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Daisies - Logan Square Pasta Restaurant

Daisies - Logan Square Pasta Restaurant
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  • Daisies - Logan Square Pasta Restaurant

    Post #1 - November 20th, 2017, 10:34 am
    Post #1 - November 20th, 2017, 10:34 am Post #1 - November 20th, 2017, 10:34 am
    While this place was covered in the openings thread, my dinner at Daisies this weekend was good enough to suggest the need for a separate thread. My wife and I arrived there at 8:30 after a warm-up at Websters Wine Bar down the street. The place was packed, and loud, but in an energetic way.

    The menu isn't huge, and is clearly focused on modern vegetable-centric starters and pastas. There are two mains as well as a special or two, but we stuck to the core. Not everything was perfect, but everything was at least very interesting, which makes me want to try more. Our meal:

    Carrot rillettes were essentially diced cooked carrots with a dose of duck fat. They were ok, but suffered following a snack of real rillettes at Websters. What did rock were the pickled carrots on the side. These were sliced thin and cooked to the texture of noodles with a vinegar punch. I would love to recreate these at home.

    Raw butternut squash salad with brown butter was our favorite dish. The waiter, who was very engaging, noted that it was a specific heirloom breed of squash (which she also helped us find online for the garden next year) that made the dish work texture-wise. The crunchy and sweet squash held up to rich brown butter. Very interesting idea.

    For mains, my wife enjoyed the very beet-y beet agnolotti, which I passed on trying as I am not particularly fond of the vegetable. I had the homemade tajarin, which was a lovely rich pasta accented with chicken cracklings turned to breadcrumbs. It was very nice, if a bit rich.

    The wine list is also unusual, as it is all US-based wine but not the usual suspects: Ohio, New York, Illinois and Michigan all sat beside California, Oregon and Washington. Styles and grapes varied as well: who pours a skin-contact trousseau gris by the glass? We ended up with a red blend from Cruse in California which was very nice and interesting to try since we usually drink more European wines.

    All, in a very nice spot and one I plan to revisit soon.

    Daisies
    2523 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    (773) 661-1671
    daisieschicago.com
  • Post #2 - September 12th, 2018, 4:45 pm
    Post #2 - September 12th, 2018, 4:45 pm Post #2 - September 12th, 2018, 4:45 pm
    I had been mentally boycotting this pasta-focused, plant-oriented restaurant because it opened in the Analogue space - and I loved Analogue.

    However, I had heard some interesting things about the pastas here and was looking for a new place to try in the neighborhood.

    In short, the pastas we tried were excellent. As was a grilled cauliflower dish with calabrian chiles. A carrot "rillettes" dish (quotes = mine) was fine, but the seeded flatbread it was served with was fantastic and was even better after I requested butter with it.

    Their menu changes so frequently that I cannot recall all the details of the pastas we tried. I think one was a fava bean leaf pesto with agnolotti. The pesto had just a hint of favas and the (I think) cheese-filled agnolotti were a good pair. The other pasta was a shape/variety that I don't see as often and it was cooked perfectly al dente and dressed just so.

    I looked at their menu now to try to refresh my memory and it has mostly changed over. But the new offerings also look very intriguing. For posterity:

    fried pierogi w/honey, farmers cheese, peach jam

    cauliflower a la plancha w/calabrian chiles, parmesan, pine nuts (referenced above: this was great)

    eggs benedict w/roasted mushrooms, heirloom tomato, mustard hollandaise

    scrambled egg bruschetta w/black truffle ricotta, publican sourdough

    tajarin carbonara w/ tajarin noodles, bacon, onion, black pepper

    potato latke w/ sunny side up eggs, smoked whitefish, greens, pickled red

    hot ham and cheese sandwich w/ shaved ham, horsey sauce, whiz, sage potatoes


    Pick a couple of these and it could be a light, satisfying dinner. They are having fun and cooking starches very well. I will return.

    Daisies
    Address: 2523 N Milwaukee
    Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
    (773) 661-1671
  • Post #3 - September 12th, 2018, 10:56 pm
    Post #3 - September 12th, 2018, 10:56 pm Post #3 - September 12th, 2018, 10:56 pm
    I've eaten at Daisies a few times and I admit that at first I felt the same antipathy about it not being Analogue that gg describes above but the quality of their fare -- excellent from the outset -- has steadily improved since the beginning, and has won me over in a major way. This kitchen seems to be hitting their stride. Last week our group had a phenomenal dinner there. We sampled virtually everything on the menu and came away immensely satisfied. With the possible exception of Giant, I don't know of any place in town putting out better pasta than Daisies.

    Here's are the highlight dishes from our meal. All these dishes I'd happily order again:

    Starters:
    Onion Dip | ridged potato chips
    Cauliflower | Calabrian chiles, parmesan, pine nuts
    Fried Mushrooms & Cheese Curds | buttermilk tarragon dipping sauce
    The Overpriced Tomato | bone marrow, Publican sourdough, balsamic

    Pastas:
    Tortellini with lentils, collard greens & pork sausage
    Ravioli with black truffle ricotta, corn, cilantro & cheddar
    Linguine with ramps, grapes, bacon & egg yolk
    Pappardelle with mushroom ragu, basil & parmesan
    Cavatelli with zucchini, mint, feta & bottarga
    Chitarra with sun gold tomatoes, pecorino, olive oil

    The only item we had that I didn't love was a pork dish, possibly a pork porterhouse (website currently lists a roast loin, but I'm not sure that's what we had). It was fine, but the sauce was a bit sweet for my taste and the beans that accompanied it seemed just a bit under-cooked.

