For my friends, new readers or supporters, going forward Friday posts will be dedicated to food and/or drink review.
Last weekend was a celebration of my husband’s 35th birthday. We enjoyed a date night at GT Fish and Oyster Friday night and then celebrated with our good group of friends at Hubbard Inn Saturday night. To help readers distinguish between the reviews I’ll be using a ranking system. Ranking between 1 to 5, 5 being best, I’ll be ranking on the following guidelines:
531 North Wells Street
Chicago, Il 60654
Fashionable Scene: 4
Cost: $8 to $22, average plate $12
Chef Giuseppe Tentori has created a restaurant that has it all, delicious food, beautiful decor, and a fantastic scene. I loved our experience at GT Fish and Oyster; food was fresh, simple, and satisfyingly delicious. The plates are meant to be shared and the menu consists of four sections. Cold, Oysters, and Hot and Not Fish. The menu consists of New England comfort foods mixed with modern contemporary dishes. We opted to order form the Cold and Hot section, skipping the Oysters and Not Fish. We love oysters and being from the west coast and living in New York before, we wanted to try the other dishes instead. As with the Not Fish section, you see the name, so we stuck with what it’s all about, the seafood. Between the two of us we ordered 5 dishes. We loved the smoked hamachi crudo, foie gras and shrimp terrine, the softshell crab and the lobster roll.
The fishbowl design of the restaurant was appealing from the outside and in. Neutral in color palette with expensive fisherman details, the place felt cozy yet elegant. The bar area had the most beautiful marbled floor and wood tables. The bar was packed with people and the dining room was full, but it did not feel crowded.
some images from finedesigndine.com
Service was attentive but our favorite part of the night was when the Chef dropped by our table. Chef Giuseppe was so friendly he talked to us for half an hour on a busy night. He not only signed a copy of the menu for my husband’s birthday, but he stood at the bar with us and gave us a round of drinks! He opened a bottle of rye from Kentucky that he had purchased from an auction in London, my husband was not only thankful but happily drinking a tasty expensive rye.
Overall, I loved our experience and we will be back with friends. The Chef recommended we try Boka, his other restaurant, so we hope to do that soon. GT Fish and Oyster is a definite return for us.
110 West Hubbard Street
Fashionable Scene: 3.5
Cost: $9 to $16 per dish
I had high hopes for the Hubbard Inn, especially when choosing it for my husband’s 35th birthday dinner however I was disappointed for several reasons. We had 11 people at our table and one waiter who was taking orders, serving food, pouring water, getting silverware, and doing everything he could with a lack of support staff. We had two friends who did not have silverware and water cups, it took several requests and the appetizers delivered before utensils arrived, water cups never appeared until I stole some from an empty table. The menu consists of bistro food with items such as mussels, bacon wrapped dates, halibut, trout, braised short ribs, and flatbreads. Each couple ordered a couple of appetizers and entrees, when the food was delivered, the staff asked where to set the food every time. Yes their menu is meant to be shared, but when each couple is ordering their own food, it is apparent sharing across 11 people is not happening with the small plates delivered. Having over 20 plates of food come and calling out ownership for our orders was a negative experience to the party. My expectation at a nice restaurant is that food is delivered to the proper people. Jotting down notes is apparently hard to do at this restaurant. Regarding the food, our entrees of trout and braised pork cheeks were cold, slimy, and unappealing. Our appetizers of steak tartare and beets were good, not spectacular and pretty standard. The tartare lacked some flavor, so I would rate beets over the tartare.
Overall, I would not return. If you want similar feeling, better food and a better scene I would recommend the Paris Club.
We head to San Francisco next weekend and look forward to posting food reviews from our next adventure!