Flyover Friday - What you expect

Mike Sula's review of Johnny's Grill for Chicago's Reader

This feels like a review custom-made to draw comments of a certain level of ire. Replacing a long-lived and much-beloved diner with a semi-froofy take on a diner and saying it's "mostly for the better" is a stick in the eye. Sula does that, though. (And the comments bear this suspicion out -- well, except for the bot comment that the Reader adorably lets sit like a fart in an elevator.)

Charles Ferruzza's review of República for the Kansas City Pitch

A savvy take on what seems like a truer representation of tapas than most small-plates menus offer. Also, a quick read compared to most of Ferruzza's reviews.

 Susan Harpt Grimes' review of Izumi's for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

Speaking of quick reads -- four paragraphs, really? Even a revisit review of a classic operation deserves a little bit more, no?

Michael Nagrant's review of GreenRiver for Chicago's RedEye

"Kind of like the Rich Melman of New York" is such a Chicago comment, as if Danny Meyer and his restaurant group's 26 James Beard awards need/merit that kind of qualification. He's all right, if you like New York restaurants.  Anyway, lots of time spent on the cocktails here, and very little on the food.

Serena Maria Daniels' review of Onyx Steakhouse for the Detroit Metro Times

Already the second review this week (see also: Mike Sula's Reader review) to mention tabletop hot rock cookery. Also a touch condescending to millennial diners ("the kiddos") but who's counting.

Molly Abraham's review of London Chop House for the Detroit News

At first glance, this revisit menu offers what the Shepherd Express review doesn't. There's length, and more discussion of the food than one might predict from a Molly "But what color are the table runners?" Abraham review -- until you think about it, and none of the food commentary really strongly implies that she's taken one bite there. She could have watched these dishes being sent out of the kitchen and had the same things to say.

Rick Nelson's review of Saint Dinette for the Minneapolis StarTribune

Bologna sandwiches, smelt, and a mention of Montreal cuisine for which my ears can't help but prick up at? This review -- this restaurant -- was crafted for me and me alone and it will be mine. A long, almost feature-y review from Nelson, who frankly excels at that kind of coverage.

Mecca Bos' review of L'Etoile du Nord for Minneapolis' City Pages

The other L'Etoile of the Midwest. To call this a review of effusive praise might be underselling it. But Bos paints a convincing picture, from the scene inside the kitchen to the product on the plate.

Polly Campbell's review of Mita's for the Cincinnati Enquirer

A 5-star review from Campbell leaves little question that Mita's is a restaurant worth visiting.

Beth Segal's review of Paris Room for the Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Pepper Pike"? "Chagrin Falls"? Has the greater Cleveland area been named by R.L. Stine? I don't know whether Segal or the Paris Room needs to settle with the French references; I think both.

G. A. Benton's review of Rivage Atlantique for the Columbus Dispatch

I would not order the ribs on a menu replete with oceanic delights. And after reading Benton's description, even though I'm not sure if it's meant to be praise, criticism, or something in between, I for one would definitely not order them.

Your humble content aggregator's review of Hamilton's on the Square for Madison's Isthmus

In case you can't tell from the review, I'm really happy to have Rob Grisham back in a Madison kitchen. I think the service might be a bit too chummy -- my lunch trip was a non-stop conversation attempt from the bartender, even after my food arrived -- but I quite enjoyed Hamilton's all the same.

Samara Kalk Derby's review of El Rancho Mexican Grill for Madison's Wisconsin State Journal

There are some minor cornball elements that mark a Derby review, but all in all, this is a really good review. I appreciate the reference to the I'm Here semi-ghost storefront that El Rancho replaced, even if it is inserted a bit abruptly.

Ian Froeb's reviews of Yiro/Gyro and Tazé Mediterranean Street Food for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The first half of this review: yum. The second half: ew. Froeb's usual review pace is quickened slightly, a little punchy, for the segmentation of the review into two distinct pieces. Good stuff.

Blade staff's review of Treo for the Toledo Blade

It's been a while since I've complained about the Blade's food photography, and the lead photo isn't terrible, but man, get your dang finger shadow out of the shot! (The less said about the second photo, the better.) "Relics from some Jungian nightmare" gets points for being evocative, but I don't know of what.

Phil Vettel's review of Next (the Terroir menu) for the Chicago Tribune (and handy Google link)

If memory serves, this is our first Next review for Flyover Friday. Vettel's made a habit of reviewing every single menu change (unless he skipped some while I was ignoring the Tribune for its paywall), to the chagrin of some who wonder where the value is. The value, for me, is that this is a fun read. I'm not likely to visit Next any time soon, but this review carries the experience very well.

Mike Sula's review of Bernie's Lunch & Supper for Chicago's Reader

Sula bookends once again. These last two Chicago reviews highlight the confounding of expectations; this last one is a mashup of two Flyover Friday cities into one restaurant: a strongly Middle Eastern Mediterranean menu from a Detroit restaurant group with a vaguely Southern/Appalachian design and service aesthetic. Didn't see that coming.