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Scylla in Bucktown - WOW! [+Myron & Phil's]

Scylla in Bucktown - WOW! [+Myron & Phil's]
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  • Scylla in Bucktown - WOW! [+Myron & Phil's]

    Post #1 - March 23rd, 2005, 5:55 pm
    Post #1 - March 23rd, 2005, 5:55 pm Post #1 - March 23rd, 2005, 5:55 pm
    My girlfriend and I went to Scylla last Wednesday to celebrate a promotion. I've been itching to try it since I read the menu they posted outside early this year, which you can find on their website.

    Man was it outstanding! I'm guilty of not doing much research beforehand so I was pleasantly surprised. Apparantly the chef is a 28 yo (:evil:) former apprentice at Spring. Having dined at Spring, the style of the dishes were familiar to me, but the apprentice's execution seemed to (on this night at least) surpass the master of Spring and Green Zebra.

    Anyhow, on to the meal.

    We had two appetizers. The first was the celeriac soup with lump crab meat and brown butter. It reminded me of light, more complex she crab soup. The waitress told me they whip the celeriac soup to make it seem creamy without being heavy. I was impressed, although I think they'd do better to serve less soup (it was a big bowl) to make the crab to soup ratio higher.

    The second appetizer was the seared tuna salad. The tuna was a good, nothing real special there. But the accompanying salads were spot on perfect. One had olives and capers(?) and the other was haricot vertes and cabbage with creme freche. The briny olive salad and the tart creme freche salad played off each other with the tuna like a revelation. I was again impressed.

    My girlfriend got the skate wing atop grilled calamari as an entree. The skate wing was lightly battered and fried and was unbelievably tender and light. The grilled calamari and accompanying sauce were equally delicious.

    I got the halibut bracade. I had to ask what this was. It was a thick halibut steak topped with a little creamy, cheesy cod sauce that turned into a crust in the broiler. Underneath the halibut were brussel sprouts and (leeks?) with tart cherries. Again, what an amazing spectrum of flavors that worked perfectly.

    Unfortunately I can't remember the wine we drank with this meal. I don't know all that much about wine, particularly whites, so I couldn't speak to the wine list. The prices started around 25$ and went up I believe.

    We skipped dessert in favor of some apperitifs. One was an Italian Muscat that was quite good. I had to try the Muscat from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - not so good. Oh the macaroon-like pastries they serve with the bill were a great end to a great meal.

    All said, an incredible meal. The best seafood meal I've had - maybe ever! I enjoyed it more than Spring. The price is better as well- the grand total for two apps, two entrees, two dessert drinks and a 30$ bottle of wine was $140.

    vegmojo
  • Post #2 - March 23rd, 2005, 7:35 pm
    Post #2 - March 23rd, 2005, 7:35 pm Post #2 - March 23rd, 2005, 7:35 pm
    vegmojo wrote:I got the halibut bracade. I had to ask what this was. It was a thick halibut steak topped with a little creamy, cheesy cod sauce that turned into a crust in the broiler.
    vegmojo


    Perhaps it was the brandade?

    I keep meaning to post my own review, we ate there on Valentine's Day. It was the last day of BYOB and they couldn't dig up a copy of the wine list they would be using for us to peruse so thank you for posting some info on that.

    I'll post my longer review soon. The short of it is that I'll be back. Sweetbreads appetizer was great and the amberjack with braised short ribs was terrific.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #3 - July 18th, 2005, 10:04 am
    Post #3 - July 18th, 2005, 10:04 am Post #3 - July 18th, 2005, 10:04 am
    Howdy, long time lurker, first time poster. Noticed that there hasn't been much talk about Scylla on the board, which might correlate with the fact that it was pretty dead on Thursday--though maybe they draw a later crowd.

    That said, I was favorably impressed with the food, which manages to be quite contemporary without necessarily being overly pretentious. I believe the chef cooked at Spring, but besides the focus on seafood, the flavor profile does not skew asian; it definitely nods towards the pacific northwest and the mediterranean, reminding me a bit of the better parts of Meritage and Echo. Certainly a place that prefers clarity over boldness.