    We sat in the back room, where it was pretty loud. In spite of that, service was stellar in every way. We opted for cocktails but given what we ate, a bottle of wine would have almost certainly been a better choice. Oh well, that'll be something to look forward to on our next visit.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - September 13th, 2018, 7:17 am
    Post #4 - September 13th, 2018, 7:17 am Post #4 - September 13th, 2018, 7:17 am
    I've been twice and would like to second (or fourth, as the case may be) the previous praise.

    The first time, I had some sort of butternut squash salad (perhaps the one that tazerowe mentioned) which was light and perfectly balanced -- everything it should have been. I don't quite remember the pastas we had, but I remember fond feelings about them.

    The second time, we had the aforementioned cauliflower dish, to which I would like to add my unqualified praise. Again, light and perfectly balanced. I also had the gnocchi with fava pesto, which was perhaps the best specimen of that pasta I've ever had. They were cloud-like -- exquisitely fluffy while retaining their structural integrity, complemented perfectly by the pesto.
    The best food is well-spiced and well-fattened.
  • Post #5 - September 13th, 2018, 7:42 am
    Post #5 - September 13th, 2018, 7:42 am Post #5 - September 13th, 2018, 7:42 am
    I'm glad someone found an existing thread and moved my post here. I tried searching for something and had not found it.

    I think Ronnie and I must have been there around similar times because the menu he posted looks very familiar. I think our second pasta was the papardalle he listed. It was excellent and really showed off the cooking to al dente chops of the kitchen.

    Regarding wine, I wasn't tickled by any of the cocktails but saw a Cab Franc from Ohio on the list. I haven't seen much Ohio wine on lists so I asked the waiter about it and he enthusiastically told me about the 100 year old wine it came from and a bit of history of wine in the Ohio river valley. I ordered it out of curiosity and it was fine but I was impressed by the wine knowledge and verve of the waitstaff - which it seems by tazerowe was also praising in his initial post I didn't see (at least in the construction of a US-focused list). Another point in Daisies' favor.
  • Post #6 - September 13th, 2018, 9:40 am
    Post #6 - September 13th, 2018, 9:40 am Post #6 - September 13th, 2018, 9:40 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Here's are the highlight dishes from our meal.

    What, no photos??? :shock:

    (Props for the excellent photos that usually accompany your posts!)
  • Post #7 - September 13th, 2018, 9:48 am
    Post #7 - September 13th, 2018, 9:48 am Post #7 - September 13th, 2018, 9:48 am
    nsxtasy wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Here's are the highlight dishes from our meal.

    What, no photos??? :shock:

    (Props for the excellent photos that usually accompany your posts!)

    Haha, thanks. It just wasn't feasible this time . . . but another 'for next time' item.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #8 - September 13th, 2018, 10:01 am
    Post #8 - September 13th, 2018, 10:01 am Post #8 - September 13th, 2018, 10:01 am
    Daisies is straight Fire.

    Wandered over with our 3 year old son 2 weeks or so ago, and the host noticed us reading the menu outside (we were deciding if there was anything on it he would eat). The host informed us they do a wonderful childs pasta, and he was not lying. My son also decimated the "overpriced tomato" and we all liked it enough that I have been replicating at home. (PQM Sourdough, bone marrow from Butcher and Larder, rest from farmers market)

    If not for the price, I would be in there every week.
  • Post #9 - November 2nd, 2018, 9:16 am
    Post #9 - November 2nd, 2018, 9:16 am Post #9 - November 2nd, 2018, 9:16 am
    Had another really nice dinner over at Daisies earlier this week. The menu has changed in ways that are mindful of the season but at its core, it remains focused on expertly executed pasta . . .

    Image
    Cauliflower & Broccoli | Calabrian chiles, parmesan, pine nuts
    Two of my favorite vegetables in a really nice dish, and yet the highlight might have been the 'business' that accompanied the veggies. The combination of chiles, vinegar, pine nuts and onions was irresistible.

    Image
    Fried Mushrooms & Cheese Curds | buttermilk tarragon dipping sauce
    A new plating of a dish that, I believe, has been on the menu since Day 1. It's still wonderful, especially if you enjoy tarragon, which is very up-front and center in the sauce. I love how light and crispy the fried items are.

    Image
    Pappardelle | mushroom ragu, basil, parmesan
    So incredibly satisfying, this is the epitome of comfort food.

    Image
    Tortellini | lentils, collard greens, pork sausage
    A great combination of flavors, aromas and textures.

    Image
    Fazzoletti | lamb sugo, heirloom peppers, pecorino
    In my hands, this dish was not very photogenic but it was beautiful and delicious. The tender and toothsome bi-colored noodles were perfect. The rich lamb and mildly spicy peppers were delectable.

    Our server was friendly, accommodating, intuitive and efficient. I had a glass of Michigan riesling that didn't wow me -- and that I didn't finish -- but in the end, that didn't matter very much. My wife enjoyed her negroni, though.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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