The Other Critics

Big Jones is Huge; Nella Pizzeria Walks a Fine Line

Nella's pie.
Nella’s pie. Photo: courtesy Daniel Zemans/Slice

• “It’s tough to go wrong” with the menu at Big Jones, says Phil Vettel, who’s sold on the sweet tea-brined pork chop and is partial to the game-driven specials. And the red velvet cake transcends the cliche, served unfrosted with an accompaniment of cream cheese semifreddo. [Tribune]

• The TVs may be blaring at Nella Pizzeria Napoletana, the lighting may be harsh, the salmon salad may be fishy, the pizza crusts may be soggy and chewy, but the purity of the flavors makes it all worth it to David Tamarkin. Skip the stuffed pizzas, though, and keep it simple, stupid. [TOC]

• Heather Shouse revisits C-House and finds that new chef Nicole Pederson has ramped up the formerly lackluster savory kitchen, producing well-balanced dishes that now hold up to the top-tier raw bar and pastry menus. [TOC]

• Bakin’ and Eggs might have the best restaurant name this side of the Mississippi, but Julia Kramer visits only to find a string of disappointments: mushy burgers, dry sandwiches, underseasoned pancakes. The bacon’s good, sure, but when is that ever bad? [TOC]

• The barbecue that Sweet Charity Smith (real name!) serves up at Brand BBQ Market suffers from a lack of consistency, notes Kevin Pang, but hey, the place has only been open a few months. Already great: the smoked pecans, smoked belly pork confit sandwich, and burnt ends over mac ‘n cheese. [Tribune]

Big Jones is Huge; Nella Pizzeria Walks a Fine Line