    I bring all this up because I had an absolutely knockout entree here. I went in with the hopes of tasting one of the meat/seafood combinations like monkfish/short ribs that have been talked about--but it's summer, so of course the heartier sea/land combinations have been replaced; now the pairings seem to a fillet-sized portion of fish with a contrasting nautical counterpoint (calamari, brandade). I ordered walu, which essentially was a super white tuna steak, grilled and placed atop a mixture of mussels, gnocchi and green garlic, with a uni cream base--just a well-thought out, fantastically composed dish, with all the elements offering a series of complentary textures that worked well together and alone. Probably the best single dish I've had this year.

    My girlfriend got a piece of Hawaiin sunfish, perfectly cooked but pretty bland, except the combination of a grilled polenta cake and a silky brandade underneath was divine. We also split a "lobster caprese" salad, which was deconstructed into three segments: a basic salad of summer tomatoes and mozzarella, studded with lobster chunks and drizzled with olive oil and citrus vinagrette, in the center; a tomato sorbet w/basil gelee to the left, timulating the essence of the salad with a different texture definition; and to the right, in a small shooter, a lobster bisque parfait with citrus creme fraiche whose purpose seems to be delivering a intense, flavor forward experience of tasting lobster. None of what was on the plate could be called original, and not all of it was actually good eating, but it was an interesting character study if you're a food academic.

    Dessert was perfectly acceptable but not particularly memorable--some creme brulee flavored with verbana or lavender or something. Exactly what you'd expect to find in a small, contemporary seafood restaurant.

    Entrees are all hovering around the mid 20s, which I think is more than when Scylla first opened; still, given the quality of the food, it was in line with other restaurants. What I particularly liked about this place--oh, and the bread, served with goat cheese butter, was great--is that it has sort of egalitarian vibe; I'd take my parents or other less-food-inclined family members here in a heartbeat, knowing they'll appreciate the food while not compromising my meal either.

    Scylla
    1952 N. Damen
    (773) 227-2995
    www.scyllarestaurant.com
  • Post #4 - July 18th, 2005, 5:00 pm
    Post #4 - July 18th, 2005, 5:00 pm Post #4 - July 18th, 2005, 5:00 pm
    Scylla's among the top seafood places in Chicago in my opinion.

    It struggles, I think, because it's dressy and pricey for its neighborhood. It isn't the kind of food that most people think of going Bucktown for.

    Also, like many new restaurateurs, its young owner has more experience at cooking than at promotion.
  • Post #5 - July 18th, 2005, 5:17 pm
    Post #5 - July 18th, 2005, 5:17 pm Post #5 - July 18th, 2005, 5:17 pm
    LAZ wrote:Scylla's among the top seafood places in Chicago in my opinion.


    And, now I hear that they are no longer doing a Brunch Service. :(

    E.M.
  • Post #6 - September 5th, 2005, 8:42 am
    Post #6 - September 5th, 2005, 8:42 am Post #6 - September 5th, 2005, 8:42 am
    Having eaten at both an unknown kaiseki masterpiece and an unknown pretty damn good burger on the far south side in the last week, I felt the need last night to eat somewhere known, to have my dinner selection validated by Chicago magazine's list of the 20 Top Restaurants That Everyone's Dishing Are Hipper Than New York's. The name Scylla stuck in my head as an example of the sort of place I wanted to eat, and more to the point, be seen eating at.

    Thus began a two hour process in which my putative dining companions threw out driving down to Petey's, driving up to Bob Chinn's, going to Katsu, having Mexican at Don Juan's, going to Myron and Phil's for the burger, having Italian at some damn place, going to Katsu, going to Hackney's for a burger, making hamburgers on the grill, having hamburgers from Wendy's, going to Katsu, and finally we settled on Think. Which, of course, was closed for the weekend, being the one-man operation that it is, so a quick course correction had us meeting a few blocks away at Le Bouchon. Which was closed on Sunday. But next door, possibly drawing the "Hey, looks like Le Bouchon is closed on Sunday" crowd, was a fairly well packed Scylla. And so we went there, couldn't have been easier picking a place.

    The rooms, up and down, are definitely more stylish than they were in Glory days, the highlight upstairs being a series of Tim Burtonish paintings of bigeyed spectral sirens-- the more Goth morbidness enters the mainstream, I'm just waiting for a restaurant to finally go all the way and have black walls and Suicide Girls for waitstaff, etc. (Now that would make the Top 20 Hipper Than New York List.)

    The plus side was the food, in fact the chef may be a graduate of Spring but I liked almost everything quite a bit better than almost anything in my one, rather wan visit there. (Though it took an inordinately long time to decide because I've found that I almost can't read lengthy menu descriptions of this kind any more. My eyes glaze over with the glazes.)

