Recent Reviews

Re: “Kuma's Corner

OH MY GOD THE MUSSELS. I have had mussels at a LOT of places in this city but these were HUGE and so fresh and buttery and garlicy and delicious. Bad grammar be damned! These mussels rocked. There were enough there to almost be a meal for two. Instead of crusty bread with the mussels the bread is on the bottom softening up in the broth.
My dining companion had the Kobe burger. Gigantic and delicious. I snagged a bite of the meat while he wasn't looking. Extremely flavorful beef. Not my style as it is covered in fried egg but it was devoured by my companion. I had the strip steak special which was an 8oz cut instead of the menu's 12 oz cut. This was more than enough me. This came with bacon mashed potato and sauteed spinach. Perfect accompaniment to the snowy cold night outside. Wide selection of bourbon and beers and a friday night drink special of 1/2 price bottles of wine. They had some sort of special each night. Beer as a whole was little on the expensive side with most about $5 for a draft or bottle. Overall though it was definitely worth the trip. The waitstaff is super friendly. Attentive but not intrusive. They know the menu and know what they like so don't be afraid to ask for a suggestion. What a treat! We will definitely be back.

Posted by Marta Conlon on 01/20/2006 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Villa D'Oro

We went for an early dinner on Saturday afternoon and were the only customers in the restaurant. We were greeted immediately at the door and offered our choice of smoking or nonsmoking though the other two employees were smoking so the smoke was still present. Didn't bother us though. The waitress came right out and took our drink order. We informed the waitress that this was our first time here and she was very helpful in explaining the different menu items and warned us not to order too much because the portions are huge. We started with Clams Casino. Nothing too fancy but it tasted great. Not oily and the ingredients were fresh. We also had soup (came with our entrees). I had the Cream of Mushroom Soup and my partner had the minestrone. Their soups are homemade and they were fantastic. The mushrooms were big and still somewhat firm (no slimy overcooked from a can mushrooms here)lots of other flavors from other vegetables. I wish I could comment on the minestrone, but my partner ate it all before I had a chance to try it. The bread is brought to the table steaming hot and is made from leftover pizza dough from what I could figure, but it is delicious.
Entrees were tortellini with a homemade marinara sauce and a combo plate of lasagna (the house specialty) and eggplant parmesan. The lasagna was good, but the eggplant was fantastic--honestly one of the best I have ever had. Everything was smothered with cheese and lots of fresh marinara. Lots of juicy tomato chunks.
This restaurant is old Chicago. The decor is 70's family style Italy at best, but the fresh ingredients and friendly staff are a great addition. I definitely want to go back for the pizza. The prices are reasonable and the portions are quite generous. Lots of carryout pizza orders came in for pickup while we were dining and there were families coming in for dinner as we were leaving. We will definitely be back.

Posted by Marta Conlon on 11/02/2005 at 10:38 AM

Re: “Opart Thai House

This is the first trip to Opart and given all of the Thai restaurants in the Lincoln Square neighborhood this is clearly superior. Newly decorated dining rooms. Very friendly, helpful staff. Don't miss the Tiger Cry appetizer (tender slices of marinated beef with a side of spicy Thai hot sauce)! Soooooo delicious. Portions were a healthy but manageable size. Saw many beautifully prepared dishes coming out of the kitchen. Food was incredibly fresh! I will definitely be back.

Posted by Marta Conlon on 02/03/2005 at 8:47 AM

Re: “Brasa Roja

My boyfriend and I went in for dinner on a Saturday night. The place was busy but not crazy. The wonderful aromas are the first thing that hits. Fire-roasted chicken, rabbit and lamb. A carnivore's delight! This is a simple but very nice storefront restaurant. The decor will not blow you away but the place is clean, the service is friendly and it is the best bang for your buck around. Similar food can be found at Tango Sur or Las Tablas but you can't beat these prices. $10 for a steak-and-chicken combo that is falling off the plate with the best ever yuca (moist and crisp instead of dried-out and hard) and a delicious plantain. The arepas con queso were great (a corn pancake with cheese). A very subtle flavor, but with the salsa's on the side it wows your mouth. I live in the neighborhood, but for everyone else it is definitely worth the trip. BYOB with decent wine glasses. Highly recommended.

Posted by Marta Conlon on 02/02/2005 at 5:32 PM

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