Brie, Spinach, Toast for $6; Brie, Bacon, Brussels Sprouts, also for $6 - who’s complaining about prices?). A slight minus for the non-local riffraff ambling in from Millennium Park, but why shouldn’t tourists eat well? It will make them all the more bitter that they don’t live in Chicago.
David Hammond doesn’t really care that Amphora (7547 N Clark St, 773-262-5767) is not particularly authentic (no truly nationalistic Greek restaurant would offer Caesar salad or shrimp de Jonghe), but it turns out that the food is pretty good - seasonings are light where they should be light and heavy where they should be heavy, and meat is properly cooked. Sometimes, unfortunately, that’s a lot to ask for. But Rogers Park has been having something of a restaurant boom lately, so welcome aboard, Amphora. Also, note that the ceiling is decorated with hanging examples of the restaurant’s namesake, which is pretty nifty.
Chip Dudley is all but aghast at the strange service he received during his recent visit to Republic, echoing the growing pains described by previous reviewers of the restaurant. Something about…sake not showing up, and waiters being publicly chastised. The details aren’t entirely important, but we’re really not sure why the Zhang family is letting things slip so severely at their new restaurant.
The Scene Across From the Bean, Satisfying Pan-Mediterranean, and Disappointing Pan-Asian [Reader]
The Gage [MenuPages]
The Gage [Official Site]
Republic [Official Site]
[Photo: an amphora, Museo Gregoriano Etrusco I]