    We had three appetizers, onion tart was fine but the least of them, a salmon tartar/salmon mousse was quite nice, the grilled baby octopus salad, in addition to the writhing tentacles somehow fitting the decor, was really, as the title of this thread puts it, a WOW, perfectly grilled and not at all fatty (if in fact that's possible for an octopus, which I doubt), tart dressing, salty peccorino and bits of salted watermelon under it that worked perfectly. We were all pretty much blown away by that, though not so much that our snarkiness about the menu went away:

    In a PM G Wiv wrote:Grilled baby octopus w/watermelon balsamic glazed watermelon/shaved red onion/fresh mint/pecorino cheese was good, but needed a few more 'cool/hip' ingredients. Maybe they could borrow mission figs or basil gelee from another dish.


    Well, it was more than good, it was damned good. Entrees were generally quite good, too. G Wiv had a monkfish and sweetbread combo in which the crisp-edged sweetbreads were the particular standout, Ms Wiv had duck breast and confit (breast slightly done past where it probably ought to be, but not fatally so), and I had what was alleged to be Tasmanian Ocean Trout (but looked and tasted a hell of a lot like salmon-- and this was after we'd annoyed the waiter by asking how we could be sure the trout was from Tasmania and not New Hebrides or Ascension Island), on top of wild mushrooms and gnocchi in a, yes, I actually ordered this, lemon chocolate sauce. Chocolate and fish? Wild mushrooms and chocolate? Gnoccholate? Didn't really work, as you probably could have guessed, though it was possible to enjoy the fish (whatever it was) on its protective layer of gnocchi without making a hot fish sundae out of it.

    Last up, desserts. And contrary to the earlier comment, I think we all agreed that the desserts were, if anything, the high point of the meal. G Wiv had an ice cream tasting but I think we all agreed that the ice creams on the side of the other desserts were more interesting-- my lemon verbena creme brulee was outshone by a basil ice cream (something I last had at Trio in its heyday), and Ms Wiv's chocolate panna cotta came with an ice cream studded with salted peanut pieces that was a real nice taste/texture/salty/sweet bundle o' sensations.

    Now, the downside. Service was... like this was on the Hippest 20 Places That New York Doesn't Have list or something. When we checked in, hey the place was hopping but not that busy, but you'd have thought they were planning an amphibious deployment in New Orleans by the hustling about and looks of concern as they kept consulting the board for five minutes before finally seating us at one of five empty tables upstairs. I like an unstressed, gracious greeting, not one that makes me feel like I'm checking in late at O'Hare on Random Cavity Search Training Day. And the waiter, well, okay, somebody at our table was wishing he was at Petey's Bungalow and we may not have given off the best vibe, so I'll ignore some customer-waiter tension early on, but let's just point out that they lost at least two drink sales that evening by 1) whisking away a cocktail glass without asking if said drinker wanted another and 2) whisking away the wine list and himself after taking one person's wine glass order and not seeing if the person next to her, peering over her shoulder trying to read tiny type in dim light, might possibly want one too. Pretentious but not polished, that's the service you get too often in these 20 Restaurants Too Hip For You To Have Heard Of Us type places, and we basically did at Scylla.
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  • Post #7 - September 6th, 2005, 9:10 am
    Post #7 - September 6th, 2005, 9:10 am Post #7 - September 6th, 2005, 9:10 am
    LTH,

    As Mike mentioned, Scylla was quite enjoyable, interesting, well executed fish preparations, very good house-made ice creams, even the, seemingly menu mandatory, tuna tartar was well executed and distinctive. On the other hand, and feel free to call me a curmudgeon, it seems to me that restaurants such as Scylla are where chefs, like Scylla's Stephanie Izard, and to a certain degree staff, who are just out of the umbrella of an established restaurant (in this case, Shawn McClain/Spring), test both ideas and boundaries. In other words at Scylla, by design, the staff, both front and back of the house, are ever so slightly out of their depth.

