Over the years, Fulton Market Kitchen ( 311 N. Sangamon St.; FultonMarketKitchen.com )which is, naturally, in the Fulton Market Districthas intrigued and even dazzled patrons, thanks to the combination of inviting food and the provocative works of art that adorn the venue.
Well, people can rest: Even during a pandemic, FMK continues to be a restaurant/art space where patrons can have at least some of their senses fully satisfied.
A recent dinner at the venue confirmed that high culinary standards are still in place. ( By the way, all the safeguards are in place, including coded menus you download on your smartphone, physically distant tables and mask-wearing staff. )
Starting with cocktails, things began on a wonderful notethanks to two of the most beautiful ( and tasty ) drinks I've experienced in quite some time. My friend loved the Crimson Moon, which is a melange of Banhez mezcal, pomegranate, beet, lime, Fernet Vallet, Morita chili syrup and mole bitters. I opted for the milder ( but no less impressive ) Gold Teeth, which contains Buffalo Trace bourbon, Bols Genever gin, turmeric, ginger, pear, honey, thyme. yellow chartreuse and egg white.
We both had the acorn squash tortellini as our appetizer. Topped with creamed corn sauce, truffle butter, marinated manchego and crispy sage, the dish epitomized fall in a most delightful way. ( Other app offerings include beef tartar, PEI mussels, poached pear salad, and even shrimp and grits. )
Entrees are just as enticing as I remember. ( I was last here in 2018. ) My friend had the day's specialsoy miso-glazed halibut, with apple yuzu pudding, baby turnips and celery root pureeand she had the biggest smile on her face as she consumed the dish. I went more casual with the FMK Smash Burger, which came with beef-fat fries ( which themselves came with spicy ketchup and roasted garlic aioli )and this was probably the best burger I've had this side of Mott St. Incidentally, if you can eat this sandwich in one sitting, you'll likely be in a food coma. ( The burger lasted me three days. ) We also had some tasty Brussels sprouts as a side dish and the one dessertbeignets with coffee ice creamis a must-try.
However, be aware of the prices of items. Cocktails start at $13 each, appetizers are approximately $13-$17, and entrees range from $19 to $65 ( the latter for the 30-ounce ribeye ). So as enticing as the menu offerings are, you may want to save FMK for a special occasion, although the items at Saturday lunch/brunch ( which starts at 12:30 p.m. ) are certainly more affordable.
Regarding the art, try to take ( or arrange ) a tour if you can. You'll be beyond impressed with the workswhich are everywhere, and which are mostly for sale. ( Even the bar is a work of art that consists of various forms of luggage. ) And FMK has more in store, including a "Live Painting" experience for guests to enjoy while dining, as well as an immersive ticketed dinner party experience for guests on Halloween night, with Andy Warhol being the muse for the evening.