In Other Critics: Chaise Lounge Is Hot, NoMi Is Cold

• Despite its white-leather feel and “throbbing” vibe (more Miami than Chicago, on balance), Phil Vettel is charmed by nearly everything that comes out of the kitchen at Chaise Lounge. The menu’s dominated by small plates, light and flavorful to a dish, but larger entrees are worth the double-digit price tags. And did we mention the throbbing? [Tribune]

NoMI seems to have fallen of the city’s radar a bit, so Heather Shouse David Tamarkin pays it a refresher visit. The food is, overwhelmingly, expertly prepared (a few off-notes, like a flavorless poached egg, pale against glowing descriptions of the lamb), but the toff atmosphere and chilly service don’t do the restaurant any favors. Tamarkin’s unspoken (if strongly implied) prescription: The restaurant should pull its head out of its butt, get over its pretensions and start cultivating a more hospitable, less formal environment. [TOC]

• Julia Kramer’s early take on Noah Sandoval’s kitchen revamp at Between Boutique Cafe & Lounge reveals a kitchen that’s still figuring itself out: overcooked scallops and under-fried skate wing, bad; curry-carrot soup and blue cheese-cacao duck breast, good. It’s all a little at odds with Between’s moderately cheesy hypersensuous decor, but it works for now, and will probably work even better as Sandoval gets his sea legs. [TOC]

• Monica Eng’s Cheap Eats take on Chutney Joe’s is full of hedges: “bold if uneven,” “tender if unremarkable.” The restaurant’s slick and pretty, but the food lacks consistency, flavor, quality, and soul. [Tribune]

[Photo: croquettes at Chaise Lounge; credit: James R. Lasky]


In Other Critics: Chaise Lounge Is Hot, NoMi Is Cold