wbaumgar | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Our party of nine ordered a large assortment of Yunnan appetizers and main courses and enjoyed every last bite. Highlights for me were the chicken with cumin and chiles, as well as the smoked duck, but even the spicy kelp (!) starter came out of the kitchen as a tasty delight. I should also note the pork and mushroom dish (with several kinds of fresh mushrooms that you will not find at Jewel). And don't miss the grilled lamb appetizer, served on wood skewers. Service was warm and gracious, and I thought it was endearing when the waitress asked me twice if I was sure I wanted the pork belly. I was, and it was yummy. This is unusual food - cooked with skill, and delivered with charm. Go!

Posted by wbaumgar on 03/07/2011 at 12:23 PM

Re: “Double Li

I like Chinese food and I've been going to Chinatown to get it for more than 30 years. That said, Double Li is a revelation. I've been twice, and both meals were fantastic, featuring really well-made, out-of-the-ordinary Szechuan dishes -- subtle and interesting, not blow-you-away hot.

This evening, after some lovely appetizer preliminaries, my wife and I had the black pepper garlic beef. It featured high quality slices of steak (not that common in Chinatown) done up with some combination of spices that eluded me (and I can usually figure these things out). Complicated and delicious. We accompanied that with the Szechuan green beans, which had a different flavor profile but, again, was spectacularly interesting. It was like eating the gustatory equivalent of a Mondrian painting.

Service is gracious, the restaurant is quiet, the prices are reasonable -- this place is really special.

Posted by William Baumgartner on 08/08/2008 at 10:35 PM

Re: “Ed's Potsticker House

This is a terrific Chinese restaurant, with lots of unusual and well-prepared dishes to choose from. We showed up mid-day on a Sunday and found the place filled with Chinese families who looked to be enjoying themselves. Enjoyment is certainly what followed at our table. We got some interesting cigar-shaped dumplings that were just delicious, followed by a beef-pancake dish that was an absolute revelation. Service was friendly and quick, and the restaurant was attractive inside and spanking clean. We'll be back soon.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by William Baumgartner on 08/07/2006 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Volare

We showed up 10 minutes early for an 8:30 reservation. There were around 40 people waiting for a table (the restaurant doesn't seat many more people than this). At 8:40, we asked the hostess how much longer she thought we would need to wait. She shrugged her shoulders, said she did not know, and told us that we needed to talk to the manager if we wanted an answer to that particular question. We said "fine - where's the manager?" She said she didn't know. We asked what he looked like. She said he was a short fellow.

We can't comment on the food because we left at that point.

We don't plan to try again.


Posted by William Baumgartner on 07/17/2006 at 4:31 PM

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