Saturday, April 14, 2012

GT Fish and Oyster

Location: 531 N Wells
Cost: Lunch was around $18 per person, I think dinner's a whole other ballgame

I mentioned in my Prasino post about how I had a funky schedule a little while back that gave me a bunch of weekdays off. Well, I took advantage of another one of those days off to meet up with an old friend from high school. My friend Moonie just started at Northwestern for law school and although she lives right on campus, we hadn't been able to match up our schedules until now. It was her spring break and she'd had her eye on a few River North lunch spots for quite a while. We decided to hit up GT Fish and Oyster.

GT Fish and Oyster is relatively new and popular (if you didn't know already), and it can be a bit tricky to get a table in advance. They take reservations, but finding one at a time you like may take significant foresight. The setup is interesting (try not to walk into the glass entryway). They've got a cool look with big wooden tables and interesting seating arrangements. We were lucky enough to get a patio table, and despite being on Wells, it was pretty peaceful.

Our server was very helpful and friendly, although she kept pushing the Chef's Week menu on us. I think it's tricky to figure out the portions at a place like this, and she was honest about how much we needed to order. Speaking of Chef's Week, it's basically an extension of restaurant week with some preset $22 menu. The issue I take with these deals is that they include dessert, which I don't always want at lunch. The cost can stack up if you get a large meal, but for lunch you can easily grab a sandwich or salad in the $12 range. You don't get monstrous portions, but you wont need to go to Al's Beef or Portillo's around the corner to finish off your hunger either.

The Food
Moonie was immediately sold on trying one of the Pork Belly Sliders to start with. Mostly I think she just wanted to get something with kimchi, but this was way more in such a small sandwich. Between the crispy bread, savory pork, and crunchy kimchi there was a textural, flavorful explosion in this two bite wonder. It was a good way to get the ball rolling.

 The Pork Belly Slider

From there Moonie got the Tuna Melt, and I ordered the Tuna BLT. We both took the option to get a half sandwich with soup and salad. The salad had pickled onions and candied walnuts. It wasn't overly dressed, and it didn't overpower anything else on the plate while providing significantly refreshing bites. The soup was a creamy tomato that was very acidic. The tuna melt was pretty standard and clean so to speak. It came on a marble rye. The Tuna BLT had seared tuna, a fried pickle, avocado, big slices of bacon, and obviously the LT. The fried pickle was a fantastic addition, and the seared tuna still stood out well against the strong smokey flavors in the bacon.

The Tuna Melt Combo

 The Tuna BLT

I'd long awaited my trip to GT Fish and Oyster, and this was very different than what I'd expected. By that I mean I didn't think I'd be getting tuna sandwich combo platters. They were very well done. I thought it was on par with the lunch at Joe's. I can't wait to get back there for dinner sometime soon. For now, I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.

GT Fish & Oyster on Urbanspoon


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