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  • Flat & Point

    Post #1 - April 24th, 2019, 2:59 pm
    Post #1 - April 24th, 2019, 2:59 pm Post #1 - April 24th, 2019, 2:59 pm
    BBQ on Fullerton near Central Park - anyone been? The website doesn't look particularly promising but maybe I'm being too critical. Commencing my annual post-BUG dinner diligence and this at least has the right coordinate west.

    3524 W Fullerton Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    (773) 904-7152
  • Post #2 - April 24th, 2019, 3:16 pm
    Post #2 - April 24th, 2019, 3:16 pm Post #2 - April 24th, 2019, 3:16 pm
    Ahmad Shareef wrote:BBQ on Fullerton near Central Park - anyone been? The website doesn't look particularly promising but maybe I'm being too critical. Commencing my annual post-BUG dinner diligence and this at least has the right coordinate west.

    I checked out their menu via an Eater piece (<scroll down for menu once you get there) about a month ago and my initial feeling was that it was really expensive, especially given the location and that the Eater piece specifically mentions "without the high costs." Fwiw, it seems that prices are not listed at their website. In any case, I'm sure I'll check it out sooner than later.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #3 - April 24th, 2019, 3:25 pm
    Post #3 - April 24th, 2019, 3:25 pm Post #3 - April 24th, 2019, 3:25 pm
    I'll give it a try but the prices do make my eyes bleed. I'm willing to pay a premium for certain things when I feel that there's an added element in the preparation (Galit and Mi Tocaya are two examples). For barbecue, to quote Samuel L. Jackson, "that better be one charming mother*** pig" (or brisket).
  • Post #4 - April 25th, 2019, 7:54 am
    Post #4 - April 25th, 2019, 7:54 am Post #4 - April 25th, 2019, 7:54 am
    Ahmad Shareef wrote:BBQ on Fullerton near Central Park
    It is a stretch to call them BBQ...
    flat & point is barbecue inspired - the art of cooking with fire. but, we don't like to consider ourselves a typical barbecue restaurant. we are a chef focused restaurant that takes in consideration all different styles of open fire cooking, and classic cooking techniques.

    More like simple flame grilling and probably over a wood fire.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #5 - April 25th, 2019, 9:55 am
    Post #5 - April 25th, 2019, 9:55 am Post #5 - April 25th, 2019, 9:55 am
    If the restaurant takes any inspiration from the lakefront stand, then it's absolutely real barbecue, and pretty good. I just hope the stand stays open with this new shop, as I bike past it on the lake front trail all the time in warm months. Real wood, real smoker. Perhaps that will be lost with the larger space, but what came before was legit.
  • Post #6 - April 25th, 2019, 1:44 pm
    Post #6 - April 25th, 2019, 1:44 pm Post #6 - April 25th, 2019, 1:44 pm
    I dined recently. I like what they are striving for; upscale takes on BBQ with high quality ingredients but in a casual venue. Had the Chicken & Beans and the Burnt Ends Truffle Mac 'n Cheese.

    The chicken dish was attractively plated but the chicken itself was too dry and if eaten on its own (without skin or any of the delicious ramp pesto) a bit bland. The skin and the accompaniments were very flavorful though. Likewise the other dish suffered from very dry meat - but the pasta and cheese were quite good; there was enough truffle oil to be present but not overpower the dish. If the proteins were more moist/flavorful, considering the portions (rather generous - I was served a half bird and enough Mac 'n Cheese to share) I was fine with the price (though be aware they do tack on a 4% fee automatically for employee health insurance).

    The vibe was laid back and pleasant and the staff was friendly. I will give them a couple of months to try and improve the execution on the meats. If they can fix that, it is definitely I place I'd consider frequenting periodically. If the meats remain that dry however, there is no point sourcing higher quality meat, and therefore not worth the higher price point.
    Twitter: @Goof_2
  • Post #7 - April 26th, 2019, 1:35 pm
    Post #7 - April 26th, 2019, 1:35 pm Post #7 - April 26th, 2019, 1:35 pm
    I had a really nice meal here the other night. Now that I've been, I think I grasp the concept . . . chef-driven dishes powered by live-fire cooking, some of which is bbq and some of which is not. Only in the very loosest sense, maybe an apt comparison would be to Asador Etxebarri in Spain (very loose). In any case, we had several dishes, all of which were really darned good. At Flat & Point, you walk in, order at the counter, take a seat and your food is brought to your table as it's ready.

    The heart and soul of Flat & Point seems to be this bad boy . . .

    Image
    Fatstack Offset Cooker
    I can't recall ever seeing a rig like this operating inside a building in the Chicago area. Here, it's positioned so that the smokestack is directly under the vent hood. It's a very clever and practical set-up. And as much a showpiece and workhorse as this is, the focus of Flat & Point is definitely not 100% on bbq.

    We started our meal with a couple specials . . .

    Image
    Smoked Lamb Terrine | ramps, pea shoots, pickled mustard seeds & onions
    Sensational dish all the way around. It was tasty, with great definition and delectable sauce . . . and those ramps (in which the terrine was wrapped) were dead, solid perfect.

