A tangle of charred octopus tentacles over shelling beans gets a bit of a spark from shishito peppers at Smyth, a newly opened restaurant in Chicago. Tribune’s food critic Phil Vettel wrote: You couldn’t ask for a better homecoming than the one that John B. Shields and his wife, Karen Urie Shields, have created on Ada Street. John was sous-chef for Charlie Trotter for two years, then was sous-chef for Grant Achatz for the first two years of Alinea. Karen was pastry sous-chef under Gale Gand at Tru for two years before jumping to Trotter’s for five, the last two as head pastry chef. When the Shieldses left Chicago in 2008, their collective resume was already impressive, even if name recognition was scant. Handed the opportunity to open Charlie Trotter’s new restaurant in Las Vegas, the couple went in the opposite direction, heading to rural Chilhowie, Va., to open their own restaurant…Now the Shieldses — at this point very much known in the restaurant community, thank you very much — are back in Chicago with a triumphant restaurant that justifies every nice thing that’s ever been said about them. At Smyth (pronounced “smith,” in case you were wondering), the Shieldses have achieved that very tricky balance between culinary excellence and unaffected informality. Photo by @bzdak / Chicago Tribune #octopus #dining #chicagodining #octopus #food #chef @smythchicago
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