Stephanie Izard recently revamped the menu at her two-year-old Bucktown boite, and if a visit in the middle of last weekend’s $#*&% ice storm was any indication, she has taken a quite fine restaurant and thoroughly knocked it out of the park. My new review is online here.
A few things that didn’t make it into the finished capsule: the rustic Italian table wine, dirty with sediment, that went surprisingly well with the refined, Mediterranean-inspired grub and the alcoholic Fresca of a cocktail that kicked off the evening, a blend of brut bubbly, limoncello, Bacardi limon, and thyme. The bilevel space itself also deserves a bit more attention: both dining rooms are small enough to be intimate (and the way the seating is tucked into nooks and under staircases and behind hanging panels of fabric enhances the effect) but not so Schwa-level teeny that you can’t help scoping out, and being scoped by, everyone else in the room.
Really, I can’t think of anything bad to say about this place (except that, ahem, everyone should remember to lock the door to the unisex bathroom when they pee). It’s only March but so far it gave me the best meal I’ve had this year.