The West Loop in Chicago just welcomed Cold Storage, a new seafood bar, located inside its big sister steakhouse, Swift & Sons. It opened for business a couple of weeks ago and I have been super excited to check it out. So, I decided to head over there today for a lovely lunch.
Cold Storage is located just 1 block north of the Morgan ‘L’ stop, along the CTA Green and Pink Lines. This proximity to an ‘L’ stop is all the more reason to leave your cars at home, folks!
I was born and raised in New York City. I miss the ever-present seafood bars and clam shacks that are so pervasive in that area. Of course, the Midwest has its local fresh seafood catches (white fish, salmon, perch, smelts, etc.). However, I was really looking forward to eating in a place that conjured up all the ambiance of some great east coast seafood bars. Here’s how my lunch went down:
I love that this space is an off shoot of a steakhouse in an iconic Chicago building. Unlike the sprawling 400+ dining room of Swift & Sons, Cold Storage has just a few high tops, some booths and a white, marble bar at which to eat. The latter is always my preferred option in such an eatery because you can ogle all the yummy looking crustaceans that are being prepared 🙂 Also, you can fully engage with the talented and knowledgeable staff who are preparing the dishes and drinks.
The menu is divided into hot and cold items. Choose from ceviche, as wells as grilled and sautéed fish preparations. Looking for a shrimp banh mi? Cold Storage has you covered! Have a meat-loving friend with you? Have no fear! A delicious burger is available from the Swift & Sons kitchen.
I started off with this super sweet, tender and spicy calamari dish. It was pan-seared with pickled peppers and red chili flakes. There was a generous amount of olive oil to make you feel really good about yourself and make your skin glow. My kind of dish, y’all!!! Ask for a bit of bread to soak up the remaining sauce. You won’t want any to go to waste.
Next up, I chose this light, lovely and citrus-y gravlax. It was accompanied with horseradish, beets and a wedge of lemon. It was perfection! I had not had gravlax in a long while and I was so happy with this preparation. I enjoyed it all on its own but I also tried it with the 4 different house made hot sauces which are available (jalapeño. Fresno chili, lemon pepper and Habanero). They were all delicious without overpowering the salmon.
I had an opportunity to witness some seafood towers being assembled, as well as a faceplant-worthy bowl of mussels fly by. I’ll be back for both of those 😉
I washed my meal down with a lovely Frascati white wine and the truly addictive, complimentary house made potato chips.
The dessert menu here is so tempting. However, I was trying to watch my waistline today. It is focused on ice cream sundaes, shakes/malts and pie. I LOVE this! The pastry chef, Meg Galus, is one of the very best in town ,so I cannot wait to return with reinforcements to sample one of everything 🙂
The staff at Cold Storage is led by Chef Chris Pandel (Swift & Sons, Balena, Bristol). The manager, servers and bartender took especially good care of me. What are you waiting for? Get you Ventra card out and head on over there!
Cold Storage is located at 1000 W. Fulton Market St. (inside Swift & Sons). It is open weekdays starting 11am and on weekends starting at 4:30pm. Click here for more information.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Green or Pink Lines to Cold Storage. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!