Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fish Bar

Name: Fish Bar
Location: Chicago, IL

The newest seafood joint in Chicago, Fish Bar, definitely hit the mark with the design of the interior. Imagine an east coast lobster shack meets New Orleans. The layout features almost all counter seating (there are three booths, if you are lucky enough to grab one) which works out well for a quick lunch but would be a bit tricky for a nice dinner or busy saturday night.

Although the design of Fish Bar was fairly authentic (for a merging of two coast, anyways), the visit went downhill from there. We had the fried clams which were pretty good but the portion size was fairly skimpy(3.5 pieces, literally) for the price. We also tried the Maine lobster roll and the 'catch of the day'; trout. The lobster roll came on the correct roll; split down the center with buttery-toasted sides but was completely over-seasoned with celery salt and old bay seasoning. The lobster and mayo mixture was watery, leaving me to believe the meat had been frozen, and definitely not worth the $18.00 market price. A true east coast lobster roll has to stand by the idea of simplicity and purity, no seasonings, toasted bun, and either cold meat with mayo or warm with drawn butter. Let the fabulous taste of the fresh meat shine, don't mask it.

The trout was served well after the lobster roll came out and after the first bite I noticed it was completely raw still. I had to send it back and have them cook me a new piece which resulted in me eating quite a bit after everything else was finished. I wish I could say the service was great and completely made up for these huge goof-up's but at the end we were left without an apology and a full priced bill.

I loved the interior but as with all restaurants, food & atmosphere go hand-in-hand. You cannot have a great interior and horrible food and only rarely can you have great food and a horrible atmosphere (trust me, the food has to be phenomenal to make up for it!).

I would love to see Fish Bar get rid of the 'New England' side of the menu and stick to the New Orleans side, which it seemed to get right.

images © Grub Street

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