The Other Critics

Everybody Has an Opinion on Nightwood

Nightwood's kitchen
Nightwood’s kitchen Photo: stringbot/Flickr

• Chuck Sudo has a hard time at first not comparing Nightwood to its Logan Square sibling, but the restaurant’s own strong personality — hyper-seasonal food, casually sleek decor — shines through. Best seats in the house are the three chairs that face the kitchen. [Chicagoist]

• It’s more love from Martha Bayne, who finds the staff nearly as attractive as the room, though it’s trumped by the “simple yet sophisticated” food. The pork belly is “devastating,” the duck pot pie and grilled Wisconsin trout are nothing to sneeze at either. Only a blueberry sour cream cake is “pedestrian,” but its mediocrity only serves to highlight how good everything else is. [Reader, first item]

• Meanwhile, Pat Bruno delivers a teardown: he doesn’t get why people love this place so much, calling it “good, but not that good.” He knocks the short menu, the droves of “pre-Boomers” that populate the room, and wonders whether the kitchen is just “mailing it in.” (What, Bruno, no dead-eared “e-mailing it in” generational pun?). He does like the agnolotti and the burger, and for some reason the espresso tart makes him say “Let’s watch some movies late into the night.” [Sun-Times]

• And in non-Nightwood news, Irving Park’s Zebda “brings a modern chef sensibility to Middle Eastern classic cooking,” with expertly balanced flavors of spice, tart, and acid. Bonus: Michael Nagrant finally learned how to pronounce “Orangina.” [NewCity]

Everybody Has an Opinion on Nightwood