Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cru Cafe & Wine Bar

Even though Cru was on my list as something I'd want to check out, we kind of just stumbled in on a Monday night. I was surprised how large the space is. I really like the bar area - a few TVs, large U shaped bar, chalk boards with menu items and a really nice back bar with wine and spirits galore. It certainly has the feel of a sleek wine bar that belongs in the gold coast. I have no idea if the regular seating area on the other side of the place gets full, but I think if they didn't have the separation I would just add a few tables to the bar area and call it a day. The wine list of course is large and probably impressive if I knew what I was reading. Plenty of wine by the glass and I had two of a very nice cab franc. For food we started with the fritto misto, and had the steak frites and salmon as main dishes with a side of green beans.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Primanti Brother's - Pittsburgh, PA

This will be short and sweet. Primanti Brother's - an institution in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. I was in town for just a few days working on a campaign event and we decided immediately after our event finished we needed to celebrate with beer, shots, and some ridiculous sandwiches. And when I mean ridiculous, I mean tradition diner style, huge white bread, large grease meat topped with coleslaw and FRENCH FRIES. Yes, each sandwich is finished with fries. The place is classic and charming and goofy and a heart attack just smelling the fumes - but it's fun and unique and the food is quite good if you can avoid thinking about the health affects. The photos should do all the talking needed. At least I can check the box.

Primanti Brothers (Downtown CBD) on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Savoy

I have heard many great things about The Savoy - a relatively new seafood focused absinthe bar in Wicker Park. I like the unique positioning and creative differentiation. It also fits into the neighborhood very well. As for the absinthe part? It was favorite pastime in college to see if all the rumors and myths about hallucinating were true. Obviously there are not otherwise restaurants would not be able to serve it - but it is a VERY strong spirit and can actually taste good if done right. And there's a nice little show with the water dispenser and everything. So yea, go here for some absinthe and have a good time. Oh. They have food too. Let me get to that.

We didn't really love the food program, and our service was very strange and awkward at times. There was a lot of food to try so it wasn't as if we selectively ordered poorly. And the fact that I can't even remember some of the things we ordered even after looking at my pictures says it wasn't that memorable. But I shouldn't be so critical because some items were tasty and good but my overall impression was disappointed and mediocre food.

We started with some oysters - and those were very nice - as well as the tuna tartare. I thought the tuna was ok, it had a very nice and spicy green sauce on the side that made the tuna pop and tasty but the crispy chips didn't add anything and the tuna by itself was just ok. We tried two salads - their version of tomato and burrata, and the autumn vegetable salad with roasted squash, shaved celery root and brussels sprouts, haricot verts, ricotta salata and brown butter vinaigrette. I thought the burrata salad was very good, with large tomatoes, a healthy does of pesto and fun little tomato ginger gelee. High recommended. The autumn salad had a lot of potential to me, a lot of great fall vegetables together but it just didn't come together with any meaningful flavor. Finally we had the hamachi crudo with grilled pineapple, red onion marmalade, sesame

chili oil and a pineapple-miso emulsion. It was by far the best thing we ate to start and probably all night. Little bites of hamachi wrapped around everything else with a nice sauce drizzled on top. Delicious. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Village Pub - Woodside, CA

I'm really not fulfilling my end of the bargain here on the food blogging side of life. One post in November - has to be an all time low for me. I'm going to try and do better I promise. Life gets in the way I suppose.

The Village Pub - my sister's favorite restaurant in the Bay Area (we've been there for Graduation, engagement weekend, birthday dinner, and most recently Thanksgiving catering). When I was out there in October to visit for her birthday and see my new born niece, VP was a natural choice. It's an awesome spot in the hills and seemingly in the middle of nowhere (like most great CA restaurants...) with a cozy atmosphere, long bar, fireplace and casual feel - but also a nod to sophistication and elegance. It's the California way to show up in jeans and blazer and order a burger with $100 wine. They live well. But that's exactly what we were looking for, a nice and causal but elegant and delicious meal. The service is always first rate, attentive and helpful.

We made it a simple meal with two starters, two main dishes and a surprise salad compliments of the chef. I also love how they are more than willing to split anything and everything for no hassle. We started with a lobster and cauliflower flan with sturgeon caviar, and the Monterey Bay Abalone served with a parsnip purée and frisée with a slow poached egg. Our main courses were the chestnut tagliatelle pasta with roasted porcini mushrooms and delicata squash purée, as well as the roasted chicken served with huckleberry financier, toasted hazelnuts and heirloom beets. Wonderful food all around.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lula Cafe

Yes, RappEats is not yet. It's been a wild month and by far the longest I've gone without posting or eating out on a regular basis. But the election is over and life is starting to get back to a normal pace (sort of). I have a few good posts waiting so I hope to get those up and inspire me to get out more during this slower time. Without further time wasting....