    Image
    Pulled Pork Cannelloni | mushroom duxelle, pecorino, pea shoots
    This was another winner. Really nice noodles, delicious pork filling and an intoxicating dollop of duxelle. It was so good, I was scooping up the extra sauce with my spoon.

    Next up, were the truffle confit potatoes . . .

    Image
    Truffle Confit Potatoes | kennebec potatoes, brisket fat, truffle-parm cream
    The brisket fat used here seemed to be pre-smoked trim. Either way, I was pleased that there was no discernible smoke here because I think that may have been a distraction. The potatoes were delicious - lightly crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. And the truffle-parm cream was appropriately pungent. In the background, the filling of the cannelloni is visible.

    Unlike the account above, the meats we had as our mains, (different ones than ordered above) were anything but dry . . .

    Image
    Snake River Wagyu Brisket | creamed spinach and potato gratin

    This slab of wagyu brisket was unctuous, tender and -- in spite of a fairly visible smoke ring - only mildly smoky in flavor. I'd say from the grain that it was mostly point and a touch of flat. It was accompanied by a generous mound of creamed spinach, atop a slice of rich potato gratin. This dish was just excellent from end to end. If the objective here was to elevate the main component, I think it was achieved very well. The gratin and the spinach were both delicious. I know it's somewhat of a no-no to lay too much praise/focus on the side dishes at bbq spots. But again, this isn't really a bbq spot. So there. :P

    Image
    Slagel Farm Pork & Polenta | porchetta, polenta, sauerkraut, fennel, apple butter, dijon
    What I enjoyed about this dish were the textural variations in what was obviously a very well-made porchetta. It was crispy around the exterior - fatty and then tender nearer to its center. I'm not a huge fan of savory and sweet together, so for me personally, that's where this one missed the mark. But again, that's just me. This was a very well executed dish.

    It does seem like an unlikely location for the concept and for the price point but I'm guessing the powers that be did some research and selected it knowingly. Total cost for our meal was around $100 (included tax, tip and one glass of wine), so definitely not inexpensive, though given the provenance of the ingredients, skill/creativity level in the kitchen and quality of the plates, there is clearly value here. My companion paid for our meal, so it worked out well for me :D

    Our visit was at about 8 pm on a Thursday and there was only one other group of customers in the place while we were there. But I'm guessing this place will pick up steam in the next few weeks.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #8 - May 9th, 2019, 2:40 pm
    Post #8 - May 9th, 2019, 2:40 pm Post #8 - May 9th, 2019, 2:40 pm
    Needless to say, Sula put it better than I ever could have . . .

    at chicagoreader.com, Mike Sula wrote:Yes, the barbecue gods are cruel, but no one's nastier than petty Yelpers. Bruns continues to catch grief from people expecting cheap, traditional barbecue. To be fair, so much dreck has been passed off among the glut of new barbecue restaurants that have opened in recent years that people have cause to be suspicious.

    But Flat & Point's pricing is quite reasonable relative to the high-performance, quality­-sourced, and confidently creative food he's putting out. Here's a tip: Don't come expecting barbecue as you know it. Think of it as a gift from the gods.

    Flat & Point isn’t your Pawpaw’s barbecue

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - May 10th, 2019, 11:23 am
    Post #9 - May 10th, 2019, 11:23 am Post #9 - May 10th, 2019, 11:23 am
    Ronnie, you and Sula have convinced me. I'm gonna head tonight after BUG, maybe ride a Divvy straight up Central Park from Garfield Park. I'll provide another data point if I'm not too drunk from all the mediocre craft beer to remember what I have. Thanks for all of the feedback.
  • Post #10 - May 11th, 2019, 7:58 am
    Post #10 - May 11th, 2019, 7:58 am Post #10 - May 11th, 2019, 7:58 am
    So, I really liked this place. And I think what they are doing is fun and useful. But first, as a fair warning, do not go yet if you get crabby about service issues. We walked in around 8 to a half full restaurant and were counseled across the street to Doubles for drinks - it was clear later why - and because we were generally in a pretty good mood and not in any particular hurry, we went ahead and obliged rather than heading over to el Habanero. 25 mins later they texted and asked us to come over. 15 mins after seating and after some hemming and hawing we saw a server and later they actually took our order. Again, we were fine with this given the circumstances and they were really nice and accommodating other than the timing issues.

    We got mushroom toasts, pickles, pate (terrific), burnt end Mac n cheese, pork and polenta, a schnitzel special and the cheeseburger (and maybe something else I am forgetting) and cocktails and some beer and wine. It took a really long time to get the food, but they were really gracious and the vibe was terrific - people having fun and the owners liberally hanging out and engaging - and once the drinks started flowing we were fine. The only miss was the burger. It looked amazing coming out to another table, but ours was overcooked to the point that even melty American couldn’t resuscitate it. And they were out of brisket, which was a shame. But man, the pork n polenta and schnitzel (over lentils, an interesting prep) were awesome. We walked out around 11 happy and full.

    It’s a pretty limited menu as you can see in the link above, but they had a few specials to augment. I’m gonna be back soon to support it, but probably without kids until they tighten things up a bit. This is a worthy addition to the city. Happy for it and us.

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