What was a pescetarian like me doing at a restaurant named mEAT, you may ask. The answer is, I was relishing all the wonderful seafood they have to offer. You heard right; mEAT is a restaurant that also offers seafood and enough of it to satisfy a pescetarian’s needs.
Owned by the folks behind D.S. Tequila, Mini Bar and Dive Bar, the restaurant sits in the Lakeview neighborhood and is based on a Chef driven skewer menu concept, offering all meats (including fish) and other gourmet bites. My best friend from graduate school happened to be visiting that weekend so she was able to join me for the tasting, and we were both curious to see how this restaurant was going to accommodate our dietary preferences, given its name.
The Magic Margarita was an absolutely perfect start to kick off our Friday night, and our meal to follow. The drink was made with Casamigos Blanco, Grand Marnier, fresh lime and was served over a pomegranate flavored ice block with a salt & sugar rim. The Casamigos tequila (by none other than our favorite George Clooney) was fitting for the glamorous twist it added to this classic cocktail. The sweet and salty mixture on the rim was also in perfect texture for sticking to the glass and making every sip delicious. This drink was strong, so we didn’t make it to the others on the list, but the Beverage Program here is solid and true to Potempa’s style.
The menu is set up for family-style sharing, so for our meal we ordered an variety of small and large plates that came highly recommended by our jovial server. The menu has an entire section dedicated to fondue, and what better sharing dish than that. The Gouda and Sriracha Fondue was the first on our list. A fondue pot came out filled with gooey white cheddar cheese infused with white wine, fresh garlic, fresh basil and Sriracha . The fondue was rich and creamy with an intense Sriracha flavor, so if you don’t like Sriracha , stay away from this dish! The fondue was also served with a tray of Granny Smith apples, fresh rye bread and raw veggies, which paired well for dipping.
The Jalapeno Gnocchi, which followed right after, was also delicious and packed with a flavor punch. First, I must warn you that even though it is listed as a side, the portion entrée sized. The dish was served in a creamy jalapeno sauce, which gave the soft potato gnocchi such a nice kick that every bite left you craving the next one. I always know it’s a good sign when I’m unable to stick to simply tasting the dish and able to shed all guilt about wolfing it down. Although fish-less, this dish was my favorite from the night!
Between the fondue and the pasta, we were starting to get full and we were yet to try the fish. So our sweet server gave us some time to jumpstart our appetites again and then brought out the highly anticipated skewers. Two skewers of Mahi Mahi and Jumbo Shrimp came out. Both were served in a fun presentation and with a pair of tongs to pick out our sea meat (as they call it there). Mahi Mahi is a fish that is at its best when grilled, and the Cajun seasoning brought out its grilled flavor even more. Served as mini fish kabobs, the fish itself was fresh and succulent. The shrimp came skin on, and was mildly seasoned in an olive oil dressing to augment flavors of the meat. The highlight was the apricot miso sauce and the basil garlic butter sauce that came with the skewers.
After being blown away by the Cheese Fondue earlier in the tasting, we couldn’t possibly pass up the Chocolate Fondue for dessert. Once again, a warm pot of nicely melted, velvety milk chocolate came with an extensive platter of brownies, pound cake, coated marshmallows, pretzels, bananas, pineapple, strawberries and walnuts for dipping. They don’t take their fondue lightly at this restaurant and I was happy about that. Dessert was another meal in itself.
Dinner was delicious and interactive, which always adds a little fun to the whole experience. The restaurant vibe is also cool and cozy. mEAT is unique in its concept and doesn’t overdo it, yet knows how to knock your socks off with its delicious food. Try it!
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Address: 3339 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657
Phone: (773) 871-2682
Mon–Thurs: 5:00pm –10:00 pm, Fri-Sat:5:00pm–11:00pm,,Sun: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Price: $9 - $24