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I feel lucky to live surrounded by some of the best restaurants in Chicago. My neighborhood, the West Loop, has longtime favorites like Girl & the Goat as well as newcomers like Nisos Prime (full review here). Two blocks over, you’ll find Fulton Market, which is home to a slew of additional dining hotspots as well as the Time Out Market.
Taste of Fulton Market just celebrated its third year. This tasty and fun event raises money for the Illinois Restaurant Association’s Educational Fund and Chicago-based Recipe for Change while celebrating the many restaurants the Fulton Market Dining District. We have been to this event before and came ready to eat.
Twenty restaurants filled the three floors of Morgan’s on Fulton with a DJ and bars found on the upper-level rooftop. While we couldn’t sample every dish, we did our best to try as many as possible.
As we entered, we grabbed a Marketini (made with tequila, Cappellatti Aperativo, pineapple, rhubarb, honey, and lemon) from the bar.
There were three restaurants offering dishes on the ground floor. My first bite was the Stuffed Piquillo Pepper with chicken tinga, Chihuahua cheese, pineapple, and cilantro from Marvin’s Food & Fuel. This was a lot of flavors, but they worked well together.
Next, I tried the Picanha Pinxo (which is a grilled beef skewer with a peanut chimichurri) and the Passionfruit Bunuelo (crispy sweet tortillas, mixed berries, and mango sorbet) from Tabu. I loved the peanut sauce and the sweet bite was tasty.
Kuma’s Corner, which is known for its delicious burgers, was serving several types of tortilla bites. I sampled both of the meat options (there was also two veggie choices). The Buffalo Chicken Bites has blue cheese and cream cheese. The Jalapeño Popper Bites were filled with chorizo, cream cheese, and cumin-raspberry jam.
We climbed the stairs to the second floor and found lots of choices.
Tacombi was offering Carne Asada Tacos (made with chopped sirloin, caramelized onion, chiles, toreados, cilantro, and an avocado tomatillo salsa) and Corn Esquites (with Cotija cheese, Morita mayo, chile powder, and lime). I loved the heat of the corn and the lime added a nice freshness.
Pastorelli Pizza Sauce was serving Mozzarella Sticks.
I then skipped to dessert and it was amazing. JoJo’s ShakeBAR was serving two types of milkshakes. I went with the Chocolate Nirvana. It was Oreo flavored and topped with a double chocolate donut hole, a double chocolate marshmallow, and a chocolate chip cookie. My husband had The Girl Scout. It was Andes Mint Chocolate ice cream with toasted marshmallow, a chocolate-covered pretzel, a chocolate s’more, and a double chocolate cookie. These milk shakes were huge and filling.
Back to savory, we next tasted Pollo Asado Taco (chicken, red onion, cilantro, and avocado salsa) from Bodega Taqueria y Tequila. We frequently order food from this restaurant and highly recommend its quesadillas.
Next, we had the Tortilla Española (eggs, confit potatoes, and Spanish onions) and Escalivada (roasted eggplant, red peppers, onion, labne yogurt, fresh herbs, and olive oil) from Boqueria. Both were quite good.
We then climbed up to the third floor rooftop.
Once on the top floor, we first tried the Wild Greens Pie from Avli. The phyllo was crispy and the eggplant puree was delicious.
Fora was the next stop for a Fried Chicken Sandwich (with roasted chili BBQ sauce, pickled Jalapeño, cabbage, and peanut) and Steak Tartare (with a lime vinaigrette, salsa seca, and magic pasta). The chicken was light and crispy and I’m always a fan of steak tartare.
Nearby, Bandit was serving Nashville Chicken Tenders (on a scallion pancake with pickle slaw and avocado ranch). This was a playful take on chicken and waffles with a pancake subbed for the waffles. This was served with a vodka-based cocktail named the Samantha. My husband probably drank nine of these. We go to Bandit regularly as it’s near our place and always consistently good.
Bar Siena served Burrata Bites (with apricot mostarda and basil oil on a crostini) as well as Beef Tartare (mixed with egg yolk, capers, shallots, chives, and dijonaise on a crostini). Both bites were great and what I expect from the restaurant (another favorite in the neighborhood).
We were filling up, but made room for the Serrano Wrapped Dates (made with Serrano ham, spiced nuts, goat cheese, and preserved lemon aioli) from Carnivale. This restaurant is a great place for a fun dinner. The decor is playful and the space is huge.
HIDE + SEEK opened recently a few blocks away. They were serving three dishes and I ended the evening enjoying them all. Burratta (was served with grilled apricot and cermoula on sourdough), Braised Short Rib (came on a potato cloud with pickeled watermelon and cipollini onions), and Ravioli (filled with lemon ricotta and served with baby squash and pine nut butter). The food impressed me, overall (the short rib was a bit salty) and we’ll need to dine here soon.
Other than cocktails served by individual restaurants, all three levels had bars serving a variety of spirits, wine, beer., and hard seltzer.
There is limited seating and I advise snagging a table early if you want to sit.
I always love the views down Fulton Market from this venue.
The sunset and we were stuffed, so we walked the few blocks home.
Anthony’s Take: This a great event and one that I will definitely be returning to in the future. Great eats and drinks for a good cause will always get me to buy a ticket and come and stuff my face. I look forward to next year’s Taste of Fulton Market.
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