“Tarte flambe”?



**** (4 stars)

Guildhall is a reliable restaurant with a nice ambiance both inside and on the sidewalk. The menu offers a fair variety of American bistro food with nods to some international cuisines.

You just can’t take the menu dish names too seriously. For example, “Tarte Flambee” has no characteristics in common with a tart, and is not flambeed. It’s actually a flatbread with a generous layer of cheese and ample piles of bacon. And it’s big enough to serve as an entree, or for a table of four to share as an appetizer.

Yet the other appetizers we tried were much, much smaller. The delicious Ahi Tuna Crudo was just five small bites. And the also good smoked salmon was five slightly larger servings that were two or three bits each. Both would be a good appetizer for one person.

We also shared the seared shishito peppers. These were good, but were far spicier than I’ve had elsewhere; perhaps it was just this batch, but we ended up seeding them to make them more palatable.

Squid Ink Bucatini was just so-so. The shrimp and calamari were generous, but the bucatini was overcooked. Because it is essentially spaghetti with a hole through the center, it is very delicate, and needs a defter touch.

The Guildhall Burger was the best entree we tried. It was generous and juicy, topped with nice condiments and veggies, and served with well-crisped fries.

Skip the espresso, which is very bitter.

Service wasn’t quite at a fine dining level, but was certainly adequate, and sufficiently attentive for an enjoyable meal on a very busy Father’s Day evening.

694 Vernon Ave
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 835-8100

Reilly’s Daughter

Burger and crisps

Chicken tenders

**** (4 stars)

This bar became a full-service restaurant with the May 2017 remodeling of the Midway foodservice.

The intimate space is hard to find because it’s not really visible except from the back of the food court. As a result it may be possible to be seated, even when there are long lines at other places. That may not help you beat the rush, though, as service can be quite slow. But if you aren’t in a rush to catch your flight, this is a good place to hang out, away from the bustle of the airport, and the food is good.

I had the bacon cheeseburger, and it was much better than typical airport food. The patty is smashed thin and cooked within an inch of its life, but this gives it nice charred edges. The bacon and accompaniments were excellent, and the bun had some texture to it. The accompanying potato chips were house made, crunchy and good.

My companion didn’t care for her chicken tenders because they were very thin, more like planks, but I liked them, and the accompanying barbecue sauce.

To me, this is one of the best options for killing time at Midway.

Reilly’s Daughter
5700 S Cicero Ave
Midway Triangle
Chicago, IL 60638
(773) 838-1496




Egg ramp garlic peas

Foie gras, melon gaspacho, tea

Crab, apple, avocado

Corn soup

Mushroom tortellini



Yuzu, cherry and peach tonic


Rose lime kiwi / strawberry white coconut (below)

Goosefoot Chocolate

***** (5 stars)

If you assume that fine dining is an inherently serious business you need to check out Goosefoot. Chris and Nina welcome you into their “home” and cast aside the pretensions and stuffiness, providing a fun experience of discovery and camaraderie.

The multi-course tasting menu features twelve dishes of stunning beauty and complexity, each served in a unique and playful way. It’s remarkable that two people (and an unnamed helper in the kitchen) can provide this level of culinary and service perfection.

Each dish is accompanied by a story, delivered individually, often by Chef Chris, who interacts with guests table by table and course by course more than I’ve ever encountered. How he finds time to cook and arrange each delicate offering is beyond me.

The restaurant seats no more than twenty people, in a single, synchronized seating.

On the service side, it would be easy to assume that with only one person–Nina–providing all the service for the restaurant, details such as place settings and napkins replacement, ice bucket refreshing and so on would be impossible. You’d be wrong. Service was consistently at Michelin level.

You might also assume that a BYOB restaurant would have minimal glassware, but again you’d be wrong. A full set of Riedel sizes was available and provided, matched to each wine guests brought.

in the end, the two things I will remember most about Goosefoot are the beauty of the food, and the ebullience of our hosts.

Goosefoot is one of the best fine dining values in Chicago, and it’s certainly the most lighthearted one.

2656 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 942-7547

Howells & Hood

1/2 Bacon cheeseburger

1/2 Ahi chopped salad

Sea bass ceviche

Korean wings


**** (4 stars)

This is a really delightful place to sit outside under the forest of umbrellas and enjoy a summer day. The inside is equally expansive, but seems a bit confined compared to the lovely outside space overlooking the plaza.

The menu is eclectic American bistro, with some sports bar touches. The beer list is very well organized and described, with many representatives of all styles, and is claimed to be Chicago’s widest selection.

We started with the Sea bass ceviche, which wasn’t really a ceviche at all, but more like a thickened lime soup with vegetables and some pieces of completely cooked sea bass added at the last minute, rather than raw fish “cooked” by the lime juice. Still, it was good.

We also tried the Korean chicken wings. These had a very crispy, almost crunchy crust, and were slathered with a spicy sweet sauce. Delicious, but thank goodness they came with two wet wipes per person, as my fingernails are still orange!

For entrees we had the kitchen split a burger and salad. The Bacon Cheeseburger was perfectly cooked, juicy, served on a bun with some substance so it didn’t disssolve, just the right accompaniments of lettuce and sliced onion, and with nice crisp bacon. Pretty much a perfect burger.

The Ahi Chopped Salad was also excellent. Despite the name, the tuna is not chopped, but rather coated with togarashi spices, seared rare, and thinly sliced. The rest of the ingredients were indeed chopped: napa cabbage, romaine, bok choy, bell peppers, daikon radish, and green onions. It was finished off with mandarin oranges and crispy wonton strips, and lightly dressed with sesame ginger vinaigrette. Delicious.

Despite the fact it was obviously our server’s first day (and we were possibly his first table) service was excellent. We liked everything we tried, and really enjoyed our entire experience. I’m glad Howells and Hood is close to us, and I wish we’d tried it sooner.

Howells & Hood
435 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 262-5310

Chicago Curry House

Delivered items are very well packaged. This is a single vegetarian dinner, plus just three additional items.

*** (3 stars)

This review is for delivered food. The online menu (via GrubHub) is very extensive, and offers all the standard Indian fare, plus a number of Nepalese items.

The complete dinners are very complete indeed. The Curry House Vegetable Special Dinner was very extensive, with four entrees: dal makhini, palak paneer, aloo ghobi and navratan korma. It came with basmati rice, naan bread and kheer. They were all good if not great, and medium was plenty spicy.

I also ordered papadums, which arrived very crisp and delightful, although the accompanying cilantro and tamarind chutneys were thinner than I am used to.

In addition to naan, I tried the garlic naan. both were fine for sopping up sauce, but they didn’t travel as well as the other items, and should probably be broiled upon arrival.

My favorite item wasn’t Indian, it was the Nepalese Vegetarian MoMo appetizer, a sort of cross between dim sum and a samosa.

The pricing is very reasonable, particularly since the vegetarian dinner all by itself is enough for two people to share.

Chicago Curry House
899 S Plymouth Ct
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 362-9999