Bib Gourmand recipient TWO ( 1132 W. Chicago Ave.; 113two.com ) has at least two things going for it.
One is its extremely telegenic staff, almost giving the impression that one has to be a model in order to be hired. Our server, Oscar, was as friendly as he was handsome, and the few others ( male and femaleincluding Oscar's brother ) who were there wore smiles on their lovely visages. Then, there's General Manager Yamandu Perez, a Chilean-turned-Uruguayan who exerted a certain smugness ( saying at one point that he probably gets away with saying things because he smiles so much ) who was charming, nonetheless.
Then, there's the food ( with Perez saying that everythingincluding cheeses and sausagesis made in house ). There are some combinations that may seem like they wouldn't work, but they do.
For example, there's a dish with asparagus, homemade brioche, maitake, poached duck egg and wild onion vinaigrette: It was wonderful. Then there's ricotta cavatelli, which comes with English peas, homemade sausage, red-pepper harissa and honey-roasted almonds.
However, there are also more traditional items that impress, like gulf prawns with chili vinaigrette; and the double cheeseburger, served with mile-high fries in a formation that seemed to resemble a game of Jenga.
My dining partner and I agreed that dinner did not live up to the rest of the meal, unfortunately. The half-baked blondie ( with raspberry sorbet, oranges and salted caramel ) didn't quite workbut TWO has some intriguing alternatives, including a goat cheese-and-ricotta cheesecake as well as puppy chow.
Regarding drinks, you must try Gleaming the Cube, consisting of Langley's, sparkling wine, fresh lemon juice, green-tea simpleand a hibiscus tea and Radler ice cube. As the cube melts, it transforms the taste of the drink.
Hamburger Mary's on 'Undercover Boss'
There will be a viewing party to mark Hamburger Mary's being on the CBS show Undercover Boss.
The event will take place Sunday, May 15, at 8 p.m. at 5402 N. Clark St. Ashley and Brandon Wright, the co-owners of Hamburger Mary's, will be featured on the episode.
See "Hamburger Mary's on 'Undercover Boss' Viewing Party" on Facebook.