Big Star Mariscos - Chicago
Big Star Mariscos joins other One Off Hospitality restaurants and bars -- including The Publican and Violet Hour -- specializing in South of the Border seafood. Mexican food is usually associated with tacos and tamales, but Mexico has waters to the east and west , so there's plenty of Mexican fish and seafood preparations... and they will reward exploration.
Chef Paul Kahan, the man in the kitchen and behind so many of the winning dining and drinking initiatives from One Off Hospitality, had great success with his first Big Star locations and now he's moved ahead with Big Star Mariscos. According to Eater Chicago, "The push toward seafood could be a way to distinguish itself from Big Star’s Wicker Park and Wrigleyville locations. It could be a reflection of wanting to eat less meat and being healthier. The menu from One Off partner and chef Paul Kahan and Big Star culinary director Chris Miller includes raw options like a ceviche made with octopus, shrimp, and green chile-avocado salsa; a Jamaican aguachile; and cócteles. The biggest star, however, is the pescado zarandeado — a marinated and grilled whole fish (it will change regularly) served family-style that serves up to eight."
In addition to the fish and seafood, which are undoubtedly the big draw at Big Star Mariscos, there are some savory veggie options. Zanahoria are carrots spiced with al pastor seasoning, cucumber yogurt, smoked almonds, and green onion, as well as Hongos Dorados, oyster mushrooms, queso Oaxaca, crisp tortilla, salsa verde, and cilantro.
If meat is a must, there's carne asada (you know what that is, right?) and cochinita pibil, the very popular pork shoulder braised in banana leaf, achiote salsa, poblano rajas, and pickled red onion.
There are many drink options, including massive selections of tequila and mezcal. If beer is more your thing, there is a menu of many local brews to choose from. Of course, there's also a cellarful of wine and a fantastic list of cocktails.