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Critic Says New River North Restaurant Represents 'Everything Wrong With Humanity'

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 26, 2015 5:46PM

Photo provided by C Chicago.

Chicago Mag critic Jeff Ruby is one of the best food writers in town, and he's not usually a cruel critic. So when he says a restaurant "exemplifies everything that is wrong with restaurants, and humanity," our ears perked up. Strap in for a burn fest.

The restaurant in question is C Chicago, a new high-end fish spot in River North. If the phrase "high-end fish spot in River North" isn't enough to send you running in the other direction, how about this: Their whole black bass for two (which Ruby claims is awful) costs $74.25. Or you could buy a 55-day dry-aged steak at Boeufhaus and still have enough left over for a movie.

According to Ruby, this place has bad food, obnoxious waiters, a requirement that you look at the raw version of your food before you eat it, and my new favorite term for a restaurant putting food on the table: "Hate-plopping."

Ruby breaks down the restaurant's problems into the seven deadly sins. Our favorite may be wrath:

WRATH: Any self-serious restaurant that puts diners in a balcony with a ginormous curved flat-screen TV right at eye level and then makes certain every item arrives tepid, even the ones that aren’t terrible, must hate us all. Or at least me.

Also a treat is greed:

Here is a restaurant so cynical about the expense-account crowd that it never tells diners prices for the whole fish and then sends out a $74.25 black bass that has been methodically eviscerated into a mealy, miserable carcass. At which point our supremely awful waiter has the temerity to announce, “The sides are really per person.” So if you want to share that $10 plate of English peas, you may as well get two. Or better: zero.

Read the whole thing, it's worth the time. In fairness, Ruby is a bit of an outlier, as the Tribune gave the place three stars, while the Reader gave it a more so-so review.