MK makes it into my top 3 restaurants in Chicago of ALL time. Reviewed by Food and Wine, Esquire, and USA Today, critics have commended MK for its “playful and confident New American cooking” that “blow away” Windy city diners. I would have to agree, even though I was disappointed by the bread basket (a “MUST get it right” for all fancy restaurants, in my opinion).
MK was my first restaurant meal back in Chicago after a month-long vacation…it did a great job of reminding how much I love American cuisine! Especially when you get 4 different complimentary dishes!
Our Menu Tonight
Visit the MK website for their full menu here.
Multi-grain Baguette with sea salt butter (Complimentary)
Tastiness: I wanted to love the bread because it was multi-grainy and speckled with all shades of brown, but not only was it served cold, the bread was dry and had almost a stale texture. Maybe that’s what MK intended, who knows.
Beet salad Bite (Complimentary)
Tastiness: Fresh beets dressed simply in a light vinaigrette dressing can’t go wrong. They were flavorful enough as a topping on the bread. No complaints here, especially when it’s complimentary.
Octopus baby octopus grilled over hardwood charcoal, braised bell peppers, leeks, agrumato olive oil 12
Tastiness: This was my incredibly delicious appetizer! The octopus was huge (there were 3) and grilled to perfection so there was a char on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. The highlight was definitely the flavorful bed of sautéed leeks and bell peppers, which had a slightly tart and yet rich marmalade-like touch to it. AWESOME.
Lobster and Butternut Squash Soup (Special) 13
Tastiness: This was Nick’s soup, and though delicious, not as yummy as the octopus appetizer (in my opinion). The dish had tiny bits of fresh lobster on the bottom, but also in tiny amounts. The soup was more like a lobster bisque, but not as rich with the addition of the squash. Both elements were present, but I thought dipping bread into the soup enhanced it further.
Whitefish / Lobster pan roasted lake erie whitefish , poached maine lobster, edamame, radish scallions, lobster and cilantro broth 32
Tastiness: An entire half of lobster cooked to perfection and the incredibly flavorful (and non-cilantro tasting) broth was the winner. The edamame and snow peas on the bottom soaked up all the fragrant broth and offered a great crunchy contrast to the proteins. The fish had an incredible crisp crusty layer of skin yet the flesh was soft and moist. I, however, enjoyed Nick’s tuna dish more.
Tuna peppercorn crusted yellowfin tuna seared rare, spinach, shiitake mushrooms
garlic mashed potato, red wine syrup 35
Tastiness: Thought this was Nick’s main dish, I ended up eating half of it because it was absolutely incredible. I could have done with just the tuna, mushrooms and sauce. Perfectly seared tuna (though I wish there was some sort of crusting outside) plus a buttery mushroom slice and a dabble of tart and smoky red wine reduction sauce felt like heaven in EVERY. SINGLE. BITE.
Pommes frites, truffle cream 8
Only about 20 people have raved to me about MK’s pommes frites. Get this, EXTRA truffle cream is an option on the menu as a separate “dish”.
Tastiness: I can appreciate a good fry, but I’m by no means a French fry lover. These fries were done the way I like them – not sliced too thin, piping hot, crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. The only complaint? A tad too salty for me. I actually enjoyed the fries more without the truffle cream. The cream was thick, tart (almost vinegar-tart) and…fine. Nick loved it more than I.
Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts (Complimentary)
Tastiness: YUM. I love my BS’s a little charred on the outside, but softer with a tiny bit of crunch on the inside. These were just it! The brown butter they were sautéed in made this veggies a little too indulgent for my taste (there was plenty of residual oil floating on the bottom of the dish), but necessary to lighten up the bitterness of the BS itself, which were more bitter than ones I have ever tasted before.
Peanut Butter Fudge, Brownie, Brittle (complimentary)
Tastiness: Too full for dessert, our waiter brought our 3 bite complimentary “surprise” dessert when we paid the bill. No winners here. The brownie was a little too dry and bitter for my taste, though I love 70% dark chocolate. The fudge was decent, but a little dry. The brittle was flavorless…unless you count sugary sweet a “flavor”.
TASTE: 4.5/5 (The sauces and “sides” were the winners to every dish…it’s the details that count!)
ORIGINALITY: 4/5 (New American at its best. Or…one of the best!)
VALUE: 4/5 (The bill came out to be $100 without wine. Expensive, yes, but Not if you bear in mind that MK is known to be $$$$$, that we went home completely stuffed, and that there were SO many complimentary dishes!)
Overall: I would totally come back (but for a special occasion!)