2012-08-10 – Wednesday night we ate at GT Fish and Oyster, a River North restaurant where my son Chef Nathaniel just got his first job since graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, just a few blocks away. Nat had Wednesday off and Thursday was my birthday, so it was the perfect time to celebrate. Five of us: Nat, me, Kit, Cal, and Roman. And it was quite an experience.
I’m not really sure how to describe it to you. I’m not a foodie (though I do like to eat). And I don’t eat at restaurants like this very often. I like small and cheap ethnic restaurants: Thai, Mexican, whatever. So I really don’t even have a vocabulary to tell you how good this was. So you’ll forgive me if I tell you I liked that green thing.
And the green thing was good. I can even tell you what it was called: ceviche. And it was presented on a kind of butcher block atop another green thing. The other green thing is called lettuce. The ceviche was one of the few things I’d actually had before. Nat’s brought some home for us a couple weeks ago. The butcher block had a bunch of other stuff that I think Nat called something like Suzie Sashimi. It’s all mixed up in my head now, but one item was made out of raw tuna and ginger (memorable in taste, if not name).
Probably the standout item was the clam chowder. Yes, I know about clam chowder. I like ordering it once in a while when I go out. But this was an entirely different sort of soup. White and creamy, like the clam chowder I’ve always known, but spicy in a way I haven’t known. And the croutons or crackers or whatever that they served with it were weird: kinda bland when I popped a dry one in my mouth, but totally activated when I dropped them into the soup. Another favorite I have no name for. It was kind of an open-faced sandwich built on a cracker that resembled melba toast and piled with an avocado past sorta like guacamole and topped with shrimp. Even the so-called ordinary items—fish and chips and mac and cheese (with lobster!)—were the best I’ve ever taste. In all, we probably shared about 20 dishes. These people put the Oy into Oysters!
Two other things I have to tell you.
First, I discovered a beer called Cane and Ebel from the Two Brothers brewery. I’m not a beer drinker and I didn’t even like it (it was too “hoppy,” which I discovered means that it is bitter). But I liked the name because Cain and Abel are main characters in the novel I just finished writing called Cain’s Mother-In-Law. No doubt you’ll be hearing more about this in future posts. Needless to say, I took the bottle home with me and I put in on my desk at work so I can see it every day.
Second, I learned how well regarded Chef Nathaniel at his new job. He’s worked as an extern there for a couple months before he was offered the job, which actually starts tomorrow. It was nice for a dad (and his mom, too) to see the people at the bar and the wait staff and the chefs and cooks all come and congratulate him on being hired. That was the best part. That and sharing and outstanding meal with him and the family.