The Other Critics

Shouse Thinks Lao You Ju Needs Time; Chicago Cut Steakhouse Doesn’t Stack Up for Meyer

Though it might feel like Lao You Ju, Tony Hu’s new Chinatown lounge, might be his “magnum opus,” Heather Shouse writes that it will require “multiple visits to find the diamonds in the rough.” The dragon beef was “supremely crunchy from a dunk in the fryer, but most of their flavor is left behind.” The egg dishes were “more successful,” but are unfortunately “the most memorable” of all the dishes she sampled. “There’s no doubt that Hu is exercising his creative ambition with presentation and décor, but if this is new China, I think I’ll return to the old Lao while this one matures with age.” [TOC]

Chicago Cut Steakhouse may have “all the infrastructure you need to prepare a perfect steak,” but Kristina Meyer thinks it “still fumbles when it comes to execution.” The appetizers are “tired and disappointing.” The steaks are better, but even the “perfectly medium-rare bone-in rib eye lacked the nutty tang of a superior dry-aged steak.” [Chicago Reader, third item]

Julia Kramer admires how Acre has balanced “two distinct environments” with its formal dining room and boisterous tap room, but both ultimately try too hard. “The food can’t quite seem to find the sweet spot after dull but before odd.” Dishes often feel like they have “one ingredient too many.” [TOC]

Mike Sula finds “inconsistencies in execution” at Owen & Engine, and thinks the best dish at this English restaurant is Italian. Still, while it’s not the “most convincing spot for a tavern conceived to look like the place your great-grandpa hung out after the grouse hunt,” you shouldn’t “turn down the chance to quaff a pint of one of the four cask-conditioned ales.” [Chicago Reader, first item]

Shouse Thinks Lao You Ju Needs Time; Chicago Cut Steakhouse Doesn’t Stack Up for