Phil Vettel reviews City Mouse

When the trio behind the critically hailed Giant (Jason Vincent, Ben Lustbader and Josh Perlman) were tapped to create the restaurant within the hip Ace Hotel in Fulton Market, my first thought was to wonder how Giantlike the new restaurant would be.

At the time, Vincent said he didn’t want to create Giant II, but that the new concept would match Giant’s overarching theme of offering food that was “delicious first, interesting maybe — but not the first thing you’d notice,” he said.

Well, City Mouse, which opened in early July, turned out pretty Giant-y. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, inasmuch as I hung three stars on Giant last year.

At nearly five times the size of its nominal parent, City Mouse is working through some growing pains that are neither unexpected nor egregious. For an operation that strives to be the antithesis of a hotel dining room — freewheeling, flavor-focused and just plain fun — City Mouse is off to an impressive start.

Read Phil's Full review for the Chicago Tribune

Rating: Two stars (very good)

Open: Brunch and dinner daily

Prices: Large plates $16-$29

Noise: Conversation-challenged

Other: Valet parking