Tuesday, March 17

Spanish Seafood at Its Finest: mfk.

I think I've found one of my new favorite restaurants in Chicago: mfk. mfk is a tiny Spanish and seafood-focused restaurant on the border of Lakeview and Lincoln Park. Don't take my word that it's great. It was recently named one of the Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015 by GQ. What makes it so great? The food, the atmosphere, and the hospitality.

I stopped by on a Friday night and enjoyed quite the feast. The menu is made for sharing, so I'd recommend a meal at mfk. with friends who love to share and who love seafood (although there are several non-seafood options).  We started with the Manchego and speck croquettes which melted in your mouth. The roast garlic aioli was a nice sidekick for dipping.

Manchego & Speck Croquettes, Roast Garlic Aioli
Manchego & Speck Croquettes, Roast Garlic Aioli
On the much lighter side, we tried the sea bass ceviche which is plated on top of three squid ink tostadas. The fish was fresh and acidic with the touch of lime, and there also was a dollop of pablano guacamole hiding underneath.

Ceviche, Poblano Guacamole, Squid Ink Tostada
Ceviche, Poblano Guacamole, Squid Ink Tostada
One of the sides we tried were the Brussels Sprouts with garlic, shallots, almonds, and a touch of preserved lemon. They were nice and buttery and would make it easy for anyone to eat their veggies.

Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Shallot, Almond, Preserved Lemon
Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Shallot, Almond, Preserved Lemon
Another non-seafood item on mfk.'s menu is the tempura eggplant drizzled with honey, cilantro, and Flore de Sardo. The sliced cheese on top was similar to a grana padano. These were great for munching on while we awaited our next courses.

Tempura Eggplant, Spiced Honey, Cilantro, Flore de Sardo
Tempura Eggplant, Spiced Honey, Cilantro, Flore de Sardo
The Albondigas, or pork and veal meatballs, were also a hit. They arrived with a generous amount of white bean puree, as well as chopped almonds. The puree was thick and smooth and nicely balanced the hearty meatballs.

Albondigas: Pork & Veal Meatballs, White Bean Puree, Almonds
Albondigas: Pork & Veal Meatballs, White Bean Puree, Almonds
The next dish we tried was absolutely my favorite, the "Fideous" toasted vermicelli with asparagus, bell pepper, poblano, and saffron. The noodles were slightly crispy but that sauce was so incredibly creamy and comforting! The saffron not only added gorgeous color, but also intense flavor. The dish had just the right amount of kick as well. I'm seriously dreaming about eating this dish right now.

"Fideous" Toasted Vermicelli, Asparagus, Peppers, Poblano, Saffron
"Fideous" Toasted Vermicelli, Asparagus, Bell Pepper, Poblano, Saffron
Back to the seafood options! We tasted the grilled octopus which was also fresh and simply prepared compared to other items we tried. There were even some large homemade potato chips on top, which were obviously tasty.

Grilled Octopus
Grilled Octopus
Our last seafood dish of the night was the manila clams with piperade, citrus butter, and sunflower seeds. I'm not the biggest fan of clams, but I appreciated the color and flavors of this dish. If you like clams, you'll enjoy this option.

Manila Clams, Piperade, Citrus Butter, Sunflower Seeds
Last, but certainly not least, we finished with mfk.'s signature basque cake. The cake is buttery and fluffy and to die for! This may be the one dish you decide not to share with others. I wouldn't judge you.

Basque Cake
Basque Cake
Luckily for me (not so much for my wallet), mfk. is just down the street. I love the intimate atmosphere and the semi-condensed menu. There's nothing more overwhelming than a gigantic menu, but mfk. focuses on what it does best.

I'm giving mfk. 4.5 ghosts out of 5!



mfk.
432 W. Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
773.857.2540
Mfk on Urbanspoon

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