Lula Cafe. I've heard so many good things about this Chicago standard, especially those more inclined for vegetarian fare. Ari and Tali had the great idea to check it out and we did during the last week of October and actually managed to sit outside since it was that week where the weather was ridiculously nice. My general take away was that I was disappointing compared to what I had heard. I also know that brunch is one of the famous meals so maybe that's worth going back for. But I will give credit to a great menu that has a lot of variety for those looking to avoid meat and there are plenty of interesting options. The most memorable aspect from the meal was texture. Each dish came out and had some awesome texture with interesting ingredients and playful ways to enjoy the food. The main downside is that we didn't think the flavors were all that special or impressive. Everything was nice and fine but nothing stood out as particularly interesting. We even ordered the three squash medley that was highly recommended and didn't quite understand why. I don't remember being offended by the pricing and our service was high quality. I certainly would return for a good reason or suggest for those who need to meet dietary restrictions but I was not blown away overall.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kai Zan

Want to know the next hot sushi spot in Chicago that you won't be able to get into? Kai Zan - out in Humbolt Park on Chicago ave. Simply put, it has all the right ingredients (pun intended) to go viral and cultish. It's small (like 20 seats), awesome decor, BYO, off the beaten path, and happens to serve delicious food that's not your typical maki roll from Dominicks. And it's crazy affordable. Not much else you need to score big.

The meal started off with a bang by ordering the Escolar Pearls  (rice spheres topped with scallions and super white tuna soaked in soy sauce, truffle oil, spicy mayo, and chili oil, then lightly seared), and sides of edamame and gomae. The pearls of little rice with amazing flavors on top were so good and had four pieces for the three of us that we need another order. Easy call. Delicious. We all said we could come back for a meal entirely of Pearls (there's Maguro too, for variety).

Thursday, October 25, 2012


How many swanky new places in river west/fulton market can arrive at once? And when they arrive is there any self restraint to not check them out? Not at all. The most recent addition is Embeya, described as progressive Asian cuisine. The first impression when you walk in is amazing. The space is beautiful with delicate and detailed ornamentation all around. Great bar space, smooth and sexy all around. Dining room feels smaller than it is I'm sure. One thing I didn't love was the use of all windows around two sides of the building. You end up starting at street lamp lights, billboards, and anything else that could distract you from the meal and people you're with. I also remember the noise level being quite loud until the place emptied out a bit.

I really like the approach and design of the menu. (One downer is that they ran out of the chicken dish that everyone has been raving about). It's divided into three simple sections: cold, hot, large plates. There's also sides, rice and vegetables. We dove right in and starting ordering things that looked good. We started with the recommended green papaya salad, with spaghetti like shaved papaya, shallots and beef jerky. Really like the sauce with that, a nice and interesting dish. There was also special rice (?) with radish and pear and seared scallop (it only came with one, cut into three pieces which was a major annoyance that we weren't prepared for - and it's expensive). The glass noodles with the scallop were also delicious. That was our favorite of the three even though we each had one very small bite - and loved the presentation with a flaming mound served under the shell. The rice dish was just ok and the shaved vegetable was nice and refreshing in a sweet Asian sauce.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Aviary

A perfect post for a miserably October Friday night. Not along ago I finally made it into The Aviary, the cocktail lounge concept from the Alinea/Next team. I wasn't trying each and every day but I just never took the effort to try (it's an email only reservation system with fixed seating's on the even hour). As all things Achatz, you go for a total body experience and not just flavors. The space is cool, small, whimsical and you can't walk past the doorman without knowing someone/anyone inside already. Also, remember to eat beforehand and/or plan for something after. Aviary focuses on cocktails and only offers VERY LIMITED food options (more like little bites - which is what they call them). And also don't forget to check the regular connection between value and drinks at the door, you're paying for a lot of fun and showmanship.

They don't post their menu online so I'm going to have to do this from memory. I decided to order from the "prix fixe" menu that gives you three cocktails for $45 - and a different selection than the a la cart. My companions also had some fun choices that involved watermelon ice cubes, milk ice cube for a white Russian, a huge canteen for some Chai, and other fun ways to drink your booze.

