Hi all, its been a while! I’ve been in Chicago for about three months now, and culinary school has started for me. Chicago is an amazing city and I love it here. I have also gotten a job at Honey Butter Fried Chicken and I have learned a lot from there. I have still been cooking and baking at home, but I didn’t get the chance to pick up some photo-worthy dinnerware until two days ago. I can’t really give a solid reason as to why I haven’t been blogging (its many reasons, really), but I’m back with a review on the Fish Bar!
This was my and J’s (my boyfriend) second time here, and we came here knowing that we wanted the gumbo again. The gumbo is incredibly flavorful, spicy and full of chicken flavor. It has great sausage chunks, some seafood (I believe), and rice. Its perfect for a cold day. I would highly recommend the gumbo, perhaps even getting it again should we go back.
The lobster bisque was the soup of the day, and it was finished with butternut squash. I am a big fan of crustaceans in general, and the soup shouted “LOBSTER” to me. It had butternut squash in it as well, so it ended on a sweet note, and they seem to like their soups spicy so there was that as well. There were no garnishes for this soup, which is very traditional of lobster bisques, but I would have appreciated perhaps a couple of cubes of butternut squash or lobster.
We ordered lemon rings to share. Last time, we ordered tater tots, which are fingerling potatoes with herbs and olive oil. J opted for lemon rings to change things up a little. Lemon rings are deep fried lemon slices, onions and jalapenos. The lemons were very bitter, of course, but with a tang that you would expect from a lemon. I suspect the dish is as an accompaniment to beer, as I could see the bitterness working out. We did not order any drinks, so we were not a big fan of the lemons. Too bitter for J’s taste and I don’t really like lemons or limes. However, the onions and the jalapenos were very good and we ate all of those. The jalapenos can get a little spicy, but paired with onions they were amazing.
The Crabby Patty, which is a crab cake sandwich, was really good as well. It had great crab flavor. I do wish they put a little more mayo on it, or the mayo tasted more strongly of old bay, which would have really brought the sandwich over the top.
Finally, I got the Octopus a la plancha, which means grilled. Its served with cannellini beans, zucchini, lemons, capers, and parsley. I probably should have thought twice about ordering this dish, because it is very obviously a summer dish. The bright and acidic flavors were good, but not very warming on a cold October day. The beans were also a little undercooked to my liking. The octopus was grilled to perfection, tender and not chewy. The octopus tasted buttery and zesty, but it didn’t taste like octopus at all. It was a well executed dish, but I probably wouldn’t get it again because of the lack of octopus flavor.
Despite my (seemingly) negative review, I would go back to this place again. I love that they only use wild caught or responsibly raised seafood, and although the portions are small, the flavors are big. Have you been to Fish Bar before? What do you think about it?
2956 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL