I had just returned from Greece and was heavily reminiscing all the amazing seafood there. Needless to say, a few days later I went for a seafood tasting at Cold Storage, and with high expectations. The restaurant far exceeded those expectations and was the perfect cure for my jet lag!
Cold Storage is Swift & Sons’s more casual, seafood counterpart, which opened last December in the West Loop. Headed by The Boka Group, the restaurant aims to offer affordable, well-sourced fare and does a great job at it. I was made to feel welcome from the start, as everyone from Chef to the restaurant owner took the time to greet me. I was also impressed at how well-informed each staff person was about the various menu specials and fresh catches of the day. Everyone who works there seemed passionate about the restaurant and its ideology.
My meal started with two bowls of ceviche and smoked whitefish dip each. The Scallop and Coconut Ceviche was delicate and creamy, the tiny pieces of sea scallops were perfectly seasoned and the coconut flavor was refreshing yet remained obscure.
The whitefish dip also was entirely satisfying to my taste buds, which anyway crave smoky flavors in the winter. Flaky whitefish in a creamy puree with hints of lemon that I smeared on numerous crackers, finally losing count. A wonderful start!
I went on to try the very delicious Grilled Fish Collar marinated in soy, moron, lime and chilies, which was served with charred Napa cabbage. Fish collars aren’t easy to find but they are considerably cheaper and rewarding to eat. At the restaurant, this dish is prepared with Salmon. The fish meat was rich and succulent and the barbequed flavors permeated well through the meat, giving it that perfect char flavor. A fantastic dish and a new discovery for me. I wish more restaurants explored collar meat in their fish dishes!
What I ate next, however, blew it out of the park for me! Now I admit I haven’t had a lot of Skate fish in my pescetarian life, but I’ve always appreciated the consistency of its moist meat and firm texture. The Skate Cheeks (which was a special) were served as a Fritto Misto of mini fried pieces of tender fish, crispy parsley, wild lemon, sun choke chips and crispy turnips. The tangy bitterness of the lemon gave the dish such a unique flavor, making it my favorite from the meal!
And my lunch didn’t end here, as I also got to try the Shrimp Bahn Mi and the Crab Salad sandwiches. Both were delicious, although for me, the intensely light and buttery brioche in the Crab Sandwich made all the difference. The bread served as the perfect base to the pile of crab salad with pieces of avocado, and a nice accompaniment to the entire dish. And the Shrimp Mousse made with shrimp, ginger, garlic and egg white was another pleasant addition to the sandwich. The crabmeat itself was sweet and very fresh!
With all this wonderful food, I couldn’t leave without perusing the dessert menu. And by peruse, I mean devour. I squeamishly ordered the Praline Pie, which was one of the most beautiful desserts I have ever seen! A piece of rich, deep-dish pie with Oreo crust, praline ganache, pralines with tiny white chocolate & chocolate pearls adorning the dollop of whipped cream on top. The mixture of the cocoa and the praline gave it a ‘fudgy’ taste and was overall outstanding! Warning: you can’t stop at a few bites!
What a great welcome back to Chicago! Cold Storage will remind you of why Chicago prides itself for being one of the best foodie cities in the world! This is the perfect place to channel your inner pescetarian! And the restaurant will be offering an Industry Special for the month of February – FREE cheeseburger with your beer or cocktail after 10pm (while supplies last). You don’t want to miss out!
Neighborhood: West Loop
Address: 1000 W. Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60607Phone: (312) 733-9420
Hours: Mon - Thurs: 4:30pm–11:00pm, Fri –Sat: 4:30pm –Midnight, Sun: 4:30pm – 10:30pm
Price: $3 - $75