When you realize you’ll need to get dinner in the Loop, it’s perfectly normal to experience a sense of dread followed by resignation. After all, your choices for a decent, not-overpriced meal after a day spent filing for divorce or taking selfies at The Bean are limited. But the good news is that they’re slightly less limited now that Fisk & Co. exists. Sure, it’s a hotel restaurant, but it actually makes us look forward to eating in the neighborhood.
Fisk & Co. is attached to the Hotel Monaco, but other than potentially being surrounded by people wearing conference name tags (and having to leave the restaurant to use the bathroom), you probably won’t notice. The dining room is on the smaller side, and has a cozy atmosphere with vaguely nautical decor that fits the seafood-focused menu. You could just as easily come here for a solo meal at the bar, a casual night with friends, or a group dinner with your colleagues who are in town for a seminar on packing tape.
Food-wise, most things here are designed for sharing. Take the mussels, for example. They’re a house specialty, and you have five different preparations to choose from (all of which are tasty). We also like the Chef’s Seaboard, a charcuterie-style selection that includes slices of shrimp “mortadella,” an ’nduja-spiced tuna and swordfish spread, and a smoked whitefish rillette. Then there’s a crab dip that’s packed with meat and perfectly cheesy. You definitely want that, whether you end up sharing it or just eating it alone at the bar while you attempt to finish expense reports on your phone.
When your plan for the night includes some combination of the phrases “hotel restaurant” and “Chicago Loop,” you might be concerned that you’ll be stuck eating overpriced banquet food while you pay $40 an hour for parking. But Fisk & Co.’s good food and comfortable atmosphere make it like a neighborhood get-out-of-jail-free card. Get a table here, and save the nervousness for that presentation on packing tape you have to give tomorrow morning.
There are five preparations of mussels on the menu (white wine, harissa, coconut curry, apple cider and bacon, and a special of the month), and we like them all. That said, our favorites are the apple cider and the coconut curry.
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside - basically everything you want in french fries. You can choose three sauces from from seven different options, and in case you (rightly) find the options overwhelming, know that our favorites are the garlic aioli, remoulade, and black garlic ketchup.
You can order the seafood charcuterie a la carte, or get the Chef’s Seaboard, which has some of everything. There’s a tasty smoked whitefish rillette, a spicy tuna and swordfish spread, and a “mortadella” that’s made out of shrimp. It’s a little weird, and a lot fantastic.
Some raw salmon and some smoked salmon, all topped with little balls of avocado. We like this.
This is a perfect bar snack. It makes us glad the bar here has multiple TVs for watching sports.
This bisque is boring, and you need to be careful about rogue shells. But the puff pastry sticks that come on the side are very good.
The housemade pappardelle is really good, and the pork cheek ragout is rich and well-seasoned. It’s a great option if you don’t want seafood.
We really like the components of this dish - the apple, cabbage, and mustard sauce taste sweet and vinegary, and go really well with the fish. But the salmon itself is inconsistent - sometimes it’s served medium, and sometimes it’s completely overcooked.