Memorable meal at Gage Restaurant & Tavern
I'm so glad that we did decide to have dinner at Gage - it was a great way to cap off our mini vacation in Chicago. Gage is right on S. Michigan Ave - close to Millenium Park and the Art Institute. It was rather cold so we didn't want to journey across the city to Spoon Thai - and so we went for the closer alternative: Gage. Feels like a big city restaurant: high energy, crowded but not crazy, a well trained floor staff. The food was very impressive: cooked correctly and seasoned very much to our liking. The floor manager was constantly walking the floor and looking for details that might need his attention.
A warm mini loaf of bread & butter came to the table first - the bread was fine but not as good as what was to follow .......
I started with the seared New Bedford scallops with roasted corn and chicken skin cracklings ($16) - expertly seared and cooked perfectly: tender, juicy and well seasoned (brined?). The corn was sweet and the chicken crackling was impressively thin (paper) & crispy. Enjoyed every morsel of this dish ( 3 large scallops ). J- had the Organic lettuces with muscat grapes, raisins, Maytag blue cheese and champagne vinaigrette...... a generously sized salad that was a great starter. ($8)
Had the Mussels Vindaloo ($13) for my main dish - a large bowl full of large PEI mussels with a delicious broth with Indian spice notes. A dramatic l o n g slice of focaccia was grilled for extra flavor & better dipping into the broth. The mussels were sweet and tender - lovely. I couldn't finish all the mussels - and I don't often leave food behind :~ )
J - had the fish and chips. ($17) 3 pieces of crispy fish (guiness battered) that were not greasy at all but still moist. Came with chips (fries) and a ramekin of ketchup plus one of malt tartar sauce & lemon. This was a good version of F&C but seemed a bit pale compared to the two seafood items I enjoyed. However, if you enjoy F&C - you'll probably still enjoy these.
The fish came in a newspaper cone - nice presentation - J had a Harp beer with her meal .... I asked about something non alcoholic and our waiter waivered for a moment but then remembered a Ginger Beer ( by Ginger People ) which I liked quite a bit: not overly sweet and with a fairly distinct ginger bite.
We were seated mid way back and in a side area that was a bit quieter than the main dining area ..... the area next to the bar would probably be a lot noisier/lively.
So, this is a great combination of location, service and definitely food - we look forward to returning.
24 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603