    Venturing out on ones own is a good thing, for example McClain leaving Trio to open Spring, then Green Zebra and the soon to open Custom House was a bonus for Chicago, but Shawn McClain/Spring seems the exception. I don't mean to sound negative, but the constant drone of industrial techno beat on the speakers, a menu rife with every imaginable culinary buzzword and waiters who are not up to the task of a restaurant where the per person tab runs $50-100 are starting to irk me just a wee bit.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    [Edited for clarity]
    Last edited by G Wiv on September 6th, 2005, 5:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - September 6th, 2005, 1:40 pm
    Post #8 - September 6th, 2005, 1:40 pm Post #8 - September 6th, 2005, 1:40 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I don't mean to sound negative, but the constant drone of industrial techno beat on the speakers, a menu rife with every imaginable culinary buzzword and waiters who are not up to the task of a restaurant where the per person tab runs $50-100 are starting to irk me just a wee bit.


    No! These things need to be said. And it's not necessarily negative (with the exception of the waiters not being up to task), but just what it is. I happen to agree with you that the industrial thud-thud is not what I want to listen to during dinner, or perhaps ever--but maybe some do.

    And I could not agree more with your comments about lackluster service. It drives me way from most of the mid-tier restaurants. Although like I said, I think service needs to be discussed more, both in forums like this, but also much more in mainstream media. The quality level of food has gone up a lot in the past several years, but the service element is lagging way behind. And it's particularly disconcerting and annoying when poor service is paired with great food.

    One thing that PIGMON does, that I have learned to love, is that when this happens he will either speak with the General Manager about it in a non-confrontational way, or drop a note describing what he percieved to be a restaurants service flaws. The manner in which management either embraces, rejects, or ignores these customer FYI's speaks volumes about an institution.

    ::

    Mike G wrote:...going to Myron and Phil's for the burger...


    Because G Wiv put burgers on our brain(s), we thought about doing this on Monday, but ultimately ended up at Jimmy's Red Hots/Pozoleria San Juan. (Pozole was just ok). I notice you call it the burger, as opposed to a burger. Is it a great burger? I've heard people say that they liked it...but with all these caveats about how you have to order it this way and that way.

    I go to Myron and Phil's for what comes before the meal--chopped liver, pickled tomatoes, martinis. I could certainly make a meal out of these items alone, but, alas, I do feel compelled to order something when I go. :wink: To have a great burger seems more appealing than ordering a ho-hum steak.

    -trixie
  • Post #9 - September 6th, 2005, 2:32 pm
    Post #9 - September 6th, 2005, 2:32 pm Post #9 - September 6th, 2005, 2:32 pm
    I have never been to Myron et Fils for anything, burger or otherwise, so the use of "the" rather than "a" was simply to say "go to Myron and Phil's specifically for the burger since G Wiv still had burgers on the brain but had failed to convince me to go somewhere even further for a burger, like Petey's."

    As for the techno, sheesh, had it again at Bob San (where, however, I could only have expected it) last night. Let's just say that it is rapidly becoming part of the box set of trendy restaurant cliches that you order from Cutting-Edge Restaurant Supply when you open your place, along with the body-hugging monochromatic shirts for the waiters and a year's supply of mission figs and basil gelee.

    Although I don't object to techno outright-- it seems an honest expression of the personality of TAC Quick, for instance-- there is something about it being everywhere these days that is a little desperate, secretly nerd restaurants trying a little too hard to be one of the cool kids, recently divorced restaurants dumping their collection of Eagles CDs and filling up the iPod with The White Stripes* to seem hip and eligible. If they were really hip, of course, they'd be playing either Brazilian pop (which is always the coolest thing on earth, by definition) or Western swing (which is the squarest thing that isn't genuinely revolting, like easy listening music or Liberace is, and therefore, the coolest thing imaginable on a practical basis).

    As for service, what I really want in a restaurant is a preternatural sense of what I'm going to want in about a minute. What I'll settle for is some sensitivity to the fact that maybe more than one person would want to look at a wine list before you take it away-- for the second time!-- and return it to the vault in which it is stored....

    Harry V's Theory of Restaurant Hipness.

    * No, I'm not saying the White Stripes ARE techno. I'm saying that their core audience consists of people who have a vague sense that hipper people than them are listening to The White Stripes these days.
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  • Post #10 - September 8th, 2005, 8:23 am
    Post #10 - September 8th, 2005, 8:23 am Post #10 - September 8th, 2005, 8:23 am
    trixie-pea wrote:
    Mike G wrote:...going to Myron and Phil's for the burger...

