The Bib Gourmands came out in advance of next week’s Michelin Stars, and some places that have deserved attention got it (mfk, Yusho), some that deserved to move up won’t be (Fat Rice), some are conspicuously absent and thus might be up for a star (Parachute, Momotaro), and in a sharp break with Esquire, they picked Ming Hin instead of Dolo. Watch for more Gallic injustice next week. (Tribune for list; Chicagoist for hot take)


Esquire names three best new restaurants in Chicago… and one of them is a Chinese restaurant nobody has ever heard of. Well, except me, who talked it up in the Reader months ago. Even I don’t think it’s one of the best new restaurants… but you know, what good are people from out of town if they only agree with what we all think already? It’s great that someone—possibly the late Josh Ozersky—checked this place (and our Chinatown, which has zero national profile) out and fell in love with a place. It’s even great he had to tell us (well, most of us, cough cough) about a place in our own backyard; it means there’s always more to discover. Try the dim sum, it’s pretty damn good. Oh, and congrats to the other two, Momotaro and Duck Inn. (Esquire)


STK, the alleged female-oriented sexy steakhouse, was asking for it with that descriptor and it kind of gets it from both Michael Nagrant and Anthony Todd. Nagrant in Redeye: “Did it SCK or was it AWSM? …A 20-ounce bone-in rib steak ($51) was ruby-pink inside and caramelized outside to a spent coffee ground color thanks to the 800-degree heat of the kitchen’s charbroiler. The result was finer than the burnt and much more expensive ribeye I had recently at Prime & Provisions,” But side dishes are not as great, leading to a final verdict: “STK does not SCK, nor is it AWSM. It’s just K.”

Todd at Chicagoist: “The steak was absolutely, 100 perfect—and moreover, they paid attention to detail… Unfortunately for STK, most of the non-steak menu was a total disaster. A jumbo lump crab salad tasted like it had been frozen, defrosted and left to sit – utterly without flavor, like a sort of crab-shaped protein bar. The tuna tartare inspired memories of my childhood salt addiction, when I would occasionally furtively tongue the dispenser on the Kikoman bottle – it was basically sitting in a puddle of pure soy sauce.”


So why is everybody opening steakhouses? There might be a clue in the annual list of top-grossing independent restaurants nationwide from Restaurant Business; once again the biggest moneymaker in Chicago is Gibson’s, and others in the local top ten include David Burke’s Primehouse, Chicago Cut, Gibson clone Hugo’s Frog Bar and Harry Caray’s.


The hot dog emoji, championed by our own Superdawg, is real. Imagine if you told Maurie Berman about it in 1949, he’d have said “Listen, pal, what’s with the steel-bodied car with the fusion reactor in the back?” (DNA Info)


Hey, you know what sounds really good right now? A steak. Crain’s ranks the best in town. Or you could just eat your way through Buzz List this week, apparently.


Mike Sula has mixed feelings about new Ravenswood sushi spot Nami, divided right down the menu: “There’s macaroni ‘gratin’ with bacon, mushrooms, shrimp, and chicken; tempura shrimp and grits; and hanger steak bulgogi. There are two different restaurants operating here it seems: one determined to bury mediocre fish in mucky swamps of sweet, creamy sauce and one hinting at an imaginative facility for turning bad ideas into tasty eats.” (Reader)


If you recognize the spelling of “Dancen” you probably read long-ago LTHForum posts about that late-night Korean drinking and grilled food spot. Mike Sula (with the help of blogger Joyce Park) rounds up the whole drinking and noshing scene at the Reader.


Finally open: Rush Street’s giant Maple & Ash, a… steakhouse. (Eater)