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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, January 26

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Review Tue May 05 2015

Old School Dining at Tortoise Club

rsz_dsc_0171.jpgNestled adjacent to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, Tortoise Club is a masculine, mahogany-paneled restaurant with an old-school vibe. It's where Ron Swanson could sit alone under the dim lights, eating steak and drinking a couple of glasses (bottles?) of bourbon. In addition to classic steakhouse fare, the restaurant also offers unusual American twists like pheasant pie with foie gras, wild boar Bolognese, and bourbon barrel meatloaf. The menu also contains rare sightings for the nostalgic diner, including oysters Rockefeller, creamed spinach, and baked crab dip.

rsz_dsc_0178.jpgOur choice of steak tartare was simply seasoned, accompanied by waffled potato chips that came straight out of the fryer. The shrimp de jonghe--a dish that originated in Chicago--was tender and buttery, and was fine without the garlic toasts on the side. The Berkshire pork chop, with cheddar grits, was smoky and well-cooked. Given that it was pre-sliced (for delicate eating, I'd assume), I was surprised by how moist and juicy the meat tasted. The roasted Amish chicken was equally tender and savory, although the chef could've been more conservative with the cilantro chili sauce that blanketed the plate. For fish lovers, there was a side selection as well, including whitefish, trout, and sea bass. Dessert comprised of pies and cakes, as well as their house-made ice-cream special.

rsz_dsc_0175.jpgTortoise Club may appear like a Manhattan or mint julep kind of place, but service feels comfortable, and the dark ambiance means you can largely ignore your table neighbors. And for diners who enjoy people-watching in glorious spring weather, there is plenty of outdoor seating as well.

Tortoise Club
350 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 755-1700

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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