The Other Critics

The Other Critics: Kramer Loves Riccardo Enoteca’s Lasagna; Ruby Supports Macanese Fat Rice

Fat Rice
Fat Rice

Jeff Ruby supports the resurrection of traditional Macanese cuisine at Fat Rice. “The pepper-stoked flamin’ fish head curry with okra and tomato and the Goan cauliflower curry with pumpkin, long bean, zucchini, and tomato honor Macau’s potent-homey melting-pot approach.” And while all that’s great, “The centerpiece is the unforgettable, paella-like arroz gordo, a giant pot swimming with garlic-and-sofrito-scented rice that includes disks of Chinese sausage and duck, slabs of linguiça, a king’s ransom of roasted Portuguese chicken, littleneck clams, grilled prawns, a tea egg, and pickled raisins.” [Chicago]

Hash might be having a moment, according to Mike Sula, if his surf-and-turf hash at Danny’s Egghead Diner for Easter Brunch is any indication. “This towering construction featured two poached eggs and a corn muffin topped with avocado and mango salsa, itself atop a mess of chiled shrimp, chorizo, roasted corn, poblanos, and potatoes, all drizzled with crema…[Danny] Coronel’s turned up the Mexican influence slightly on a menu that still bears all the diner standards (eggs, pancakes, burgers, “signature benedicts,” etc).” [Reader]

On a second attempt, Kate Schmidt manages to get her hands on Fumaré’s pastrami, which typically sells out before 2 pm at the Chicago French Market. She says the sandwich is “worth both the risk and the wait” and “I’d go so far as to call it the best [commercially available] smoked meat I’ve had in town, many fine specimens of barbecue included. I also found the rye bread, from Red Hen, markedly fresh and just the right degree of soft, a nice change from many European-style ryes.” [Reader]

Lasagna was the best thing Julia Kramer ate at Riccardo Enoteca. “The dish arrives burning-hot from the oven, the lasagna square draped in a sheath of blistered Parmesan. It’s not something you chew so much as allow to melt in your mouth, a black hole of carbs, meat and butter into which all of life’s uncertainties momentarily evanesce.” Octopus and cod with capers were less memorable, and for dessert, Kramer recommends the cioccolatissimo. [TOC]

David Tamarkin loves the “addictive breakfast sandwiches (spicy sausage cooled by a craveable feta sauce), the flaky scones, the carefully sourced coffee (two all-you-can-drink options, one from Dark Matter, the other from Stumptown) and the absolutely adorable space” at Sauce and Bread Kitchen. [TOC]

Steve Dolinsky is also a fan of the “casual, laid-back cafe in Edgewater [that] is all about showcasing Midwestern ingredients.” He recommends Sauce and Bread Kitchen’s breakfast sandwiches and the “fantastic” turkey sandwich with whipped feta and applewood-smoked bacon on baguette. [ABC]

EL Ideas receives three stars from Phil Vettel. “Foss doesn’t merely dismiss tradition; he virtually scorns it, playing the reverse-snobbery game like a virtuoso…Foss’ dishes are eye-catching and unfailingly delicious, certainly, but Foss lets guests in on the creative process as well. It’s not that he presents a dish of bone-marrow-filled potato with cauliflower foam and caviar (think potato skins, the way Scrooge McDuck might order them), but he explains why he thinks bone-marrow and caviar work together.” [Tribune]

Michael Nagrant loves Korean food, and he says Ahjoomah’s Apron is “a great Korean spot that doesn’t skimp on hospitality, education or authenticity, a place novice and expert Korean food aficionados will love…The Korean seafood pancake — a custardy omelette, stuffed with thick pieces of squid — is caramelized and nicely charred and crisp at the edges….And the banchan (Korea’s answer to Tex-Mex’s free chips and salsa) — tiny bowls of kimchi, fermented sprouts and other cold salads — is well-curated. I pop the sweet soy and black beans (Kongjaban) in my mouth like I consume Junior Mints at the movie theater.” [Sun-Times]

The Other Critics: Kramer Loves Riccardo Enoteca’s Lasagna; Ruby Supports