Recently, I had a biscuit sandwich in the Gold Coast. The item was very goodbut I'm not sure it was worth the $11 price tag.
This was the same feeling my dining companion and I had after dining at Lure Fishbar, which recently opened at 616 N. Rush St., and which is also part of the 21c Museum Hotel. (Lure has other locations in New York City and Miami.)
Executive Chef John Comerford has some very nice dishes, with one being among the best I've had this year. And I know the location is a pricey one, and that the country is dealing with supply and employee shortagesso I'm willing to make some accommodations.
The vibe is certainly elegant (and dark)although some might find the dance music coming through the speakers (such as The Gap Band's "Outstanding") clashes a bit with the ambiance. Maybe Lure could install a dance floor so patrons could work up an appetite (or work off the crab claws they've eaten).
For sure, Lure has a wonderful variety of itemsespecially (and unsurprisingly) regarding seafood. There are oysters from both coasts (dressed and unadorned) and sushi as well as several items listed as "Jewels of the Sea"; they include everything from littleneck clams to chilled whole lobster. Additionally, there are combination shellfish plates you can order, although they might set you back a little; for example, the "Shellfish"a whole lobster with a pound of king crab and one pound of shrimpis $175.
My friend and I started with a most delectable appetizer: deviled eggs topped with crispy oysters and pickled chili. The tuna tatakiwhich had the fish dressed with ponzu, oranges, crispy shallots and cilantrodelightfully provoked our taste buds; the lobster mac 'n cheese was solidly prepared (although it fell short of the last similar dish I had in Virginia Beach, at Catch 31); and the crispy sushi rice is definitely recommended.
However, the menu stated that those three eggs were $16, the tataki was $23 and the mac 'n cheese was $32and those were the appetizers.
The entrees were … again, solid. My friend really liked her lobster roll and my (not-so-large) burger, with bacon-and-onion jam, was quite good. However, there was one dish that definitely elevated the evening: the sea-urchin bucatini with blue crab. It might come in at $41, but it would be worth your while (and money) to order this, as Comerford masterfully combined various textures and tastes to make an unforgettable dish. (Note: I did want to try the bone-in pork chop instead of the burger, but Lure was out of chops that evening. Oh, well…)
Other entrees that looked particularly inviting included branzino St. Tropez, grilled whole daurade (also known as sea bream), crispy Asian snapper and pan-seared heirloom chicken. Vegetarians and vegans have a few options, such as butter lettuce salad with cucumber, grapefruit, avocado and green goddess dressing.
The desserts were delicious and even decadent. The gluten-free brownie with vanilla ice cream was an exercise in indulgencealthough I was surprised to see a more basic dish on the menu with so many other elevated items. And the matcha-coconut panna cotta was perfectly made; it was light and more fitting for this sleek spot. (Interestingly, Comerford was one pastry sous chef at The Jameswhich was also at 616 N. Rush St.)
So, despite my cost-related statements about Lure, I do recommend it for the food and service. (Our server, Matthew, was amazing with us and the surrounding patrons.) You might want to wait until a special occasion to visit, though.
Lure's website is www.lurefishbar.com/location/chicago/ .
COVID protocols at Lure: Patrons have to wear masks throughout the restaurant and adjoining hotel any time they're away from their tables; staffers are always masked. Bottles of hand sanitizer are on Lure's tables.
Note: This visit was arranged.