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Omnivore - Here and there May 14 2012

A tip about Top Flr, a meal at Stella, Monday-night specials

Monday night is your opportunity to try out one of the city's best bargains right now — Chef Shane Devereux's 3-course menu at Top Flr for $15. You get you choice of two entrees and two starters.

However, reader Susan Hewitt writes to issue a warning:

Had a good meal at Top Flr recently except for one thing:  it was roasting in the upstairs area where we were seated.  I normally am cold everywhere we go and even I was sweating.  Sadly, it ruined the experience for me.  I understand the difficulties with cooling old buildings, but they could at the very least put in a couple of ceiling fans.  I won't be considering a return visit until the weather changes.

I eat downstairs there and haven't noticed a problem with the air conditioning. So you might want to make a reservation (404-685-3110) for a downstairs table or snag a seat at the bar....

Tonight is also all-you-can-eat Mussels Night ($15) at the Peasant Bistro. And P'cheen hosts "Mike's Bone Lick BBQ," where you can find some mustard-based, South Carolina-style sauce — a rarity in our city....

OK, people, I've been to three restaurants lately whose menus were all but unreadable. No, it's not just me, because in each case I heard people at adjoining tables similarly complaining. In one case, I loaned them my Itouch so they could use the flashlight application. Low lighting is cool, but how about putting more thought into the font you use for your menu?...

We had an interesting meal at Stella in Grant Park over the weekend. I ordered a caprese salad, anticipating flavorful and fresh summer tomatoes. To my surprise, the restaurant was using oven-roasted tomatoes. They were quite tasty but kind of a shock.

I also ordered a special of wild scallops over white beans. Well, sort of. The "white beans" turned out to be a very watery puree without a whole bean in sight. The scallops had been hacked up and skewered on a sprig of rosemary. It was impossible to remove them without tearing them into even smaller bits.

Wayne made the wiser choice with classic spaghetti and meatballs. We like the pizzas here and hope they will reprise the fig pie they served last summer.