The Other Critics

Tamarkin Pans IPO; Vettel Likes the French Food at Vincent

IPO
IPO

The only thing that stunned David Tamarkin at IPO was “the bill.” The service is erratic and the servers are so lazy that “they can’t be bothered to wipe down a table, to refill a water glass, to pace a meal or to hide their contempt for their jobs.” The food isn’t much better. The veal osso buco arrived cold, and the tuna was “so raw and fatty I literally couldn’t saw a piece off of it.” [TOC]

Phil Vettel is not quite sure about Dutch food—a cuisine he claims may be “heaven for some, purgatory for others”— but he has better luck with French bistro classics at Vincent. The foie gras is “so uniform in texture that the lobe has the silken mouthfeel of a torchon.” Best is the pork duet, a “thick hunk of roasted suckling pig and a crisp, bacony slab of sugar-cured pork belly.” [Trib]

The atmosphere is “inescapably depressing,” the service is “surly,” but Julia Kramer gives the food at LM Café a pass. The average salads are the kind that one eats “for health rather than for any conceivable attempt at balance or creativity.” Fortunately the croque-monsieur has an “instant, cheesy, buttery gratification,” which makes this French stand seem “very, awesomely American.” [TOC]

While “not perfect,” Michael Nagrant can’t help but fall for Saigon Sisters in the West Loop. The confited baby octopus are the “the best octopi I’ve eaten in Chicago,” while, the pork buns are so good that even his very picky toddler will eat them. But it’s also the space that grabs him: “At night, with its wood-slat banquettes, flickering candlelight and the low rumble from the Lake Street elevated train overhead, the restaurant feels like a secret Hopperesque dining room for lonely hearts.” [Newcity Resto]

Tamarkin Pans IPO; Vettel Likes the French Food at Vincent