After nixing Peter Balodimas' farm-to-table restaurant in the former Rosebud Trattoria space, the new Rosebud concept is finally coming into focus. Rosebud Restaurants and chef Joe Farina are joining the growing seafood trend with Joe Fish, planning a March 1 opening.
Joe Fish will focus on Italian and Mediterranean seafood, a raw bar, and an extensive wine program in the large 155-seat space on the corner of Illinois and Dearborn. They're naming the restaurant after a Farina nickname, as well as a play on the old card game Go Fish. Farina's seafood background, having cooked sushi at the former Hotel Nikko (now the Westin), plays heavily in the decision.
Farina will base the menu around oysters and other shellfish, fish filets, grilled shrimp and lobster, Italian fish stews, whole fish, and pastas. Non-seafood items, such as chateaubriand and rack of lamb, will also be available.
The wine list will feature more than 300 Mediterranean, California, and reserve selections. Craft cocktails and a small beer list will round out the beverages.
Inside, the space will feature a 10-seat oyster bar with built-in shellfish steamers, a 20-25-seat bar with communal tables, a semi-private wine room housing over 1000 bottles, and a dining room. Decor elements are still coming together but expect the Roman god Neptune to be prevalent.
When asked what will set Joe Fish apart from other seafood concepts, Rosebud representatives mention the Mediterranean and Italian focus and Farina's cooking background at Centro, other Rosebud restaurants, and the Hotel Nikko. They note that the restaurant group has been focusing more on seafood, with Farina incorporating more seafood dishes into the Centro menu too.
They also say that they decided to nix Domestic, where Balodimas would have taken over the lease, because "we wanted to keep ownership." Look for ownership's newest venture, Joe Fish, to open around March 1.
· All Domestic Coverage [-ECHI-]
· All Rosebud Restaurants Coverage [-ECHI-]
· Rosebud Restaurants [Official Site]