I don't want to give away all the secrets otherwise you wouldn't find it worth the money to see for yourself. I had their version of a gin and tonic, the smokey old fashion (without any bourbon) and a warm chocolate (I think that's what it's called). I had an overall great time and think it's definitely a fun way to spend a few hours for a different and special night. The food bites are fun and tasty but are only bites. I don't think I'd rush back all the time because the drinks are more fun and experiential than amazingly tasty. For my money I'm still going to Bavette's for an Old Fashion. But that's not the point of The Aviary and they know that and accomplish their goals. Worth the trip and recommend going if you're into drinks with a show.

The Aviary on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NoMI Kitchen

It's crunch time in Presidential election land so posting is rather challenging. Also awesome, we went to NoMI back in July for my mother's birthday dinner but I keep forgetting it's on my to-do list. The other reason it kept slipping is that I was severely unimpressed with our experience. The company was amazing of course - my three favorite people to share a nice meal - and the dining room space is one of the most interesting in the city hands down. The word 'Kitchen' in the name makes perfect sense because you are literally eating next to an open and working kitchen, and a beautiful one at that. If you're sitting on the edge and drop your napkin it's very likely in the kitchen. Other other amazing aspect of the space is the location. Right on Michigan Ave with great views of the skyline, lake and water tower. The service was also top notch and representative of a high quality establishment.

My main criticism is that the food was fine and nice, but not amazing and definitely not worth the price. The menu changes frequently and it's been so long that I can't give detailed descriptions of each dish, but I think everyone would agree that the bread stole the show. Hot out of the oven and served on a small cutting board with some amazing butter. We had to start with some sushi just because it was on the menu. That too might have been a highlight, nice rolls, with very fresh fish. The pasta, risotto, asparagus and green beans were good but not great. I remember the asparagus was very nice with the burrata.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Au Cheval Brunch

There are so many brunch places in the city and everyone seems to have their favorite. I'll be honest - brunch is not one of my go-to eating out meals. I enjoy a good brunch but I don't crave going out for food on a nice sunday morning for some reason. Anyway, Au Cheval is such a fun place and has awesome and decadent food that when they started serving brunch a few weeks ago I had to check it out.

If you've been to the diner before than you know you shouldn't consult your doctor or get a cholesterol test shortly after. The food is awesome but extremely meat focused with no shortage of eggs, duck heart gravy, foie gras, etc to add. (Don't miss the burger either: Bon Appetit likes it.) The good news is that brunch is no different, just with a few different menu options. It's has standard breakfast items that mostly focus on the eggs already on the regular menu. I don't remember seeing pancakes and waffles, but that could easily have been an oversight. One item in particular that is not on the dinner menu is Jane's Muffin. Unbelievable  Try it. Love it. Order four.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grass Fed

Chicago has always been a meat town and a destination for anything steak related. What's been happening recently too is that new ways to eat and enjoy meat have also been popping up in town. Grass Fed is one of those as it brings a very small and simple menu (one choice!) to a cool and classic country feel to Bucktown. I really liked the setting, long and narrow with high ceilings, white everything - wood paneled walls, tables, chairs, a nice curved bar in the front with the menu on chalkboard. I hear there's even a patio in the back. There are no paper menus as everything is on the wall (and on other smaller boards throughout).

Speaking of menu, we went on a Monday which is burger night, so in addition to the $25 steak meal (with salad and fries) they offer a burger for $12. They have three sides and three starters listed on the board that change frequently. I don't remember everything that was available but we decided on the spaetzle, cauliflower and brussel sprout salad to start. Brad was the lone steak order as Kate and I did the burger deal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ

New BBQ spots are all the rage right now in Chicago. It's not shocking that one of the prominent restaurant groups in town (Rockit Ranch) would throw their two cents into the pile. I liked the look and feel of Dragon immediately, long and narrow with wood bench tables throughout (semi communal), and a small but lively and interesting bar. The concept of fusing bbq with Asian influences is unique and something that is not in the city already - and an area that the Rockit world knows well. the menu has a nice layout, starters along the side, a few salads/soups, then the main meat section center stage with all cuts available (ribs, chicken, brisket, pork). There's a nice section of "Fix'ns" that have a mix of traditional bbq (mac n cheese, cornbread) as well as Asian (Chinese water spinach, grilled asparagus in soy and sriracha). And finally near the bottom is a "Sandos" section with a similar mix of American and Asian (BLT and grilled cheese vs. steam buns and Banh mi). I do like the fusion and think it works well if you enjoy a little taste bud confusion. I also tried the 'moonshine' - and I thought I was a whiskey drinker but maybe I'm not sophisticated enough to appreciate the real stuff. (It was clear and definitely packed a punch but without a lot of whiskey flavor - is that moonshine??)

