Flyover Friday - Why do you keep calling me "Calvin"?

David Luhrssen's review of K2 Grill  and Susan Harpt Grimes' review of Chef Paz, both for Milwaukee's Shepherd Express

We get two reviews in the Shepherd style this week, published on the same date. I'd be interested to see the print edition; why not just give more space to one full-sized review than two of the usual short and breezy ones?

Serena Maria Daniels' review of O'Samurai for the Detroit Metro Times

We are in the re-80's decade, trend-wise. At least this place is doing retro well, and not just for retro's sake.

Molly Abraham's review of Selden Standard for the Detroit News

Less than a year since her first review of Selden Standard, Abraham is back to remind readers that despite the fact that we're in the midst of a good bit of talk about Detroit's burgeoning dining scene (1, 23, 4) already, this place still exists and she still likes it.

Mecca Bos' review of Birdie for Minneapolis' City Pages

Fun concept, nice to see these kinds of experimentally culinary things popping up in the Midwest.

Cheryl Baehr's review of The Libertine for St. Louis' Riverfront Times

Really have to work to remind myself that this isn't Minneapolis' Libertine. Chef changes are almost always interesting to witness. This one appears to be working out.

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

It's a fine review, but so long. You can stop at the early paragraph where Nagrant reveals that there's some pretty obviously race-based (or race-intended, anyway) dress code policies at STK that would certainly inspire me to never unload a single cent, to say nothing of 50, at this restaurant.

Polly Campbell's review of Smoq for the Cincinnati Enquirer

A couple of curiously spelled restaurants in a row. Smoq surely would have been Smoque had there not already been a Chicago restaurant with the same name. But then, see Libertine above. (It has also been around for quite a while before getting this review.)

G.A. Benton's review of Bono Pizza for the Columbus Dispatch

Maybe it's the funky formatting, but this seems like an unusually insubstantial Dispatch review.

Yours truly's review of Estrellón for Madison's Isthmus

Listen: Estrellón is really good. But it's definitely highlighting the problems Tory Miller has put on the record, about keeping good staff in Madison's restaurant scene. There was some stunningly bad service at adjacent tables to ours on more than one visit. I know the job market is what it is, but hoo boy, I hope the smattering of L'Etoile veteran servers Miller has working at Estrellón can get the edges honed.

Samara Kalk Derby's review of North and South Seafood & Smokehouse for Madison's Wisconsin State Journal

An interesting story, North and South. Formerly Joey's, then the chain broke down and individual franchisers were allowed to retain the name if they wanted. Our Joey's did, for a while, and is now North and South. I was invited to a preview service here; I'll probably blog about it some time soon. Short story: the joint's got promise.

Sarah Baker Hansen's review of The Market Basket for the Omaha World-Herald

It's a restaurant name that just doesn't inspire confidence, I have to say. Feels like Hansen's intentionally needling somebody -- the restaurant? the reader? -- with the conspicuous if factual reference to tomato as a fruit.

Ian Froeb's review of Twisted Ranch for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I kind of wish Froeb hadn't led with Back to the Future, because now I can't shake the feeling that this review was held until there could be a pop culture-y tie-in. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to write a high-concept Taco Bell review for when we get to Demolition Man Day in 2032.

Blade staff's review of Berger's Old Tyme Bar and Grill for the Toledo Blade

Holy crap does that name scream 1993 or what?

Mike Sula's review of Lure Izakaya for Chicago's Reader

Don't call any food item "Astroglide," no matter the temptation.

Carol Deptolla's review of La Masa Empanada Bar for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Welcome back, Carol! Milwaukee's gotta lure her out of the office. This is a careful step back into reviewing, but hey: back is back.