Taza Cafe

Gyro Plate

Falafel Sandwich



***** (5 stars)

Extremely friendly staff in this counter service restaurant make it special.

I tried the gyro platter, which came with lentil rice, hummus, a falafel, salad, and pitas. It was very good, especially the gyro meat coated in tzatziki and spicy sauce.

Even better was the falafel sandwich, a generous serving of falafel, lettuce, tahini, spicy and a very fresh pita pocket to hold it all.

Definitely one of the best choices for fast Middle Eastern food in Chicago.

Taza Cafe
176 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 201-9885

Bar Ramone


Citrus-Cured Hirame

Bigeye Tuna Tartare

Parmesan & Manchego Marshmallows

Bloody Mary Shrimp

Duck Confit Poutine*


Japanese Ice Fish*

Galician Octopus*

Lamb Meatballs*

Basque Cheesecake

Crema Catalana

***** (5 stars)

This is definitely another win for Lettuce Entertain You, much better than Bottlefork, which it replaced. The space is largely unchanged, narrow and deep, with a bar along one side. It’s not just a small plates restaurant, but actually closer to a true tapas bar, with many traditional Spanish dishes, and a few twists or completely new creations.

Our favorites were the tuna tartare, which was particularly savory as a result of being mixed with black rice and garlic aioli, and the Japanese ice fish, tiny little fish served in an udon-like broth.

We also liked the duck confit poutine, with its crispy potatoes and rich sauce; I thought it would have been just as good without the duck!

Octopus, lamb meatballs, bloody mary shrimp, and caulini (a cauliflower broccolini cross) were all good. Parmesan & manchego marshmallows were interesting, a jiggly cube of cheese-flavored goo. The only dish that left us cold was the rather flavorless hirame crudo.

Desserts were also standouts. We couldn’t pick a favorite between the creme Catalana with its bitter orange flavor and the Basque cheesecake, which was infused with amaretto.

Although it’s a wine bar, you won’t find very many familiar choices on the list. Wine by the glass are on the back of the one-page menu, but there is a more extensive bottle list. I’d say the emphasis on both is fairly obscure.

Service was good, especially considering we were there opening night and the place was packed. This is definitely a welcome addition to the River North dining scene, and especially to the local Spanish tapas selections.

Bar Ramone
441 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 985-6909

P.F. Chang’s



**** (4 stars)

This is a chip off the P.F. Chang’s block, pretty consistent in all ways. Maybe a bit higher ceiling, a staircase, a more prominent bar, but definitely P.F. Chang’s.

There are some interesting new lunch menu bowls, if you haven’t been in a while. The Bibimbap and tempura bowls were both interesting, although the beef in the Mongolian bowl was probably the best.

P.F. Chang’s
530 N Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 828-9977