Fulton Market Kitchen ( 311 N. Sangamon St.; www.fultonmarketkitchen.com/ ) continues to be an assault on the sensesand I mean that in a very good way.
FMK, as it's often called, is part art gallery, part cocktail bar and part restaurant. The art is thought-provoking ( like the bar support made entirely of trunks and suitcases ), the cocktails are soothing and the food is provocative. In essence, there's something here for everyone, although it would be a special occasion for most ( more on that later ).
Things started swimmingly with the cocktail known as the Fall Smash, which, in this case, consisted of vodka, smashed ginger and blackberry, along with a lemon cordial. It was incredibly tasty, but it was also the kind of drink that could sneak up on youleaving you dazed in some forsaken place the next day, wondering what happened.
But what really stand out are the culinary creationsand they really are creations. For example, the sourdough ciabatta appetizer ( which the server incorrectly called an "amuse-bouche," for a couple reasons ) is accompanied by beef jus, tomato jamand a beef tallow candle that melts into the mix, all to be spread on the bread. And the foie mousse features bread accompanied by an "orange" that turns out to be foie gras sculpted to look like the fruit. You almost don't want to cut into it, but it's wonderfully tasty.
The short rib raviolo is a cool dish consisting of a large pasta pocket filled with meat, herbed ricotta and molten egg yolk. From gustatory and visual standpoints, the striped bass bouillabaisse was the most varied, with fish along with mussels and ( head-on ) prawns in a spicy tomato broth. My dining companion thought this and the salmon tartare were too fishy, but I thoroughly enjoyed bothalthough I was slightly put off seeing the crustaceans' heads. As for sides, we loved the crispy red potatoes, and I was more of a fan of the glazed carrots ( with pistachios and honey-whipped goat cheese ).
And if you have room, definitely order dessert. There's pumpkin cake ( although I was dreaming about the butter cake I had previously ) and the scrumptious apple-and-Asian pear pie.
However, all of this creativity comes at a priceliterally. ( I have to keep it real. ) While the ciabatta app is only eight dollars, the main dishes start at about $30 ( and my friend wondered, more than once, if the quantity justified the costs ). While the items were heavenly at times, the prices might warrant visiting FMK for your birthday, anniversary or some other special time. Otherwise, you may just want to order a cocktail and explore your art-filled surroundings.
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is a week from this Thursday. So if you need some options and you don't feel like cooking that turkey ( or tofurkey ), here are a few restaurant options:
Thanksgiving dinner will be offered at Ace Hotel Chicago's City Mouse, 311 N. Morgan St. Patrons can enjoy meat, wine and four servings of mashed potatoes served family-style and curated by Executive Chef Pat Sheerinand there will be vegan holiday favorites on offer. Dig into roasted turkey, whole grain risotto, poached shrimp and pumpkin pies. The cost is $56/person. Visit https://www.acehotel.com/chicago/events-and-spaces/calendar/2018-11-22/thanksgiving-dinner-city-mouse/.
Italian spot 312 Chicago, will serve a tradition Thanksgiving four-course menu on Thursday, Nov. 22, 5-9 p.m. Items will include acorn squash soup, homemade pesto lasagna, Italian-style roasted turkey, roasted salmon and pumpkin cheesecake, among other items. The costs are $60/person and $25 for children 12 and younger; see 312Chicago.com .
On Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Chicago Chop House, 60 W. Ontario St., will feature a Thanksgiving feast including a family-style menu serving a whole turkey and including a choice of mushroom, sage and wild rice stuffing or oyster dressing; stuffed artichokes, green beans with sliced almonds, Brussels sprouts roasted with honey and butter, and homemade cranberry sauce. ( Also, guests take home all of the leftovers to enjoy the next day. ) Individual Thanksgiving dinners feature a five-course menu including Waldorf salad, roasted turkey, chocolate lava cake and much more. Call 312-787-7100 to find out costs and to make reservations.
Frontier Chef Brian Jupiter's Thanksgiving menu is available throughout November and on Thanksgiving day for pick-up and delivery. Holiday favorites include smoked turkey ( $75-95 ), Chef Brian Jupiter's famous five-cheese mac ( $40 ), seafood gumbo ( $50 ), traditional mashed potatoes ( $30 ), cornbread stuffing ( $35 ), kale-and-apple salad ( $35 ), string beans ( $30 ), buttered rolls ( $16/dozen ) and sweet-potato pie ( $20 ). The feast serves a minimum of 12 people for $24/person. For ordering details, visit http://bit.ly/FrontierThanksgiving.
On Thanksgiving, Texas de Brazil will open at 11 a.m., and guests will enjoy the full rodizio-style menu that includes the 50-item salad area and selection of churrasco grilled meats. Along with this, a variety of traditional Thanksgiving fare will be offered, such as roasted turkey, stuffing and other holiday side dishes included with regular dinner pricing.