    Because G Wiv put burgers on our brain(s), we thought about doing this on Monday, but ultimately ended up at Jimmy's Red Hots/Pozoleria San Juan. (Pozole was just ok).

    Trixie-Pea, Mike,

    I had still had Myron and Phil's on the brain as I went to Myron and Phil's for dinner last night, couple of drinks at the well managed and convivial bar, while munching on gratis garlic toast, crackers, cheese spread and chips/salsa.

    Move to the dining room where the table is immediately loaded with bialy, black bread, matzo, chopped liver, chopped onion, and a tray with pickled tomato, marinated red pepper and very nice half-sour pickles.

    Between two of us we had Romanian Skirt Steak with a side of burnt onions and a damn good T-bone steak. Baked clams were among the best I've had in quite a while. Dinners come with potato and salad. Service was excellent and prices right.

    FYI, Myron and Phil's burger with burnt onions is only on the late night/bar menu, though they are happy to serve it in the dining room.

    Speaking of Jimmy's, here's a pic or two. Jimmy's is of a style, slightly smaller natural casing dogs, minimalist toppings and great fries.

    Image
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Myron and Phil
    3900 W Devon
    Lincolnwood, IL
    847-677-6663
    http://www.myronandphils.com

    Jimmy's Red Hots
    4000 W Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60651
    773-384-9513
    http://www.gwiv.com/jimmysredhots.htm
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - September 8th, 2005, 8:56 am
    Post #11 - September 8th, 2005, 8:56 am Post #11 - September 8th, 2005, 8:56 am
    G Wiv wrote:I had still had Myron and Phil's on the brain as I went for dinner last night, couple of drinks at the well managed and convivial bar, ...


    It's amazing how a thread about a hip, new seafood place in Bucktown has morphed into a thread about an aging Jewish steakhouse in Lincolnwood.

    I've been to Scylla earlier this year and I quite liked it. I remember excellent soft shell crabs, morel mushrooms, fresh fava beans, and good sauces. I'm not rushing back anytime soon, but there are a lot worse places to eat in Bucktown, IMO.

    Regarding Myron & Phil's: I've been eating there all my life and petit pois and her brother hosted dinner for 10 there for their father's 70th birthday party last weekend. For me, dinner at M&P's gets a little less satisfying on every trip.

    When I was a just a little pisher, M&P's was the height of glamour and excitement in the neighborhood. A lot full of Cadillacs, men and women who wore tinted glasses and too much gold jewelry, a smoky bar, and a supper-club atmosphere that made you feel at home. A steak at M&P's was something to look forward to.

    Today, I am a bigger pisher and M&P's disappoints me on many levels.

    --At our party last weekend, I started eating the chopped liver as an instinct until I realized that it was completely tasteless. Thank god for salt and onions.

    --If I have another limp iceberg and supermarket tomato salad, I'm liable to do something stupid.

    --My skirt steak was unevenly cooked, as it has been so many times there, rare on one end and medium-well on the other. Half of petit-pois NY strip tasted like liver (which is nice for liver, but not for a steak). For some strange reason, my uncle (a steak-lover) always orders Chicken Vesuvio there. Now I know why.

    --I don't go to M&P's for the wine, but the Dominick's wine list (of which they didn't even have fully stocked) is really very disappointing.

    --The atmosphere is starting to feel like the dining hall at a retirement center. At least I could escape to the bar after dinner for a martini and some Barry Manilow from the piano. :?

    The best part of the meal (for me) was the Baskin-Robbin's cake roll that they kindly let us bring in for our celebration. It pains me to blast this place since it such an iconic restaurant in my life, but it's time for me to move on.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #12 - September 8th, 2005, 9:16 am
    Post #12 - September 8th, 2005, 9:16 am Post #12 - September 8th, 2005, 9:16 am
    No one gives the fish and seafood at M&P's any respect, which is too bad, since it is the main reason I go there. From the superbly executed old school shrimp de jonge to the perfectly cooked whitefish, scrod, snapper and grouper, M&P never lets me down as long as I stick to things that live in the water. I never order a steak there. The Chow Poodle swears by their chicken vesuvio, which she deems the best in town, although she alternates every once in a while with a serving of whitefish vesuvio. It's old school and a vanishing breed of restaurant. Some may be happy for that...not me.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - September 8th, 2005, 9:20 am
    Post #13 - September 8th, 2005, 9:20 am Post #13 - September 8th, 2005, 9:20 am
    stevez wrote:No one gives the fish and seafood at M&P's any respect, which is too bad, since it is the main reason I go there.


