3868 North Lincoln Avenue (entrance off Byron Street); 773-327-3868 Contemporary American
The chef/owner, Carol Wallack, over from Deleece, takes a Hawaiian and Asian perspective on American cooking. Sola is a sleek and noisy bi-level space done in shades of brown, beige, and ocher—down to the brown butcher paper on cream-colored tablecloths. Waiters are sharp in describing the tasty trio of tuna tartares accompanied by ginger confit and Thai cucumber salsa. Purely Western and simply delicious, puffy artichoke fritters come with a soy dipping sauce and white truffle honey aïoli. Wallack grows mangoes, pineapples, and bananas in the backyard of her home in Hawaii, so watch for fresh fish paired with those fruits. The braised short ribs rock, but even better is the five-spice duck breast with brandied cherry ginger demi-glace, wonderfully matched by a complex 2002 d’Arenberg Footbolt Australian Shiraz ($38). Mainland American flavors come to the foreground in a fine pecan molasses cake with bourbon caramel, pecan brittle, and buttermilk ice cream.
–D. R. W.
Chicago Magazine May 2006
Best New Restaurants 2006
The restaurant is contemporary and lively- almost too lively. A lack of fabrics and hard wood floors make conversation at a larger table impossible (or was it that loudmouth boozy broad complaining about the lack of "sshingle men worth a sshit" While Chicago Magazine gave it $$, With a couple of bottle of wine and two desserts- dinner for 7 was $500. When we asked for additional date bread during the cheese course we were charged $2.00 for the extra triangles. CLASSY! A plus was the big outdoor seating area and overall the food was tasty