Here we are halfway through Chicago Restaurant Week (CRW) 2018 (through February 8).
So many choices, so little time.
If you are like me, oftentimes, it's all about what's new. Just before the start of CRW 2018, I wrote a post on Show Me Chicago's 12 best deals.
Choosing the best deals from over 370 restaurants, is not an easy task. I tried to add some tried and true along with the trendy and new.
Some restaurants use CRW to put their best foot forward and showcase their restaurants giving guests a great experience and a lot of bang for the buck. Others just use the occasion to beef up their profits by cutting portions and using less expensive ingredients. It's hard to know what you'll get until you dine.
Last night, we got more than our moneysworth.
Although I had eaten at Catch 35 before, it had been a while. I was too busy checking out the buzz worthy spots in the West Loop, River North and Logan Square until I needed to find a restaurant convenient to Chicago's Theatre District in the Loop where I was planning on seeing The Humans.
When Catch 35 came up in my search, I thought, why not. Better yet, they had a $33 prix fixe dinner menu that looked sensational.
My friend and I arrived at 5 pm. and were seated immediately. We said we wanted to take our time and space the 3-course menu over a two hour time span. Our waiter was more than agreeable.
Although Catch has an excellent and extensive wine list, we decided to go with cocktails. Since my guest was hungry, we ordered the first course with our drinks.
My New England Clam Chowder was outstanding. To me, there's not much worse than cool or lukewarm soup. This one came to the table steaming hot. It was rich and creamy with nice chunks of clams. I happily could have made a whole meal out of this and some bread and butter. My friend's Salt Roasted Beet Salad with Goat cheese mousse and crushed pistachios was equally satisfying.
Of course, this was only the beginning.
For the entrees, the $33 prix fixe menu offered 5 choices--4 seafood dishes and one meat dish--all included suggested wine pairings at an additional cost.
Although I normally would order fish at a seafood restaurant, I had eaten fish the last two evenings so went with the Oscar Style Filet Mignon Medallions with Lump Crab, béarnaise sauce and asparagus. The dish could compete with any of Chicago's best steakhouses.
My friend ordered the Georges Bank Haddock with Oyster mushrooms, sweet potatoes, panko and bourbon butter sauce. The plate included a large portion of fresh, tender, moist haddock bedded on the vegetables. The verdict: perfection.
There were two choices for dessert: Key Lime Pie with a Graham cracker crust, raspberry sauce and whipped cream or a Flourless Chocolate Cake with a Warm hazelnut center and crushed hazelnuts. Both were beautifully presented and outstanding.
A live jazz trio, the Eric Hochberg trio (with weekly special guests), added to the ambience.
Sometimes in order to be competitive, an established restaurant, has to work that much harder to attract diners in today's social media environment. Catch 35--in business since March of 1991--is doing just that. The service, the menu and the live music make for a delightful dining experience.
The $33 prix fixe menu is a bargain. They also have a $44 prix fixe dinner menu and a $22 lunch menu for restaurant week. The jazz trio plays from 6 pm. to 9 pm., Tuesdays through Saturdays. PARK FREE: Another plus, if you are going to the theater and dine in the dining room at Catch 35, they will deduct the cost of their valet parking from your guest check and you can leave your car there until after the show.
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Filed under: Restaurant reviews