Dove's Luncheonette | Wicker Park/Bucktown | Latin American, Mexican/Southwestern | Restaurant
click to enlarge Dove's Luncheonette

Dove's Luncheonette

Andrea Bauer

Tex-Mex diner from the team behind Big Star.

Our Review

With its stainless-steel counters and communal tables, wood paneling, and jukebox that spins soul and blues 45s, the Mexican diner from Paul Kahan and company's One Off Hospitality is a singular spot—like other nuevo diners in terms of quality yet very much its own creature. The food, by Dennis Bernard, up from One Off's Publican, is an expansion on Big Star's tacos and antojitos. The sole taco features smoked brisket piled with pico de gallo, lightly drizzled with a chile vinaigrette, and topped with a few gnarled chicharrones. Dove's torta ahogada, filled with melted Muenster and smoked ham, is dry on top, sitting neatly in a pool of sesame-sprinkled sauce with a pile of pickled onions to the side. The chicken-fried chicken, however, is positively smothered and covered in a creamy chile verde gravy. Dove’s delicate chile rellenos are filled with a fluffy ricotta-like farmer cheese and fried in a very light, crackly, tempura-style batter with admirable adhesion. Two of the large plates are essential eating: the enchiladas and the posole rojo. The latter dish's intensely porky depths are swarming with hominy and luscious meat that falls apart at the touch. Dove's also offers a pair of ceviches: a pristine diced cobia and a tomato-shrimp cocktail that has none of the familiar sweet ketchup-y notes. And don't skip the vegetables and sides, including a dish in which shishito peppers and crunchy smashed and fried potatoes are bonded with a creamy aioli and coated by a blizzard of queso fresco. Apart from a few varieties of house-made ice cream, desserts are outstanding Hoosier Mama pies, including a horchata-themed pie as subtly cinnamon spiced as the drink. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$
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