The Other Critics

Tamarkin Wishes Three Aces Wasn’t a Bar; Sula Checks Out Del Seoul

Farm egg pizza from Three Aces.
Farm egg pizza from Three Aces. Photo:

Three Aces may just be a good bar, but David Tamarkin thinks the food is aiming for something more. The “rich oxtail ragu” and pappardelle with bolgnese “is the kind that would feel more at home in a proper restaurant.” Unfortunately, the loud music and huge beer lists ensures that “there’s nothing about this space that says restaurant.” Luckily, “it’s a testament to the food that the experience isn’t ruined by the atmosphere—it’s merely dampened, clouded by thoughts about what the night could be with a few tweaks.” [TOC]

Noting that “you can’t successfully innovate without a solid grounding in the fundamentals,” Mike Sula mostly finds the Korean/Mexican hybrids at Del Seoul to work because the basics are done right. The tacos are “not at all insubstantial,” and “well worth the $2.50 apiece.” But he loves the panko-battered shrimp banh mi: “the crunchy tensile pop of the crustaceans with a creamy schmear of sesame-chile aioli combine to remind me of nothing so much as a New Orleans po’boy.” [Chicago Reader]

Julia Kramer gives Fleur de Lis two stars, noting that the service is actually “attentive,” but the food “comes out at a slow pace.” Nothing completely works. The gumbo “offers a simple, light broth, full of tender chicken and spiced sausage,” but “lacks that enticing texture of a rich roux.” While the “desserts disappointed.” [TOC]

While State Street Pizza Company in River North is “undoubtedly convenient,” Daniel Zemans thinks it’s still “not very good.” The toppings are fine, but are ruined by the “most disproportionately overapplied mozzarella I’ve ever had on a thin crust pizza.” [Serious Eats]

Tamarkin Wishes Three Aces Wasn’t a Bar; Sula Checks Out Del Seoul