As a pescetarian blogger, I’m constantly on the prowl for good seafood in the city. And every once in awhile, I really hit the jackpot, as I did with Eddie V’s this month. A restaurant dedicated mainly to fish and seafood lovers, serving fresh, prime seafood, everyday, and making it all from scratch with all the care and attention that ingredients deserve. Executive Chef Jose Gonzalez and I had been trying to get me in for a few weeks and then it finally happened. One word comes to mind when I begin to describe my experience at Eddie V’s, and that is, hospitality. This restaurant gets it. They exhibit pure perfection in food, ambiance, and service, from start to finish.
Located on the lower level of the Nordstrom building on Rush Street, the restaurant is situated in the heart of River North and it’s bustling food scene. There's almost something clandestine about their location and the ambiance only adds to it's undercover perception with a cozy vibe and dim lighting. You feel privileged to “know” about Eddie V’s, atleast I did. Live music graces the restaurant scene every night, and my dad (who accompanied me to dinner) and I got to enjoy our fabulous meal to the tunes of the very talented Jeannie Tanner. At some point, people got up and began slow-dancing, making it a very heart-warming scene all around.
Fresh bread arrived almost instantly and when I say fresh, I mean piping hot from the oven with visible steam above the plate. Our server was amazing, and did everything she could to ensure our dining experience was seamless. We ordered a couple cocktails from their Cocktails With An Attitude section on the menu (it was a Friday night after all). A restaurant that can express its culinary prowess through both food and drink always rates high in my books. Both the 24 Karat and the Red Dragon were truly refreshing, and paired beautifully with our food.
Before we could even peruse the menu, Chef sent out their Jumbo Lump Crabcake for us to try. Now you can imagine that I get to eat my fair share of crabcakes, yet, when its really amazing, its like you’re eating it for the first time. Here the crab patties are made from 75% leg meat, which is the juicier and softer portion of crab, had no panko breadcrumbs mixed in whatsoever, and were sautéed Maryland style. They also came with Spicy Chive Remoulade with strong hints of mustard and green onion, which worked amazingly well with flavors of the sweet crab.
The Maine Lobster Bisque was calling my name. I hadn’t eaten good bisque in awhile, so I was excited. Out came a sizeable bowl of a beautiful orange Maine lobster knuckle with a house-toasted Brioche, and a briny, medium bodied broth of lobster, cream, and cognac poured over it, tableside. A beautiful sight indeed! Every spoonful was slurp-worthy, and intensely satisfying. If the restaurant wasn’t so sophisticated, I could’ve been convinced to lick the bowl clean. Certainly one of the better bisques I have had in my foodie life.
If I had to pick, the Hawaiian Yellowtail Sashimi would be my favorite from the night. It was one fine dish. Thin slices of fish prepared with cilantro, red chilies and a tart-tangy ponzu. Every bite was smooth with a little kick from the razor thin rings of Fresno chilies. This, is how I like to summer!
And to drive the point home, dad had his first piece of sashimi for the first time ever. I think all my ‘ooing’ and ‘aahing’ got to him at some point and he said, what the heck!? The verdict: He loved it!
Our mains comprised of two of their best sellers, the Chilean Sea Bass and the George’s Bank Scallops. The latter was definitely Chef’s pick and I felt good to know that he ordered it for his dinner later that evening.
I have never really had seared scallops with citrus before, and now, I may never have it any other way again. The Sea Bass was a thick piece, steamed Hong Kong style in a light soy broth, and all that was needed to get me head over heels in love with this dish. I couldn’t’ finish it of course, but definitely ate leftovers for lunch the next day.
A side mention to the Au Gratin Cheddar Potatoes we had, on the side. I would have no problem ordering this for my main meal on a future visit. That cheese, that butter, and those tender taters all were a little piece of heaven.
If you’re overwhelmed hearing about all this food, you have no idea what’s about to hit you next, when I start talking about dessert. Immediately after exchanging pleasantries, Chef had told us that we ‘needed’ to order their Bananas Foster Butter Cake. No problem Chef! But the chocolate lover in me also had to get the Hot Chocolate Godiva Chocolate Cake.
The former was flambéed tableside and served with a scoop of rich butter pecan ice cream, while the latter was just pure decadence on a plate with every bite oozing more and more molten chocolate from the cake, which by the way was already sitting on some hot fudge.
Well, I need to stop writing about it now because I’m drooling all over my shirt, but seriously, if you went to Eddie V's and only got their dessert, I would understand.
Many things I loved about this restaurant, but social responsibility aspects are always endearing to me. Chef mentioned that Eddie V’s donates food to the Chicago Food Depository every night and me made me fall in love with this place even more! I’ll always give my business to a restaurant that cares about its community.
It’s easy to build loyalty to this restaurant, even after only one visit. You’ll be hearing about Eddie V’s from me for sometime to come, so I hope you’re ready.
Thank you Eddie V’s for an unforgettable meal and dining experience!