    I suppose I should have added, to be fair, that the elders at the table enjoyed their meal immenseley. petit pois' mother had salmon that she said was so good it "brought her to tears" and her aunt had whitefish which she loved.

    When I'm forced to return, I will be ordering fish or Chicken V.
  • Post #14 - September 8th, 2005, 9:24 am
    Post #14 - September 8th, 2005, 9:24 am Post #14 - September 8th, 2005, 9:24 am
    We couldn't get away from the Myron and Phil's idea either...

    ImageImage
    ImageImage
    ImageImage

    I do love Myron and Phil's, but I also agree with eatchicago's critique--beat scene and uninspiring food. But they do have stellar service--which sometimes, can be enough to make a mediocre meal taste better. And sometimes I'm in the mood for a surreal, "dining hall at a retirement center" vibe. It's got personality--and it's real--which can be strangely refreshing.

    The burger is what brought us there, so I guess I have to say something about it. We went for the chopped sirloin, assuming this was the burger, and that it would be served on a bun. Instead--it was 2 (per order) large, patties, alone on a plate. Literally-literally a chopped steak. We ordered them medium rare, and they were cooked to perfection. It's too bad the meat had been over-processed to the point of a gummy texture.
    We probably should have obeyed the look of kindly horror in our waitress' eyes when we said "chopped sirloin" but we were on a mission.

    trixie-pea
  • Post #15 - September 8th, 2005, 9:29 am
    Post #15 - September 8th, 2005, 9:29 am Post #15 - September 8th, 2005, 9:29 am
    When I was on my Myron and Phil's kick a little over a year ago, I made the same discovery as you. The fabled chopped steak aint so hot. I do think, however, that the skirt steak with burnt onions rises above the mediocre. It aint cheap, but there IS something good to eat there besides the relishes.

    Thanks for the pics!

    PS
    To continue the digression, my Dad of all people, whose hardly a Chowhound, has been doing a chopped steak tasting (so to speak) across several places--Gene and Georgetti's, etc. He'll never post his results, but I hope to steno for him when his experiments are over.
  • Post #16 - September 8th, 2005, 9:35 am
    Post #16 - September 8th, 2005, 9:35 am Post #16 - September 8th, 2005, 9:35 am
    trixie-pea wrote:We probably should have obeyed they look of kindly horror in our waitress' eyes when we said "chopped sirloin" but we were on a mission.

    Trixie-pea,

    At Myron and Phil's The Burger is the Burnt Onion Cheeseburger, which is only on the bar menu. No picture, sorry.

    Michael, I agree that the chopped liver is bland and could use a heavy does of schmaltz, gribines salt and black pepper, but last night, at least, the skirt steak was spot-on, T-bone cooked to a perfect med-rare, and large, and the baked clams surprisingly good.

    I had not been to Myron and Phil's in a while and, until last night, my thoughts were in-line with yours. Maybe it was the fact we ate late, and the kitchen had plenty of time to get our orders just right.

    Service, as always, was great.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - September 8th, 2005, 3:47 pm
    Post #17 - September 8th, 2005, 3:47 pm Post #17 - September 8th, 2005, 3:47 pm
    Hi,

    Whenever I think of Myron and Phil's, I never quite get beyond the images planted in my brain by Gary a few years ago.

    If I ever went to Myron and Phil's, it would only be on Thursday. I really want to see the show!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #18 - September 9th, 2005, 12:06 am
    Post #18 - September 9th, 2005, 12:06 am Post #18 - September 9th, 2005, 12:06 am
    eatchicago wrote:--I don't go to M&P's for the wine, but the Dominick's wine list (of which they didn't even have fully stocked) is really very disappointing.

    Gai shoyn, gai. You want a place like Myron & Phil's, whose core customers drink only Manischewitz and Mogen David -- and that just on yomtov -- should have a wine list? What're you, some kind of shikker?
  • Post #19 - September 10th, 2005, 12:21 am
    Post #19 - September 10th, 2005, 12:21 am Post #19 - September 10th, 2005, 12:21 am
    Mike G wrote:Although I don't object to techno outright-- it seems an honest expression of the personality of TAC Quick, for instance-- there is something about it being everywhere these days that is a little desperate, secretly nerd restaurants trying a little too hard to be one of the cool kids, recently divorced restaurants dumping their collection of Eagles CDs and filling up the iPod with The White Stripes* to seem hip and eligible. If they were really hip, of course, they'd be playing either Brazilian pop (which is always the coolest thing on earth, by definition) or Western swing (which is the squarest thing that isn't genuinely revolting, like easy listening music or Liberace is, and therefore, the coolest thing imaginable on a practical basis).

