Fulton Market Kitchen opened up around nine months ago in the West Loop/Fulton Market area, and when it did, we were told all the cool kids were going. Who are the cool kids? We have no idea, but we heard a lot of buzz about this concept doubling as an art gallery and a restaurant, so when the right occasion recently presented itself we decided to check it out. As an "art gallery," Fulton Market nails it. But the "kitchen" part of Fulton Market Kitchen doesn't work nearly as well.
The artistic aspect of Fulton Market Kitchen deserves attention, because it's an awesome space showcasing some cool work. Like everything else in this former meatpacking area, the building itself maintains that warehouse feel, and the artistic emphasis is immediately noticeable when you realize the host stand is actually a sculpture of collected briefcases. There is one main large dining area with tables around the edge and high tops in the middle, with a couple smaller rooms offering a more low key vibe. It's hard not to get drawn to the different styles of artwork and creativity, ranging from large scale murals and pop art, to cigar boxes serving as bill and credit card holders at the end of your meal. Even the menus are pieces of art, crafted from the pages of repurposed vintage books. The only artistic aspect of the restaurant that wasn't doing it for us was the music. Classic 80's rock and serious club music can be acceptable choices on their own, but abruptly switching between the two is good for neither the mind nor body.
In terms of the food, we've found some enjoyable moments, but we've also had some real misses that can make for an extremely disappointing and overpriced meal. And honestly, that's all we have to say about that. We'd come back here for cocktails and maybe some small bites to take in the scene, but we're not in a hurry to empty our wallets for another full fledged meal.
Thinly sliced scallop with citrus, radishes, pink peppercorns, celery, and shaved beets. The scallop is fine but the flavors here are a bit unbalanced.
Pappardelle pasta with a confit of hen, English peas, mushrooms, and parmesan. Although the pasta is cooked really well, the hen is too fatty.
Crisped pig, lobster tail, melted leeks, artichokes, and a burgundy sauce. The pig is good, but along with the burgundy sauce it completely dominates the lobster in a negative way. The side of leeks and artichokes is the best part.
This is not a good burger based on any standards. The homemade special sauce and ketchup are interesting and well done, but they don't do much for the overall flavor of the total package.
Whole fried red snapper, head, eyes, and all, served with three sauces on the side: coconut, ponzu, and sweet and sour. This is the best dish we've eaten here.
A good pie crumble crust with a nice tart filling. Pretty straightforward.
As the self proclaimed king of all things bread pudding, this didn't do it for me. The highlight was a unique and delicious root beer syrup on the plate, but there wasn't even enough of it.