Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eddie V's

Location: 521 N Rush
Cost: Probably around $50 per person

I've always been prone to ordering fish at a steakhouse. I'm a big fan of the steakhouse atmosphere but the guilt from my dietician/mom pushes me one way. Eddie V's is a new spot in town that does a nice job with both fish and steak with a menu that weighs heavier to the former. They're a chain that started in the South and has put their first midwest location in River North. They keep a policy that anything they serve was swimming within 72 hours which helps quell any concerns over the freshness of seafood in Chicago too. The other night, they invited Jenny and I out.

Eddie V's welcomes you in with a lively bar. They had a jazz combo in the corner, a bunch of bar seats, and a few comfy booths. Further back they have a more formal dining room setting. We took a bar top, the courses were well timed, and the service was friendly. They treated us to dinner, but normally an entree runs around $30.

The Food
We started with their selection of Raw Oysters and the Lobster Tacos. The oysters had great variability in brine and salt. It was Jenny's first oyster, and she was a big fan. The lobster tacos had a smooth aioli and came on a homemade tortilla. As if that wasn't enough to start with, we also split a bowl of the lobster and shrimp bisque. The lobster to bisque ratio was very favorable.

The Oysters

 The Lobster Tacos

The Shrimp and Lobster Bisque

From there Jenny got the Sea Bass, and I got the Grouper. We also had a bunch of sides including the Brussel Sprouts, the Au Gratin Potatoes, the Crab Fried Rice, and the Beets with Walnuts. The bass came in a light soy broth with pickled ginger. It was steamed and very delicate. The Grouper was sauteed in a buttery sauce with a light base. Jenny's favorite side was the fried rice, and mine was the brussel sprouts.

 The Crab Fried Rice

 The Roasted Beets and Candied Walnuts

 The Au Gratin Potatoes

 The Chilean Sea Bass

 The Grouper

The Brussel Sprouts

To finish the meal we got the Banana's Foster Butter Cake with Butter Pecan Ice Cream served flambe style. It was rich and dense with just the right amount of sweetness. We didn't think we'd have room, but it ended up being one of our favorite parts of the meal.

The Banana's Foster Butter Cake

Eddie V's has a large variety of seafood options with a great atmosphere. I'd come back for the music alone, but the food was spot on as well. I'm excited to go back and get through some of the rest of the menu. There won't be a Pearl rating as is my way with the complimentary dinners, but I highly advise you to try out Eddie V's.

Eddie V's Prime Seafood on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 17, 2014

Adobo Grill

Location: 1610 N Wells
Cost: About $30 per person

It may surprise you, but there are still some places in Old Town that I haven't eaten at. I used to dig Las Pinatas for simple tex mex, but they closed down. So in this weeks version or Pearl Family Early Bird Sunday Dinner, we went to Adobo Grill.

Adobo Grill is just North of North on Wells in that jumble of places that people often eat at before going to Second City. We just happened to be craving Mexican food and be in the area. They've got a great patio in the summer that obstructs just enough of the sidewalk to be a bother. The front area is a lively bar setup, and they've got some calmer seating in the back. We had quick service. Entrees are in the $17 ballpark which puts it at a little higher pricing than many Mexican places, but it's also got a nicer vibe.

The Food
We got the table side guacamole to start with. It's always a bit gimmicky for my taste, but the portion was sizable.We split an Adobo Chopped Salad and a few special Mushroom Soups after that. The salad was your typical Southwest variety, but the soup was a well balanced cream base with plenty of kick. From there we got the Carne Asada and the Pechuga. The steak was an accurate medium rare and came in a basic jus. There were a few stringy pieces, but it was a good deal. The Pechuga was more or less Chicken Mole with a twist. The mole was complex but the chicken was a little tough for my liking.

The Adobo Chopped Salad

 The Mushroom Soup

 The Carne Asada

The Pechuga

For people heading to Second City that want a nearby option, Adobo Grill is good enough. Otherwise, I wouldn't try to hard to hit them up when this city has so many amazing Mexican options. I'm giving them 2.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Adobo Grill on Urbanspoon