Sun-Times & Reader: Fine, Thank You

100% success today in Sun-Times linkage — four out of four! Moral of this story: Never doubt that complaining loudly on the internet doesn’t solve anything. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever does. Now if only Bruno’s star ratings would show up on the main entry…

• Taking a break from the arduous drone of visiting all those innovative, hip, striving new places that make up the backbone of the restaurant reviewing industry, Pat Bruno revisits an old classic: Bistrot Zinc, a restaurant so resolutely francophile that they’ve retained the archaic “t” at the end of the “bistro” (see also: Margot, Cyrano’s). It’s ultimately a good experience for everyone: earning two-and-a-half stars, Zinc hands over “tender and delicious” escargot, and while the Vol au vent en croute “is so French you imagine Edith Piaf sitting next to you and singing in your ear,” we personally take umbrage with the redundancy of the dish’s name: “vol au vent” (literally “windblown”) and “en croute” both imply there’s puff pastry involved, mais non? For the francophobic, there’s also a handy glossary of Bistrot Zinc terms. [Bruno, Sun-Times]

• Bruno’s overall take on Perennial can be summed up in his attitude towards the entrees: faint praise here, with an assessment of “fine, which is my tempered way of saying there is merit but no magic.” Zing! And that same damning adjective for the desserts: “fine, nothing spectacular, but at least they are nicely priced.” The roast chicken is redeeming, as is the macaroni and cheese. But ultimately Bruno finds this to be a case of literally too many chefs — with a menu full of dusts, foams, mousses, confits, and any other vaguely trendy culinary conceit, the four marquee names involved should probably spend some time getting their priorities straightened out. [Bruno, Sun-Times]

• OSBMS is back on his beat! Well, sort of. Mike Sula’s back headlining at Omnivorous, but he’s not at a restaurant. Instead, he’s at Arway Confections, a half-century-old Chicago candymaker who anonymously puts out all those chocolate- and yogurt-covered pretzels, nuts, and what-have-you that apparently we’ve all thought were homemade by our local sweetshop. Head honcho Craig Leva has some love for candy, but Sula paints him here as just another businessman, concerned mostly with bottom line. Still, the dude has a sense of humor: “’We can’t afford Oompa-Loompas anymore,’ says Leva. ‘Even that commodity went up.’” Love us some Wonka humor. [Sula, Reader]

[Photo: Bistrot Zinc, via zanzibar’s Flickr]

Sun-Times & Reader: Fine, Thank You