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mfk restaurant

By Sam Faye Friday, October 24, 2014 10:29PM

Here’s a maturity test. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we say MFK? Are you waiting for a list of three names to marry-f*ck-kill, or are you thinking of the new little seafood restaurant on Diversey Parkway near the harbor? The good news is this is a win-win because the answer should be both. While our immaturity may not do anything for you, the real benefit here is that MFK is a great new addition to this Lincoln Park area.

Paraphrasing owner Scott Worsham’s words a bit from the MFK website, the concept is the result of his love affair with the fresh and diverse dishes of Spain combined with the need of a taste of spring during Chicago winters. We didn’t happen to look at the website before we ate here – Scout’s honor – but after taking a peek we can honestly say he nailed it. Here’s why.

In terms of the food, seafood shines in a very simple format. Nothing you order will be overly messed with. Instead, MFK adds just enough flavors through limited extra ingredients and preparation, which only enhance the quality of the fish. There’s also some meat options and great veggie salads to perfectly round out the meal.

More impressive though, is how accurately Worsham was able to create the atmosphere he envisioned. MFK is a tiny little spot below street level that seats maybe 30 people max and allows minimal visibility of the outside world. Add the simple yet fresh décor, white walls, and seaside centric artwork, and you’ll start to realize why this little cellar could be your closest escape to spring when Mother Nature continuously beats us down. Obviously, we say this now, and MFK only opened this past July, but we’ll definitely be testing the theory when the snow starts to fall.

Food Rundown

Tuna-Caper “Butter”
This tuna-caper “butter” is essentially a tuna-based paté, and it’s pretty delicious. It comes topped with a little crème fraiche and is accompanied by some bread, radishes, butter, and sea salt.

Tortilla de Espana
The classic Spanish omelet served chilled with potatoes and onions inside. This one comes with a salt cod brandade on the side, and while we are no stranger to this dish, MFK’s version is way better than we expected.

Romano Beans
Lightly dusted in panko and cooked, topped with some lemon, shallots, garlic, and almonds. Cooking the beans just a little adds a nice touch.

Seared Corn
MFK’s recreation of the ever-popular Mexican street food, elote, and it’s awesome. Seared corn shaved off the cob with cotija cheese and smoked paprika. Our go-to side.

½ Lb Shrimp
Cooked shrimp, heads on, served on a stick and lightly dressed with chili oil. The chili oil isn’t spicy or overbearing, and don’t be shy of the heads – sucking out the juicy good stuff in them is the best part.

Whole Octopus
If looking at an octopus freaks you out, then this dish probably isn’t for you. We really enjoyed it, and the green gazpacho sauce with avocado, almonds, and an orange squeezed over the top is a unique preparation.