Brett Anderson jumps back in the review game with a 3 BEAN trip to tiny Gert Town stunner Kin this week: Despite the challenge of getting a seat if your party is bigger than 3 people, "Chef-owner Hieu Than and his primary partner, chef Nhat "Nate" Nguyen, return the favor" by marrying "the risk-taking spirit of a gritty pop-up with the slick execution of a modern kitchen." Behold, the fifty shades of Kin's fall bounty:
Brown-skinned game hen rides a nutty-flavored bed of brown rice and barley, cooked risotto-creamy and sharpened with a heady dose of ginger... The lamb shank is the stuff of a Lidia Bastianich master class. It falls off the bone onto a plate of roasted parsnips, fennel, carrots and polenta, all moistened by a raspy lamb jus.
Three Beans indicates a very good experience, and Anderson notes that these young chefs have "the chops of star students." Word.
Moving on to Ian McNulty, who finds that the food backs up Nina Compton's claim-to-fame at Warehouse District hotspot Compère Lapin: "This restaurant makes a case that even those jaded to culinary celebrity would be hard pressed to resist, with refreshingly original, readily approachable dishes that really do have something to say" and pull from various cuisines. Italian-inspired hamachi crudo, island-inspired hot fried chicken. Thumbs up for bar program and service. Thumbs down for the bathroom, which is far away and kind of hard to find, as the restaurant is in a hotel. [Advocate]
Also this week, Helen Freund heads to Uptown's upscale Sicilian eatery Avo: Chef Nick Lama pays homage to his family's Italian heritage (and also does a killer hamachi crudo) at this rustic yet modern beauty inside the former Martinique Bistro. Seasonal handmade pastas and seafood dishes make it sound like just another Italian spot, but "there's no shortage of creativity behind the kitchen doors" and the lasagna delivers "cold weather comfort." [Gambit]