Sun-Times Reviews: Old Ground, New Pizza, Witom WTF

We’re a little cranky today. Let’s see if you can tell.Maybe he’s responding to Mike Nagrant’s declaration earlier this week that he doesn’t think Pat Bruno is a good reviewer, but Bruno is deviating from form yet again this week, levying an actual criticism of P.J. Clarke’s!

“as much as I enjoy some of the food … I think it’s time somebody took a hard look at the menu and made some changes; it’s beginning to look just a little bit dated.”

But wait, un-stop the presses, ‘cause he quickly reverts to the old Bruno we love and are exasperated by, entirely failing to elaborate on how, exactly, the menu of cheeseburgers, chili, and pasta with red sauce is any more dated here than it is at the dozens upon dozens of other Chicago restaurants with entirely identical inventory. Whatevs. He likes the food, and we learn almost nothing. Same old same old.

Riddle me this: if Follia, which clocks in for Bruno’s second review this week is so Italian that the dishes mentioned in the writeup are IN ITALIAN, then WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD is does the little info box next to the review read “Cuisine: American”? WHY IS THIS THE CASE? Anyway, Bruno is smitten by the pizza at this west loop joint, taken in by the pastas, and finds the desserts to be hit or miss — ultimately, the experience isn’t bad for the price, but Bruno (weirdly) spends a lot of time dropping hints to the staff on how to make the food better (a side of broccoli rabe, a garnish of raspberry sauce, etc etc etc).

Witom’s back on his suburban beat (does he ever leave it?), at Cafe Havana (5 N. 105th St, Itasca, 630 773 8822), a recent open whose menu is still, per the manager, a work in progress. Witom’s menu rundown has few surprises: pressed sandwiches, ropa vieja, black bean soup, bistec al cubana served with what sounds like chimichurri to us (WItom IDs it as “a special herb-infused olive oil dipping sauce”). Maybe our undies are still in a bunch from Tamarkin’s Criticgate 2008, but this review is a freaking waste of space.Hm. Yes. It is kind of obvious that we are. Thank god it’s Friday.

[Photo of P.J. Clarke’s via yochicago’s Flickr]


Sun-Times Reviews: Old Ground, New Pizza, Witom WTF