If you find yourself in Chicago — and it’s a direct and quick flight from Houston, so why not? — there’s a little dish I want you to try. You’ll need to book a table at GT Fish & Oyster (we went for brunch this past weekend), and that’s really it. Reserve a week in advance and you’ll be fine.
It’s a light and airy restaurant, helmed by a chef who worked in Charlie Trotter’s kitchen. His name is Giuseppe Tentori, and he’s put together a great place on North Wells. The staff is attentive and professional, the wine list is full of value and variety, and the approach to the food on display here is thoughtful and honest.
To the dish I want you to try: It’s listed on the menu as GT “Deviled Egg” smoked salmon, caraway liqueur sidecar, and it costs $6 (each). Three came to our table on a small platter, the half shells nestled in small cups, which were in turn placed on tall shot glasses. Trout roe, plump and briny, was set atop the whipped mixture — cauliflower and smoked salmon mousse — alongside chives.
What’s in the shot glasses? The caraway liqueur, which you will surely enjoy, later. Take the spoon and notice the thickness and consistency of the mousse. Nothing runny about this. Dig deeper, and the pickled red onions will appear. Make sure you assemble a spoonful containing each of the components, then enjoy.
Slightly acidic, a faint touch of sweetness from the cauliflower, and the pop of the roe. I followed the first bite with a sip of the liqueur, and my brunch began well.