Reader & Bruno: Heavy Hitters

This week’s Reader and Sun-Times is just a whole slew of reviews. Kudos to Pat for scoring the first major review of Mercat a la Planxa. He loves it, but spends a chunk of the piece warning his audience that they might be confused and overwhelmed by the menu. But he basically thinks one cannot go wrong in ordering, and the only major faults he found were that he was told to order everything at once, and then the dishes came out willy-nilly. But others have talked about how great the service is, so the jury is still out.

Mr. B also sashayed over to Nia, the family-run pan-Mediteranean restaurant in the West Loop. Describing Nia’s offerings, Pat says, “Tapas (called ‘small Mediterranean plates’) take up one entire column on the menu.” We say, MEZZES! Or mezes. Or mazza or maza. Or mazze or maze. You know, depending on which Mediterranean country you’re in at the time.

Meanwhile, on the Reader side of things, Mike Sula continues the upward trend of Sixteen evaluations, which critics are increasingly, albeit grudgingly, admitting that they enjoy. So the food is really delicious! The view is really good! It’s extraordinarily expensive! Probably more than it’s worth, but at least you know what you’re getting into! Etc.

And Marthe Bayne confirms conventional wisdom that the food at no-longer-so-newly-launched Schwa is “better than ever.” We also learned that the antelope on Michael Carlson’s menu is shot from helicopters and slaughtered on site. Apparently, if you eat there, you will learn similar trivia about your meal. That alone is worth the price of admission! Which, considering it’s still BYO, is not that much.

Mercat a la Planxa [MenuPages]
Mercat a la Planxa [Official Site]
Nia [MenuPages]
Sixteen [MenuPages]
Sixteen [Official Site]
Schwa [MenuPages]
Schwa [Official Site]

[Photo: the amuse bouche at Schwa, composed of “pink grapefruit segments, honey-yuzu sorbet and chamomile gelee topped with black truffles, shaved tableside,” according to Metromix. Courtesy of cal222/flickr]


Reader & Bruno: Heavy Hitters