The Dawson Is Designed to Appeal to Everyone All the Time

The new West Town hangout has it all, from pork belly tacos to funnel cakes.

Rene DeLeon saucing a New York strip steak   Photo: Anna Knott

This newbie has one of those menus that are engineered to appeal to everyone—pork belly tacos, hamachi, Mughlai curry, Waldorf salad, posole, funnel cakes—but make you wonder if they appeal to anyone.

On the other hand, the “cheap and cheerful” 200-seat American spot from Billy Lawless (Gage, Henri) and Branko Palikuca (Topaz Cafe, Amber Cafe) also has Rene DeLeon, the former sous chef of Next, in the kitchen, and his presence erases any doubts. Diners can sit at a snazzy zinc bar and watch DeLeon’s crew turn out hearty fare such as a buttermilk-fried prime rib eye with horseradish mashed potatoes, white gravy, and homemade honey-dipped buttermilk biscuits ($28).

Sounds like a crowd pleaser, all right—unless there are cardiologists in the crowd.



Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Note: To serve its readers better, Chicago has migrated its comments to Disqus, a popular commenting platform. Please feel free to contact us with any feedback.