jayhoffman | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Re: “Ay Ay Picante

This a real find -- terrific, authentic food in a casual atmosphere. The emphasis is on seafood, although we had a great chicken dish, as well. Portions are huge. The tilapia ceviche was outstanding. BYO. No problem with parking.

Posted by Jay Hoffman on 06/05/2006 at 3:08 PM

This is a well-decorated room with a diverse and creative menu. Our server was excellent. However, the food was a disappointment. The ceviche appetizer had some nice flavor, but the salmon and scallops were a bit hard and falorless instead of fluffy and delicious. And the entrees were a bust. The special pork shank was a big, tough, flavorless piece of meat. We asked for a side of the mole sauce which came with the pork chop, which helped. The beef rib was tender but just OK from a flavor standpoint. And the pork chop was thick but overcooked a notch. Strangely, the sides on all three entrees were bad; it was as if they had tried to get too creative with them. It's a nice place in an area that needs better restaurants. Perhaps they should shorten and simplify the menu. Also, the wine is well overpriced. A glass of Paul Chaneau sparkling wine was $8; the retail price for the bottle is about $7. Just because you have some small producers on your list does not mean that we do not know what they actually cost.

Posted by Jay Hoffman on 05/16/2006 at 1:02 PM

Re: “Apart Pizza

Excellent new take-out pizza place in Lincoln Square. Ingredients are first-rate and pizza (all thin) was great. Only negative was boring and overpriced salad.

Posted by Jay Hoffman on 05/15/2006 at 3:43 PM

Re: “The Melting Pot

I did not pick this restaurant, and my expectations were very low, but this place is horrible. The main course consisted of pieces of low-quality tuna, beef, chicken and veggies, which you put in almost flavorless hot broth, cook to a pale and tasteless doneness, and then dip into a series of lame, mayo-based "sauces." (Green Goddess was the best one; you get the idea.) The appetizer course of melted cheese was a little better, and the melted chocolate for dessert was good (how could you screw that up?). Service is friendly but inexperienced and unprofessional. And the worst part? With a few beers and some wine, our group paid $120 per person for some of the worst food I have every had in a restaurant. Did I mention that the rooms are crowded, noisy, smelly, and packed with tourists, adolescents, and other clueless diners? The video screen showing a loop of a gas fireplace was ther ambiance.

Posted by Jay Hoffman on 02/13/2006 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Los Nopales

This is a wonderful casual restaurant. They make all the basic Mexican dishes, plus a number of more sophisticated entrees and specials. The quality of the ingredients and the care and creativity of the cooking stand out. My favorite dish was the skirt steak with beans and cactus salad. The guacamole is made fresh to order. And the vanilla flan was homemade and terrific. The husband and wife who run the restaurant are extremely nice. BYO.

Posted by Jay Hoffman on 01/04/2006 at 2:36 PM

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Recent Comments

Re: “Caro Mio

This is one of my favorite restaurants. I have eaten here 8 or 9 times, and have always had a good meal The special green been salad is great. So is the seafood rotelle. I generally prefer the pasta dishes to the meat entrees. With BYO, it is an excellent value with great service. The only downsides are a small dining room (try the weekdays or Sunday) and an occasional overuse of salt in the entrees.

Posted by jay hoffman on 04/29/2002 at 10:37 AM

Re: “Chen's

Excellent, creative and healthy food in truly beautiful dining rooms and bars. This will be your favorite Chinses restaurant.

Posted by jay hoffman on 09/21/2000 at 1:15 PM

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