When it comes to BBQ my main concern and interest is always the sauce - I assume if you open a bbq place you can smoke/cook meat. At Dragon Ranch I was more impressed with the meat flavor and presentation than the sauce, and is the main reason I wouldn't say this is one of the best bbq in the city. The four sauces are all good, but I kept trying to figure out which one/combo I wanted to use which means none of them really grabbed me. They have a mustard, a regular, a spicy and an Asian. Our main use for the sauce was on the combo platter (chicken, brisket and pulled pork) as well as a half order of ribs (tried it all!). The meats were all great and the only small gripe would be for a combo plate ($28), you get a lot of chicken, but not a lot of the other meats so you feel a little robbed. The ribs were well cooked with a nice rub, but they didn't have a lot of meat on the bone, and I'm a huge fan of big thick ribs so I can lather them with bbq sauce. Oh well. The cornbread side was delicious. Other items we ordered included some deviled eggs, mac n cheese, grilled vegetable tempura and grilled asparagus. The eggs were fine, tasty but nothing distinguishing, mac n cheese was a little 'soupy/saucy' for my liking but nice and I really liked both Asian style sides. The tempura vegetables were a great finger food because they were cut in small pieces and served with a awesome sweet spicy chili sauce. I also couldn't get enough of the asparagus in the sweet soy and sriracha with crisp rice noodles. We finished the meal with the homemade s'more which was ridiculous - two inch high marshmallow and quarter inch chocolate fudge on homemade crust.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Yuzu Sushi & Robata Grill

I can't believe it's been a month since we went to Yuzu but time flies when you're having fun (or working everyday). Yuzu fits the bill of a small BYO neighborhood sushi spot serving solid food for great value. Small is a key word because there are not a lot of tables so plan ahead and they enforce a two hour limit to make sure they turn tables. Another fun aspect of the authenticity is that communicating with the staff sometimes involves non verbal techniques. All for good fresh fish of course.

I did none of the ordering, which was a nice change of pace. We started with a cool and large green salad with mango and avocado. Delicious and refreshing. The only robata grill item we had was the beef short rib, but we ordered a lot because the sweet miso sauce was fantastic. (An aside: I really like the sushi + robata trend in chicago right now, but few have done it well. Yuzu is what I expect, a nice and small grill menu with simple yet tasty items without complication). We had a veggie tempura as another side (one of my favorite Japanese starters - always a nice change of texture, flavor before sushi), followed by some of the best salmon sashimi I've had in a while. It was a really nice balance of flavor and freshness that gave it a great all around bite. I couldn't tell you which maki rolls we ordered, except one of them came out with crazy looking sauce on the plate (and was very good). I think my favorite roll was a shrimp tempura, with spicy mayo and sweet soy. Really good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

RappEats Recommended 9/19

A few very small changes for the blog here. I still like to eat, but officially changing name to RappEats. Just makes sense. Also updating and going to feature a little more my RappEats Recommended list. It's definitely the number one question I get asked (where do I take...where should I go...what do you think of...). My list of ten restaurants has always been on the sidebar but now I'll have an actual post every few weeks or so with the names as reminder and any changes to the list. You'll notice some lines have multiple listings but by the same group (Sodikoff or Takashi here) or location related (Gilt and Bavette). My update is being heavily prompted by my swapping out 3 of the ten spots this week.

Current list:

Big Star
DMK Burger Bar
Frog n Snail
Bavette's Bar & Boeuf/Gilt Bar
Girl & the Goat
graham elliot
Maude's Liquor Bar/Au Cheval
Takashi/Slurping Turtle

The recent changes involved removing Coast Sushi, Mercadito and Bleeding Heart Bakery and adding Telegraph, Wood, and Frog n Snail. It's not that I don't like the other places, but the recent meals at these three restaurants were extremely good and deserve mention. Coast is still a fun BYO place for a more trendy night out, I love Mercadito for groups and Bleeding Heart was my favorite brunch spot when I lived in Wicker. I'm now on the lookout for another brunch/sushi spot so send them my way! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Frog n Snail

I'm officially a huge fan of Dale Levitski. I've always been a fan - dating way back pre Sprout when he was cooking in the old "Relax Lounge" (now Leopold) space on Wednesday nights until Sprout was launched. I've only been to Sprout once (for my birthday dinner a few years ago) and really enjoyed the experience and have recommended many times. Frog is restaurant number two and is located in my old 'hood of Lakeview on Broadway - an area really taking off with the food scene recently. Everything I read described it as a bistro and I didn't know what to expect. It's not huge but is probably seats more than it looks. The bar is the front area with the main dining room in back. The decor is subtle and clean; I wouldn't call it interesting or super creative but it gets the job done. One complaint is that it felt really loud.

