Having gone to Fiddlehead Cafe in its first week of transition from Square Kitchen, we thought it would be nice to go back when things were more settled. The second meal was much better than the first.
The food was solid: I would recommend the arugula and truffle flatbread. The crust was crisp, without being overdone and the flavor combination was just right. The cauliflower soup, with a goat cheese quenelle at its center, was also quite tasty.
My only complaint was with what seems to have become the most common (and annoying) verbal tic of servers these days: the dreaded "Have you been here before?" in an attempt to ascertain whether you need the menu decoded. Whether I have been to a place before or not, I always want to say, "how hard is it to read a menu?" This is particularly true for the wine list at Fiddlehead, which has several symbols next to each wine to illustrate the various flavors and bodies. It is truly like Garanimals for wine. How hard could it be to understand?
I went to Volo two Saturday nights in a row. The first time I went with my partner at about 9pm. It was freezing out and the place was crowded, but the staff was wonderful and got us seated quickly. They tucked us in the back of the front room at a table where we could sit next to each other, instead of across from each other. We proceeded to have a terrific meal of smallish plates. Three dishes stood out: the flatbread pizza with serrano ham and pineapple (of all things), the pan seared snapper, and the pecan pie.
When we went back the next weekend with another couple we were again welcomed into the restaurant. We had all the great dishes from the weekend before, and added a few new ones including the mussels and the cheese plate. In addition to the meal we had delicious, and reasonably priced, bottle of wine. The host/owner was happy to see us again and made a point of coming over to check on us.
I would highly recommend this place because it has great food and service without being at all stuffy. Volo is the best kind of neighborhood restaurant where you can a good meal for a decent price.
We went to Gale St. on our way home from O'Hare. It is directly across the street from the Jefferson Park El stop and is clearly a neighborhood joint. While it took a while for the waiter to take our order, once he did the service got better. The wine selection appears better than it is -- when returning I would stick with a cocktail or beer. Our soup and salad (which comes with all entrees) came almost immediately. Both the salad and the black bean soup were not much to write home about, but since the place is supposed to be a great rib joint, we forgave them. The ribs were good, but not great. The meat easily came off the bone and they were quite moist. I did not opt for extra BBQ sauce, but that might have given the ribs more flavor. I was most impressed and surprised by the sautéed spinach I order in an attempt to control my french fry consumption. The spinach was perfectly cooked with olive oil and garlic. It was scrumptious.
The restaurant is huge and regularly accommodates large parties. I am not sure I would go out of my way to return, but I will keep it on my list of places to stop to get out of traffic on the way home from the airport.
Marigold serves innovative and delicious nouveau-Indian food. We had a fabulous meal from start (make sure to try the naan, raita, chutney, and samosas) to finish (the crème brûlée was perfect).