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Restaurant Mon Apr 02 2007
Talking to a server at Dodo on Saturday, I found out that their chef had woken at 2 a.m. that day, if not consistently. Then, I saw that TimeOut Chicago named Dodo's Kim Dalton "Best chef to wake up to." None of this should come of any surprise if you've ever experienced Dodo.
Many things bring me back to Dodo. They show kind and down-home style service. Their food is nothing short of amazing. The setting is humble, vibrant and indie. Local artwork (apparently some created by residents upstairs) hangs in the restaurant and the adjacent gallery that you can "hang out in" while you're waiting for a table, as co-owner William put it on a previous visit. Tables are simple. You can see the cooks at the stove and in the back prep room. Servers and bus staff make sure to check in on everyone often. And when something went wrong, like when the kitchen lost our order, our server knew just how to make it right with genuine apologies, complimentary drinks (they don't serve alcohol) and slices of lemon poppy seed pound cake.
Food at Dodo is amazingly savory and well presented. I don't think I'll ever forget my first time. The tofu scram had just right amount of oil to perfectly coat the tongue with each bite. Potatoes, carrots, parsnips, millet and quinoa made the meal very hearty. Bits of tender mushrooms and softened kale, shredded red onion and leeks, a bit of citrus and deep Asian flavors finished it brilliantly.
Perhaps Dodo will become the Lula of Ukrainian Village - even if they are named after an extinct and flightless bird. I'm thinking of what it'd be like to eat here every day. Too bad they're not open for dinner.
935 N. Damen Ave., (773) 772-dodo(3636)