I really like the menu because there are plenty of choices but they keep things well defined without overwhelming. There are two sections of starters (four in each), "Ours" and "Mine, All Mine" - followed by "Leaves" (five choices) and finally "Big Guys" (eight options, half meat half not). Many choices appealed but we settled on fried green tomatoes to start, a lyonnaise salad and shared the Barramundi and beef stroganoff.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I had high hopes for bellyQ, the latest from the amazing Chef Bill Kim, but our experience did not leave us wanting more or planning a return. We were initially surprised by the size of the former OneSixtyBlue space and the warehouse feel. Super high ceilings and a very open dining room with simple four tops and uncomfortable chairs throughout. They do have grill top tables on the perimeter if you wanted to cook your own meat (modern fondue?). Everyone agreed that you get no sense of character inside and a stale feeling with bright lighting and unremarkable soundtrack.

The menu is well organized with many interesting sections and roughly three selections in each. There are belly Bites, salads, sides, wood burning oven, tofu hot pots, tea smoked and grilled succulence. We three men chose two sides (kimchi, spinach salad), two belly bites (crispy tofu and Thai style friend chicken), and one from each of the remaining categories (seafood pancake, lamb rib and Korean short rib). We also finished with the 'soft serve' dessert selection which is vanilla soft serve with passion fruit ice and coconut jellys. Everything looked good but most dishes failed to cross the threshold of having a draw that makes you want to keep eating and come back for more. There are interesting flavors but just nothing that tasty to me. My favorite was the Thai style friend chicken, I'd order that again 100 times. The crispy tofu was an interesting dish too with a nice sauce and steaming hot tofu. The pancake and lamb rib did not have anything special going on, but the Korean short rib served with rice and some interesting sauces had some nice flavors.  I don't know if our bill was reasonable because we only had one round of beer, but for the three of us ordering a decent amount of food it was only $100.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Piccolo Sogno Due

I think Piccolo Sogno is one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. That made me really excited to try the follow up and appropriately named Piccolo Sogno Due. The problem is that the quality of the food is no where near as good as the first. I liked the space, not too large, clean design, nice tables and lighting. The menu is nice, with a solid selection of pizzas, salads, pastas, fish and a few meat options. The pricing is on the steep side, not exactly surprising but definitely positioning for high end Italian. One irony is that while we were there for dinner, we peaked at the lunch menu and thought it looked much better. So much so that we ordered one of the paninis to try. 

In addition to the turkey panini (served with brocolini), we split a simple green salad and tried two pastas - a special linguini with shrimp and scallops, and ribbon pasta with lamb meatballs and mushrooms. Unfortunately everything tasted very bland to me. All around. The panini was ok with turkey and cheese and pesto aioli, but the turkey was dry and lacked flavor. The side of brocolini was probably fine but was in a lot of oil and needed salt. Finally, both pastas were the most disappointing because I'm sure they are made in house, but lacked any flavor whatsoever. The other contents of the dish were good, liked the sauces but even a lot of salt, olive oil or cheese probably couldn't change the taste of the noodles directly. Oh well.

With uninteresting food and high prices it's hard to see myself going back to telling others to go. The menu looks interesting and lunch more than dinner but interesting menus don't taste very good if the food is bland. I'm sticking with the original Piccolo Sogno. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Viaggio Ristorante

This will definitely be short and sweet. My good friends Barisa and Joel have been raving about their favorite Italian place in the city (or at least the closest one) called Viaggio so it was just a mater of time before we all went. [It was two months ago]. Bottom line is that the place is a very solid, authentic and homey Italian restaurant with all the classics. It reminds me of a non-chain (though there are two locations) Maggianos - large affordable family style dishes of no non-sense classic Italian (and the crazy surprise is how hard that is to find in the city). Servers are great and authentic and the decor is decidedly simple and efficient.