    * No, I'm not saying the White Stripes ARE techno. I'm saying that their core audience consists of people who have a vague sense that hipper people than them are listening to The White Stripes these days.


    I sat here and bit my tounge, pondering if I should allow my musically pendantic nature to get the better of me or not, on this one - the pedantic side won.

    With that out of the way, there's a quite distinct subgenre of electronic dance music that falls under the heading of techno. (More specifically the subgenre influenced by the production works of Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson & Derrick May - but so much has been created since those days in the 80's.) An attempt at education as to what the true nature of "techno" describes is quite likely beyond the scope of a simple post here. (But a quick read of the wikipedia post at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Techno_music might help.)

    I appreciated you noting that The White Stripes are certainly not techno (even if "Seven Nation Army" was remixed 87 times in 2004), but even still - there's a misunderstanding often seen in relation to "techno" music. People tend to assume that anything with a synth line and no guitarists is "techno", even some truly wretched examples of wannabe dance music.

    I guess it's much like bourbon and whiskey - all techno is dance music, but all dance music is most certainly not techno. (And, well, even some techno is truly wretched stuff.)

    With that tangential bit of thought behind me, I'll do us all the favor of stifling myself.
    -Pete
  • Post #20 - September 10th, 2005, 9:08 am
    Post #20 - September 10th, 2005, 9:08 am Post #20 - September 10th, 2005, 9:08 am
    Well, let's give the genre a new name, then. How about Dreckno?

    The point, really, I guess is that an astonishing number of restaurants have come to the conclusion that a jackhammer beat and endless repetition are the things most conducive to culinary enjoyment and good digestion.

    To me, in a restaurant setting this music is like bilious yellow bug lighting-- maybe I can screen it out and eat my food anyway, and maybe it makes the moment when I'm sick of being there come sooner, but what it never ever does is enhance my appetite or enjoyment in any way, shape or form. But then, as noted, the hipness at Scylla was, overall, the major flaw in an otherwise very nice restaurant, since it encourages young, impressionable staff to believe that they're better than their patrons because they work at such a hip place. The result is, simply, hipneptitude.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #21 - September 10th, 2005, 10:54 am
    Post #21 - September 10th, 2005, 10:54 am Post #21 - September 10th, 2005, 10:54 am
    Don't know 'bout you, Pete, but I get ALL my info from Pitchfork.
  • Post #22 - September 10th, 2005, 12:54 pm
    Post #22 - September 10th, 2005, 12:54 pm Post #22 - September 10th, 2005, 12:54 pm
    Mike G wrote:Well, let's give the genre a new name, then. How about Dreckno?

    The point, really, I guess is that an astonishing number of restaurants have come to the conclusion that a jackhammer beat and endless repetition are the things most conducive to culinary enjoyment and good digestion.

    To me, in a restaurant setting this music is like bilious yellow bug lighting-- maybe I can screen it out and eat my food anyway, and maybe it makes the moment when I'm sick of being there come sooner, but what it never ever does is enhance my appetite or enjoyment in any way, shape or form. But then, as noted, the hipness at Scylla was, overall, the major flaw in an otherwise very nice restaurant, since it encourages young, impressionable staff to believe that they're better than their patrons because they work at such a hip place. The result is, simply, hipneptitude.


    I could see that being an annoyance, for certain.

    I've been to quite a few places that "get it" when it comes to setting a mood with electronic music without being annoying (the inobtrusive downtempo at Blackbird being the first to come to mind, along with the music at Leo's Lunchroom during my last dinner there), but I could easily see it being done poorly and just ending up annoying.

    Could it also be a volume issue? I personally don't care for the idea of restaurant-as-nightclub, as I find most such places do neither very well. (With the exception of Wednesday nights at Moonshine, but that's a whole 'nother animal.) If I'm shouting over my meal while seated at dinner, I get annoyed quickly - I do enough shouting in bars and clubs, a simple conversation over a meal shouldn't require it as well.
    -Pete
  • Post #23 - September 10th, 2005, 12:58 pm
    Post #23 - September 10th, 2005, 12:58 pm Post #23 - September 10th, 2005, 12:58 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote:Don't know 'bout you, Pete, but I get ALL my info from Pitchfork.


