Gourmet Grocer, Bistro, and Cafe?
I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a little Groupon happy lately but the deals have finally been too good to pass up. Half off of Takashi? Two hour SUNSET segway tour around Chicago? Half off at Geja’s Cafe?
I just don’t have the will power to let these slip through my fingers.
Fortunately, another Groupon that I just couldn’t slip away was for Fox & Obel, the high end grocery store in Streeterville. One of my closest friends lives right across the street and I’ve heard about this mysterious bistro at Fox & Obel where you can get a filet for $9.99 (AND it’s good!).
Finally…with Groupon in hand I was able to make my way to Market Bistro a few weeks ago for a relaxing dinner with friends.
Market Bistro is expectantly, not very big since the space must house a grocery store, restaurant, and cafe. However, sitting in the bistro with low lighting and a view of the river really makes you forget that you are in a grocery store. Ninja star awarded!
This is a great date spot. The bistro is quiet (but not eerily quiet where you feel like the table next door is hanging on your every word), the lighting is romantic, and you can get a window shot overlooking the river at night. Even take your honey for a stroll by the water (don’t get mugged!) in the Summer time. Ninja star awarded.
Our waiter was friendly and helpful enough but the place was definitely understaffed. The later part of our meal was spent waiting for dessert menus or checks. I felt bad for the guy but what can you do? No star.
The restaurant offers a meager list of wine offerings on their menu (both by the bottle and glass). Although, the by the glass option is a rip off. I think it was $11 per glass, while they offer the entire bottle for $23. Another perk is that you can actually pick out a wine from the grocery store and have them uncork it for you. I love this! Ninja star awarded.
No stands out. No star.
Being that I was a first time diner at Market Bistro, I was just gitty at the prices. Plus, using a Groupon just feels like free money (yes, I realize I paid for it).
We decided to start with the Spicy Hummus with grilled eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, and grilled pita. We also went for the Black Mussels with smoked bacon, sweet corn, asparagus, white wine, and butter.
The hummus was creamy and had a nice flavor (although not very spicy). The vegetables it came with were fresh and the pita was fluffy (I could have used more). The portion was also generous.
The mussels were fantastic. Once again, the portion size was generous and they came with corn and bacon. That is a hard combination not to like. I used my bread to sop up all the bacon/corn/wine/butter goodness. Yum!
On to the mains, I ordered the Herbed Crusted New York Strip with creamed spinach, mushrooms, and roasted fingerling potatoes.
The theme of the meal continues, the steak was huge but slightly over-cooked in sections. The creamed spinach, mushrooms, and potatoes were rich and the cream accented the herbs of the steak nicely. Overall, a good dish but I had to give some of it away since the portion was so large.
One of my dining companions was lucky that I couldn’t finish my meal because he ordered the crab cakes (one of my top choices at first). They were fishy… I definitely won’t be ordering those next time.
Oh well, everything I ate was delicious… ninja star awarded!
See comment above about bursting at the seams. However, the table did indulge in some espresso drinks for dessert. I love a good after diner cappuccino and this was just what I needed and served in an awesome mug (my new obsession). Ninja star awarded.
Market Bistro comes in at 7/9 ninja stars!
Market Bistro is an affordable, high quality meal that makes a perfect date spot. You would be silly not to check it out.
Till next time, peace out food ninjas!