We started with the famous meatball salad - which is not what I was expecting. It is literally a green house salad served with meatballs. Quite delicious though. I had a veal parmesan (I think) and tried the spaghetti with meat sauce. I preferred the pasta over my veal but everything was solid good and great value. It's not world class mind changing Italian - but is it ever supposed to be? I grew up with pasta as a comfort food so as long as I really enjoy the dish and sauce I'm a really happy man.

I'm not sure I'd run back but I definitely would return and if someone asked for a similar recommendation I'd be happy to send them Viaggio's way.

Viaggio Ristorante & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I'm really a big fan of Wood - a new spot in Boystown with chef Ashlee Aubin (Alinea) at the helm. It has a great patio for summer nights and a super sexy long and narrow 'wood' theme inside. The bar runs the entire distance and opposite are nice leather semi-moon boths for larger groups. With no reservations I felt lucky to grab a table on a summer night last week.

I like the menu a lot for its simplicity - not a ton of options, most small plates, but all executed well (I'm assuming since I only tried a few). The first section is all small plates, ~12 priced $8-13 follow by a few flat breads, charcuterie, cheese and three 'large plates' (short ribs, half chicken and whole fish). It's a great balance of food that everyone can enjoy with various appetites. All of the food is accompanied by a healthy drink list with an array of cocktails, brown spirits, beer, etc.

We only ordered a few dishes since appetites were small that evening but the three ordered were great: Risotto (with Sweet corn and pancetta), a garden vegetable & herb salad (with Fromage blanc and hazelnut), and finally the flat bread of country ham (with kale and raclette cheese). 

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Peasantry

I was pretty excited to check out this new place in the heart of Lincoln Park from the team that does Franks 'N Dogs. The theme here is "Elevated Street Food." I didn't fully know what to expect it comprises a menu with many different options/sections and each one unique in their own 'off the beaten path' kind of way. [Fish head curry, fried gizzards, frog legs, octopus gyro and lamb tongue to name a few]. The main sections of the menu are starters, gyros, flatbreads, burgers, sausages and pasta with each section having a few different options. The space is small and cozy with a small bar, a handful of tables and a pretty cool open air counter facing the sidewalk with ~5 seats. (that's where we posted up).

The strange thing about the meal is that I liked everything about the concept - except the flavor of the food. And that's a big deal for me. There were plenty of things I would want to try so maybe I can give it a second opinion but based on round one I was not impressed. We ordered the rabbit pasta (best dish), shrimp and lobster roll, triple truffle fries and brussel sprouts salad. Aside from the pasta everything else left something to be desired - which was mostly salt and/or seasoning (even the truffle fries!). If I return (which I would definitely do for drinking with a snack maybe) I want to try a burger, a flatbread and a different sausage. The team knows what they are doing so probably just some kinks to work out. The service was awesome and friendly but I'm not sold yet on the value (many things in the mid teens which seems high). Check it out, give me a reason to go back because it's a fun idea in a great location.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ada Street

This is a win, less than a month after a meal and it's getting posted. I went to check out Ada street for multiple reasons: same team that created DMK Burger (one of my favorites in the city) and Fish Bar, funky warehouse location and a ping pong table with tournaments in the back. I really like the concept and design layout of Ada. It's in a complete unknown location with nothing else around and in an old building long and narrow. After you walk in you must wind your way through a small corridor (where they keep a very nice wine locker collection) and past the turn table (where they offer you the option of picking out some tunes) and end up in a small dining room with a large bar and an outdoor seating area separated by a glass garage door. It was a perfect summer night so eating outside on astro turn on folding tables with plastic picnic table cloth seemed appropriate. The outside is cool and was definitely a driveway back in time but it works with the open sky feel, string lights and cozy feel. Overall though the atmosphere and setting was the highlight; I thought the food was pretty average all around. I like the menu the a lot because it's small but has many options for everyone to enjoy, but I just wish it was tastier. We ate the following: fried green tomatoes, polenta fries, a fish dish (forget), corn chowder soup, beef tenderloin and the daily flat-bread was a vegetarian medley. Favorites were fried tomato and flat bread, soup wasn't bad and beef was ok. 

I think other reviews capture the essence pretty well. Ada is a cool hidden spot that is going to succeed more as a bar than a destination food experience. It's fun and unique, a little funky and interesting. I've heard the cocktails are great which might be a safer bet because our not very large meal with a drink came to ~ $90, which is a lot to ask for that experience. Check it out, it's different, drink heavy and eat light. 


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