    I've never read Pitchfork, to be honest. I get inundated with enough information from day to day without seeking it out there.
    -Pete
  • Post #24 - September 13th, 2005, 5:11 am
    Post #24 - September 13th, 2005, 5:11 am Post #24 - September 13th, 2005, 5:11 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Whenever I think of Myron and Phil's, I never quite get beyond the images planted in my brain by Gary a few years ago.

    If I ever went to Myron and Phil's, it would only be on Thursday. I really want to see the show!

    Cathy,

    Unfortunately, Thursday men-with-bad-rugs, and the women who love them, night at Myron and Phil is no more. I'm glad I got to witness it, a rare treat, in a Jane Goodall sort of way. :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - July 16th, 2006, 11:09 am
    Post #25 - July 16th, 2006, 11:09 am Post #25 - July 16th, 2006, 11:09 am
    G Wiv wrote:FYI, Myron and Phil's burger with burnt onions is only on the late night/bar menu, though they are happy to serve it in the dining room.


    trixie-pea wrote:We went for the chopped sirloin, assuming this was the burger, and that it would be served on a bun. Instead--it was 2 (per order) large, patties, alone on a plate.


    Last night I had a craving for a martini and a burger and little fuss. Remembering G Wiv's advice, we headed to the bar at Myron & Phil's. At first we were given the regular dining room menu and I was reminded of trixie-pea and PIGMON's chopped steak dinner. After a short conversation with the very friendly manager, he brought us the late-night menu and mentioned that it had not been updated in a while. The menu was missing his the newest burger, what he called a "flatburger": 10oz of ground sirloin with Merkt's Beer Cheese and sauteed onions (he recommended it on dark rye). I ordered one of those and petit pois order a mushroom burger with burnt onions.

    Both burgers were delicious, and something I'd definitely return for. The dark rye was a little to fresh for the juices of the burger, so I did have to go at the second half with knife and fork, but it was equally as enjoyable.

    The old-school bar and delicious burger have renewed my enjoyment of Myron & Phil's (although I could do without the frozen foodservice french fries). It's nice to know that there's a friendly piano bar with good martinis, good burgers, and free valet parking that's not too far from home. For the cost-conscious, keep in mind that two burgers, two martinis, tax, and tip will run you about $65. (This does include chopped liver, pickle tray, bread basket, salad, fries, and the free valet).

    And now the story of how I might have influenced Myron & Phil's lunch menu:

    After we were done, I was discussing the burger with the manager and he told me that it was inspired by the cheddar burgers at Superdawg and Poochie's. I mentioned that I rarely ever order the burger at Poochie's because I'm such a huge fan of the char salami, a sandwich he had never had there. He mentioned that Myron & Phil's cooks their round salami slices in the deep fryer for their lunch salami sandwich. When I described Poochie's slab-cut of char-grilled salami, his eyes lit up and he said, "You just changed our salami sandwich." As he walked away and into the kitchen, we heard him yell to the chef, "We're changing the salami sandwich!"

    I'd be surprised if he's not having lunch at Poochie's today, and if the salami sandwich on their lunch menu isn't different this week.

    On our way out, while waiting for our car from the valet, Larry Estes, the owner of Max's Italian Beef and U Lucky Dawg, pulled up to a chorus from the valet staff: "Hey Larry, did you bring us any beefs? Hot and dipped?" :)

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #26 - July 16th, 2006, 12:16 pm
    Post #26 - July 16th, 2006, 12:16 pm Post #26 - July 16th, 2006, 12:16 pm
    As coincidence might have it, Friday evening I was enjoying a round of "novelty golf" at a birthday party just down the street from ta-da! the legendary Myron 'n Phil's. Had my LTH-o-meter not been on the blink I would've suggested cocktails there instead of Chicago magazine's new hotspot Happy Village(no, I didn't choose it because of the bizarre listing...and lord, how the bar clientele in that neighborhood's changed...halter tops and too-tight hip-hugging jeans---and that's on the men, buh bump bump!). Funny that M&P gets bumped back just as I was about to do a search. Ghosts in the machine.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie

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