Monday, June 20, 2011

Boka Group 86s Landmark

The hobo cookie, definitely.

If you had to pick the item on the Landmark menu that signaled that the end was near, it would have to be the massive chocolate chip confection that looked as if it were baked in a Campbell's soup can. No, they didn't intend for it to be shared by the table. To their credit, it was called Gigantic Chocolate Chip cookie on the menu. But nothing could have prepared me for its mass. It really was if they let a creative eight-year old come up with the dessert. The can shaped cookie was unsophisticated and an embarrassment, even to the server who presented it.

Boka Restaurant Group has a pretty good thing going. Perennial Virant opened in May (you could say it reopened but it was altered and improved beyond compare) and is turning out incredible food. Boka remains a safe bet and there's a 10-week wait for a table at Girl and the Goat (I'm going in mid-July).

So, the news that Landmark has closed and will reopen with a new chef and name (Balena, which is Italian slang for fat man) isn't surprising. Chris Pandel, who will run the kitchen, hails from The Bristol on Damen. He worked previously at Tru and Cafe Boulud in New York. He doesn't arrive at Balena with the buzz that Paul Virant still has, but I'm expecting good things in time for the 2011-2012 Steppenwolf season.

1 comment:

Kristine said...

Speaking of poorly named restaurants... The Girl and the Goat? Really? Was it good? Telluride has entered the game again with the new bar/tapas place named "there." Imagine all the confusing conversations about where we are meeting for drinks? Miss you Katie! Your writing is as brilliant and fresh as ever! Kristine