In Other Critics: Phil Stefani’s, Grocery Bistro, Sunda

• The real Pat Bruno visits Phil’s Stefani’s (meanwhile, @therealpatbruno explains why it was chosen), where he plays the high-low game: can you get a good meal for cheap at the famously pricey restaurant? If $15 spaghetti with tomato sauce is cheap, then yes you can! But Bruno really swoons for the osso bucco and the “decadent” desserts. [Sun-Times]

• Mike Nagrant gets literary on us in his review of The Grocery Bistro — pining for a Hemingway-esque false nostalgia of neighborhood restaurants and jovial proprietors. As a resident of the west loop, he embraces chef Andre Christopher’s newly opened restaurant and its unfussy take on contemporary American cuisine, the closest thing he’s found to his sepia-tinged ideal. [NewCity]

• The food at Sunda earns Anthony Todd’s love, which is a feat considering he had to wait nearly an hour past his reservation time for a table to be ready, and the tiny, poorly-laid-out bar area offered little respite. Oddly inconsistent menu pricing ($15 for three bites of sushi, compared with $20 for a wallop of braised pork belly) is another head-scratcher. His advice: wait until the scene quiets down. (Our advice: The day that happens, Dec will close the joint.) [Chicagoist]

• Bruno dives wholesale into the passive voice in his glowing review of Birchwood Kitchen, where the mono-named sandwiches knock his socks off. But not all is perfect: “another dish tried,” the soup of the day, could benefit from a complimentary piece of bread. [Sun-Times]


In Other Critics: Phil Stefani’s, Grocery Bistro, Sunda