435 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL
Phil Vettel
My Role

Phil Vettel has been the Chicago Tribune's restaurant critic since 1989. Video versions of Phil's reviews (without revealing his face, of course) can be seen weekly on WGN-Ch. 9 and CLTV. And he's a regular contributor to the Tribune blog The Stew (chicagotribune.com/stew).
My Biography

Phil was born in the Bronx, NY, went to high school in Florida and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1979 with a BA in Journalism. His career began at the Tribune-owned Suburban Trib in 1979, and he was promoted to the Chicago Tribune, working in the Tempo section, in 1981.

His wife, Paula, frequently joins him on his restaurant visits, and his sons, Ed and Chris, usually have better things to do.
My Recent Articles

Lao Sze Chuan opens on Michigan Avenue 12/17/2014
Restaurateur Tony Hu will bring his winning formula to Michigan Avenue with Thursday's soft opening of Lao Sze Chuan (520 N. Michigan Ave., 312-818-8099) in the Shops @North Bridge center, adjacent to Nordstrom.

Chicago Restaurant Week reservations now open 12/16/2014
Chicago Restaurant Week, a 14-day promotion of budget-friendly lunches and dinners at most of Chicago's top restaurants, will take place Jan. 30 through Feb. 12. But reservations for participating restaurants are available starting today.

Broccoli salad at Boka 12/16/2014
Joyful and delicious are the interactions between chef Lee Wolen and all things leafy and crunchy. The beautifully composed broccoli salad, which I ate in the spring, is a case in point. Raw, shaved broccoli stems and florets, brightened with preserved lemon and a barely there lemon...

Chocolate cake at Topolobampo 12/16/2014
This dessert was unique to Topolo's daring “Mexico City 1491” menu, a pre-Columbian exercise in Mexican cooking without the use of cilantro, beef, pork, garlic, onion, lime or any of the myriad ingredients brought to the New World by the Spaniards. For pastry chef Jennifer Jones,...

Cannoli at Cicchetti 12/16/2014
Sadly, Cicchetti did not last very long, but I still have fond memories of the place. In particular, I shall miss Sarah Jordan's whimsical cannoli dessert, which was so unlike a cannoli it should have been accompanied by a menu disclaimer (“ceci n'est pas une cannoli” might fit...