Bar Mar by Jose Andres - Chicago
The Bazaar and Bar Mar by José Andrés come to Chicago through the efforts of Michelin-starred chef José Andrés and his ThinkFoodGroup team. With ingenious cuisine and innovative cocktails, Bar Mar describes itself as a "carefully-curated theater of shared plates."
The Little Snacks section of the menu seems designed to provided bites appropriate to a drink at the bar, including hamachi and caviar cones, chicken croquettes and...tater tots.
Embutidos include chef 's selection of Spanish and domestic ham and salumi, culinary arenas in which the Spanish excell.
The Raw & Simple section of the menu showcases the fresh seafood upon which Bar Mar is staking its reputation. Crowd-pleasers from the sea include raw abalone and braised shitake mushrooms, ora king salmon tiradito, and tuna ceviche.
Oysters are presented on the half-shell, and a very interesting take on the bivalve is the Imperial, which is comprised of oysters baked with backfin crab. green pepper, horseradish breadcrumbs and ham.
There are sandwiches that carry through the seafood theme, including the lobster roll, tuna tartare roll, calamari roll, as well as the persimmon and seaweed salad.
For heartier appetites, there's a walleye pike and a daily fish that presents seafood of pristine perfection, prepared by people who know their fish. For the meat eaters, there's a lot to choose from: American Wagyu skirt steak, and pulled chicken.
Select sweets are available and include sticky toffee pudding (a surprisingly English menu item), Key Lime pie, and fresh fruit on ice (seasonal fruit, local honey, Maldon sea salt).
There are many seafood-friendly cocktails, including the crowd-pleasing Ultimate G&T (Hendrick’s gin, Fever-Tree Indian tonic water, lime, lemon, juniper berries, and lemon verbena). There is a very large selection of wines by the glass and a number of well-chosen beers on draft and in bottles.