Thursday, June 28, 2012

gt fish & oyster - chicago, il

gtoyster.com
531 north wells street
chicago, il 60654

opened in mid 2011, gt fish & oyster is another member of the boka restaurant group and serves as chef giuseppe tentori's outlet for traditional seafood preparations with the not so occasional occasional twist. located in chicago's river north area, gt fish has become quite the hot spot in its first year, receiving a nod from the michelin guide in the form of a bib gourmand award along with a raving three star review from phil vettel in the chicago tribune.
with the temperature north of one hundred degrees, our walk from hotel 71 was a miserable one, but we covered the distance in good time arriving just prior to our noon reservation. navigating our way through the elaborate glass entryway, we were greeted by a hostess in a particularly bright pair of jeans and were quickly led to our table located in the window of the main dining room.
cocktails for the day were the old money (old forester bourbon, aperol, nux alpina walnut liqueur, allspice) for me and the waitlist (grey goose vodka, st. germain, grapefruit, lime, bitters) for carrie.
my first selection was the tuna poke plated with preserved mango, cucumber, and black sesame. this dish was a fantastic combination of sweet meets spicy, and proved to be my favorite of the meal.
for carrie it was the grilled caesar salad with romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and oyster croutons. while i initially rolled my eyes when carrie ordered this, the salad was excellent with the breaded and fried oysters serving as croutons really setting it apart from you average caesar offering.
next up were a pair of pork belly sliders with kimchi and peanuts. although tasty enough, the amount of pork was rather small and somewhat lacking in the flavor department. overall these were not worth $4 apiece in my opinion.
for my final savory dish, the lobster mac and cheese was an easy choice. here were have orecchiette pasta with brioche breadcrumbs, sweet english peas, and a generous amount of lobster meat all in a three cheese sauce. this was a hit on all accounts with the pasta being appropriately firm and the sweetness from both the lobster and the peas contrasting nicely with the tangy cheese sauce.
mussels in a roasted tomato sauce with basil and ciabatta bread was carrie's main dish. while the mussels were briny and delicious as expected, the surprise was the surprising level of heat the sauce possessed. this was a good thing for us, and most of it was sopped up with the ciabatta.
for dessert, we opted to split an order of the sticky toffee cake with toffee sauce, pecans, and creme fraiche. this was an excellent dessert as i particularly like the use of the cool and tart creme fraiche against the sweet warmth of the cake.

going into our meal at gt fish i will admit that i wasn't anticipating big things as the lunch menu always seemed somewhat boring to me on paper. so with that noted i can easily say that my expectations for the restaurant were not only reached but easily exceeded. with the exception of the pork belly sliders being merely decent everything we tried was well executed and very tasty. if i lived in chicago i would definitely be back for dinner at some point as the menu is much more extensive but being that i only get to the city 3-5 times a year and have over ten dinner only restaurants currently in my always growing "must try queue", i really doubt such a thing will ever occur. even still, this meal along with those past at girl and the goat and balena have certainly instilled a good impression of the boka restaurant group as a whole and i am now thinking maybe a tasting at the group's flagship in lincoln park should be moved up my restaurant list.
GT Fish & Oyster on Urbanspoon

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