4111 North Lincoln Avenue; 773-472-4111
Browntrout is one of those charming storefront bistros that could either become a neighborhood fixture (à la Bistro Campagne) or disappear prematurely (Tournesol). A lot of Browntrout’s details sound generic—communal table, rooftop garden, farmcentric menu—but the chef/partner, Sean Sanders, doesn’t drown diners in earnestness. The veteran of Bin 36 and Rhapsody throws in giddy stuff like falafel dogs and Spam salads among sincere dishes like the Mint Creek Farm lamb shank with rutabaga smashed potatoes, baby onions, and smoked butter. Truth be told, the seafood-heavy menu’s serious preparations fare better: Canadian walleye, Lake Erie perch, and bouchot mussels, all treated with great care. So what’ll it be, Browntrout: keeper or one-year wonder?
TIP: When the server asks if you’ve eaten at Browntrout before, just say yes.
PLUS: Read the review »
PRICE KEY: ¢ $10 to $19 $ $20 to $29 $$ $30 to $39 $$$ $40 to $49 $$$$ $50-plus
[Cost per person for dinner, excluding wine, tax, or tip]