The Other Critics

Vettel Treks out to Berwyn for Autre Monde Cafe; Bruno Repeats Himself at Ethyl’s Beer & Wine Dive

Wood Grilled Pork Porterhouse, Escarole, Gigante Beans
Wood Grilled Pork Porterhouse, Escarole, Gigante Beans Photo: courtesy of Facebook

Phil Vettel continues the good news for Autre Monde Cafe in Berwyn, handing it three stars out of four. The “simple and charming” restaurant “boasts good looks” and features a “culinary pedigree that reaches deep into Chicago’s fine-dining history.” It may have a French name, but chefs Beth Partridge and Dan Pancake serve a cuisine which “stretches across the Mediterranean.” The huge pork chop “represents pure peasant perfection,” and the “true” flatbreads are “cracker thin and slightly charred at the edges.” [Trib]

Are we just in a bad mood, or does Pat Bruno’s review of Ethyl’s Beer & Wine Dive sound awfully familiar? Let us count the ways: Just like last week’s review of The Bedford, he describes the liquid served with the bivalves — this time clams, last time mussels — as “nectar” ; he writes “fine dining this is not” and then “this may not be fine dining” five paragraphs later; and, most egregious of all, repeats the questionable “South-in-your-mouth” description from last year’s Lillie’s Q review. Barbecue experts would probably disagree with his recommendation of the ribs, which he describes as the kind that “fall of the bone just by sitting there; messy but mouth-pleasing.” If that weren’t enough, he actually uses the term “retro-metro.” [Sun Times]

David Tamarkin checks in with a couple hotel restaurants, giving them both three stars out of five. At Café des Architectes the servers look a “bit like the French men who appear in romantic daydreams,” and the food “ranges from nice to very nice.” The truffle-poached halibut is “gracefully subtle,” and the “tender guinea hen” is “executed with precision and plated with soft polenta and black garlic.” Still, the menu feels “a little autumnal, a little heavy.” Lockwood, on the other hand, is “the opposite of Café des Architectes.” Since it is housed inside the middle of the Palmer House, it’s the kind of place “you want to be during a snowstorm.” Fortunately, chef Greg Elliott’s menu is “all sunshine and herb fields.” So, it’s too bad “dessert comes and threatens to take the joy out of the meal.” [TOC]

Vettel Treks out to Berwyn for Autre Monde Cafe; Bruno Repeats Himself at