Fish Bar a few months ago, I recently decided to try out Boka's version, GT's Fish and Oyster to see what in direction that they decided to go. Located in River North, GT's Fish and Oyster is decidedly more upscale than is Fish Bar. This is not a criticism of either restaurant, it is simply an observation that they decided to go after different crowds. GT's Fish and Oyster does have a decidedly nautical theme after you get past the large windows. The space is divided into two rooms, The interior walls of the front room, which contains the bar and a communal table in addition to several two tops, are all thin interlocking slats painted white. There is also a lot of brass and hanging lanterns provide the light. There are also many nautical themed paintings hanging in the front room. The back dining room has banquette seating with black tables and a black wall with a painting of a swordfish skeleton and the quote, "He was a bold man that first ate an oyster." - Jonathan Swift. I sat in the front room at the bar so I only saw the rear room in passing. The bar looked like it was made from a deck and had brass tags with different names (that I didn't recognize) in front of each seat. There were about 10 seats on one side before it turned a corner and had about 6 more seats. The shelf behind the bar was glass and brass and featured many higher end liquors. Looking over their cocktail and beer menu, I saw that they had a respectable beer list (4 on draft and 18 bottles) and 9 cocktails. I decided to go with a cocktail called The Waitlist which contained Russian Standard Vodka, St. Germain, Grapefruit, and Averna Bitters. The description reminded me of something that I had had previously, of course I seem also to be on a bit of a St. Germain kick as well. In any case, I like grapefruit and it was a very good drink.
Garrett Popcorn Chicago Mix. The Chicago Mix is a mixture of cheddar and caramel corn. For this dessert the chef had a Caramel Semifreddo, to which was added Corn Bread, Caramel and Cheddar Popcorn, Cheddar Tuile, and more Caramel. I will say that it was a very nice looking dessert and I really liked the Semifreddo. The cornbread topped with the caramel was an interesting flavor combination as the cornbread was a bit on the savory side. The cheddar tuile reminded me of Cheez-Its, and the popcorn, while good for popcorn, was still popcorn. If you like popcorn and like desserts with a savory edge to them, you may very well like this. For me, while I liked the look of it and did like some elements, I will probably never order this again.
I really liked my meal here. The food was very good and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable. The space was clean and had a nice feel to it. As far as the comparison between Fish Bar and GT's Fish and Oyster, there really is no comparison. They are both seafood houses but they go in different directions and are very good at what they do.