The Other Critics

Vettel Gets Made at Sepia; Brand BBQ and The Fifth Both Tank

A Sepia tablescape.
A Sepia tablescape. Photo: darwensi/GSChi Flickr Pool

• Phil Vettel was worried that Sepia would stumble after Kendal Duque’s departure, but is overjoyed by new chef Andrew Zimmerman’s eclectic take on American seasonal. BUT! He gets recognized! “One thing that has changed from my previous visits … is that the managers have sussed out my identity. One time, I called ahead to add an extra guest to my party, happily agreeing to squeeze a fifth seat into a table built for four; when I arrived, we’d magically been upgraded to a table that easily would have handled eight. Occasionally, very occasionally, it helps to look like me. [Tribune]

• The best thing at Brand BBQ Market is the burger — a bad sign for a place that prides itself on its ‘cue. Heather Shouse finds that “from top to bottom, across the board, the barbecue is just not good.” [TOC]

• Another swing and miss at The Fifth, where Julia Kramer is peeved by the active twitterers all around her and even less pleased by the menu: “rom cocktails straight on through to dessert, there wasn’t a single item on the menu I’d order again.” [TOC]

• Pat Bruno is so taken by Fox & Obel’s Atrium Wine Bar that he nominates it for “find of the year” — strong praise, considering how close we are to the end of December. It’s not just the low prices, it’s the good flavors — and Bruno is also back to his old favorite of describing ingredients “riding” on each other: the pear-apple streusel is ridden upon by a “plop” of vanilla ice cream. [Sun-Times]

Vettel Gets Made at Sepia; Brand BBQ and The Fifth Both Tank