TWO

Restaurants, Contemporary American River West/West Town
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(9user reviews)
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
1/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsTwo
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
2/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsPeanut butter and jelly cream puffs at Two
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
3/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsTwo
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
4/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsGrilled octopus with stewed tomatoes and pistachios at Two
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
5/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsHousemade sausage with pretzel, bacon jam and cabbage at Two
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
6/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsTwo
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
7/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsTwo
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
8/8
Photograph: Martha WilliamsPeanut butter and jelly cream puffs at Two

It’s been a month of tomato and burrata salads, occasional sparks of corn or prosciutto flying. It seems foolproof, this salad: fruit at the height of its season, oozing cheese only a curmudgeon could criticize. Perhaps that’s why the tomato-burrata salad is a dish on which restaurants tend to coast—why, to clarify, it was actually a month of merely-okay tomato-and-burrata salads. Not once did I expect that the best one I’d try—the one with the most perfectly ripe tomatoes, the one properly seasoned with coarse salt, the one whose drizzle of cilantro vinaigrette indicated that it was not resting on its ingredients’ laurels—would be at Two, a restaurant that quietly opened in the West Town space that has the misfortune of being best known for housing the failed Black Sheep.

Say what you will about the Black Sheep, but it presented this city with restaurant drama par excellence. Two is the opposite, a restaurant that could be defined by its reliability, the dorky-but-respectful Brian Krakow to the Sheep’s alluring-but-dangerous Jordan Catalano. Two’s grilled octopus is tender, set on a tomato sauce that smartly uses the texture of pistachios to solicit interest. Two’s thyme-roasted halibut is just that and a little creamed corn, the touch of herbs gentle, the fish’s flesh (unfortunately) more mushy than flaky. Thyme is about as crazy as Two gets, sprinkling it generously on cavatelli in pork bolognese sauce. Two’s nostalgic desserts are simple but successful, from cream puffs sandwiching peanut butter to a chocolate cake sprinkled with Puppy Chow, a snack that is long past due for a revival. The dishes depend on solid execution, and with the exception of a gummy, overly sweet carrot soup, they fulfill that obligation.

“Fulfilling an obligation” is a lot less sexy than “reinventing fine dining” or whatever it is the Black Sheep was trying to do. But Two is far too grown-up and sure-footed to worry about things like that.

By: Julia Kramer

Posted:

Venue name: TWO
Contact:
Address: 1132 W Grand Ave
Chicago
60642
Cross street: at May St
Opening hours: Dinner (closed Mon)
Transport: El stop: Blue to Grand. Bus: 56, 65, 66.
Price: Average small plate: $12
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|9
1 person listening
tastemaker

I love two. It's a nice dining establishment without being pretentious or annoying with their menu. Delicious cocktails. Great service. They even have some outdoor seating. The food was excellent. Definitely try the cavatelli! So good

tastemaker

I bought a Groupon for this place. It came with a bottle of wine, starter, pasta, veggie dish and meat dish. Very worth it. Food was great; however, the timing wasn't excellent between the dishes. 


Everything that I have eaten at TWO was delicious. Fresh, locally sourced farm to table ingredients.

tastemaker

We went here as our one and only Restaurant Week destination. There were many contenders for our new restauant adventure night, but this appeared on Check Please as we were making reservations elsewhere. After hearing the raving reviews, we had to change up the plan and head to TWO. From the phone reservations to the friendly farewell as we left, five star experience all the way around.

We were slightly early for our reservations so we hit up the bar. I had a hard time choosing from the cocktail menu, but in the end, I always judge a bar by it's Old Fashioned (namely looking for a good ice cube) so I had to start there. Yes, yes, yes! Got my sphere ice cube and the rest of the beverage was just as swell! The greeter/owner was overtly friendly and warm.

Space was trendy and quaint - we learned that there were two reasons the restaurant was named TWO: 1) all of the decor and interior furniture has been re purposed and 2) there are two chefs. Both were good calls. Decor was comforting but on point with what's cool and the food was outstanding. We had the following:

Cauliflower Bisque
Beet Salad
Scallops
Pork Chop
Brownie
Ricotta Cheesecake

It was all good. All of it was "lick your plate" worthy. Brownie was a bit much for me, but I'm not a huge chocolate fan. The cheesecake, however; was the most wonderful consistency. I make cheesecake at home from time to time and can't wait to alter my recipes to include ricotta. Thanks, TWO!