If you’re a fellow slooper, then you, like me, have been eagerly awaiting the return of this neighborhood darling, The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. Once a firehouse and a victim of a fire mishap itself, this new and improved eatery is back after almost two years, and that too with a BANG!
I happily accepted an invitation to taste their new menu and featured seafood items, and was able to bring a guest. I am usually skeptical when steakhouses claim to offer seafood, because often the fish dishes seem like an after thought. I am happy to report, that the pescetarian offerings on this menu are tremendous and absolutely delicious!
From their Specialty Cocktails, we both ordered the Cucumber Bliss, which our server had already raved about. And boy was he right. Ketel One, St. Germain and freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed in together to make one refreshing drink. Anyone else ready for the summer?
For appetizers, we had a solid start with the Garlic Escargot & Wild Mushroom Ravioli and the Ahi Tuna Tartare. The former was such a unique and flavorful approach to ravioli infused with a parsley pesto, and the creativity went up another notch with the very elegant-looking tartare served on a bed of avocado mousse, quinoa salad and drizzled with scallion vinaigrette.
Both appetizers were so good, I wondered if the rest of the meal would be able to keep up.
Well, fret not, because their signature Lobster Bisque in a Puff Pastry Shell, which arrived next was remarkable. I got to pop the top pastry layer to make way into the creamy soup. Imagine a lobster pot pie, because that’s what this was. Once again, points for creativity, but not without mentioning how utterly delicious the butter soaked lobster was in that creamy broth.
You can imagine how spoiled we were with just the appetizers, and still curious as to what could possibly top this. The answer is their Tower 104 For Two, which arrived next. A beautifully adorned platter of shrimp, oysters, half lobster tail and a ¼ pond of Alaskan crab bites was set in front of us. All the meat was deliciously sweet, tender and juicy. We cracked and unpeeled, and pretty much devoured the tray with full abandon.
While there wasn’t room for an entrée, the menu choices looked too delicious to pass up. So my friend and I shared the Grilled Swordfish Steak, which came with a peppercorns au poivre sauce and lots of crispy onion strings. I was astonished by how fresh the fish was because swordfish can be tough in texture. This was such a nicely prepared dish. We also tried the Mightyvine Tomato and Burrata Salad, which came highly recommended as we craved something leafy to go with our meal. The pickled onions were a nice change here, in this classic combination, which is typically just mixed in with basil and olive oil.
Now, now; you know that dessert is a must after a meal like that! Chef sent out a few of his favorites, the Black Dog Gelato Sundae and the CFH Key Lime Pie (prepared in house). Let me just preface by saying that I made sure to bring any leftovers home, because these weren’t desserts that could be wasted. The pie was divine, especially with the Oreo cookie crust it sat on. I usually find the key lime filling eggy, but here, all I tasted was the sweet from the condensed milk and the tang from the candied lime, making it one tasty treat. What can I say; Chefs John Caputo and Kevin Schultz are both geniuses!
The restaurant may have taken a hiatus but it has reappeared in a stunning new avatar (all around). Between the vintage charms and the sophisticated menu, your next dinner date absolutely needs to be here!
The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Neighborhood: South Loop
Address: 1401 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: (312) 786-1401
Hours: Mon- Thurs: 5:00pm -Midnight; Fri - Sat 5:00pm-1:00am; Sun 5:00pm- Midnight
Price: $16.00- $75.00