The Other Critics

Vettel Gets in Kith & Kin’s ‘Comfort-Food Hot Tub’

Kith & Kin's confit chicken thighs.
Kith & Kin’s confit chicken thighs. Photo: Helen Rosner

Phil Vettel throws three stars at Sheffield’s humble Kith & Kin. Noting that it “may be short on frills, but it’s strong in just about every other respect,” he swoons over each element of the meal, from the wine list to the panna cotta. He’s particularly smitten with the hand-cut pappardelle with wild-mushroom ragout, which is “like a comfort-food hot tub.” Only the limited parking is a minus. [Trib]

Pat Bruno spends a puzzling review whittling away the dishes of local Italian restaurant chain. Francesca’s on Chestnut may be the last opening before the company goes national, but Bruno couldn’t find much nice to say except that the portions were big. It’s honestly more of a consulting job than a review, as he offers practical advice for every dig. “There is a burning need for some serious menu tweaking, because there isn’t anything special going on here.” Oddly, he saves his strongest scorn for their bread service, which he says is Chicago’s real strong suit. Really? [Sun-Times]

The number of good kosher shawarma places in the area has just doubled, as Steve Dolinsky gets a tip on Manghal in Evanston. The shawarma, available in chicken and turkey, gets a “nice little crisp edge from the vertical broiler” and the freshly-baked laffa are a nice alternative to pita. He seems most taken with the wide variety of Israeli salads, which are so numerous and colorful they kind of remind him of “the traditional Korean side dishes called banchan.” [Steve Dolinksy]

Vettel Gets in Kith & Kin’s ‘Comfort-Food Hot Tub’