Despite the drop in temperature around Chicago, Phil Vettel says that mfk.'s sunny spirit "exudes a laid-back summertime vibe that will have you reaching for your flip-flops," in his latest review. The Chicago Tribune critic cites the "genial" presence of owners Scott Worsham (who gets singled out for the "rewarding" chats guests can expect) and Sari Zernich-Worsham and the food of the "very capable" Nick Lacasse, along with the interior that reminds him of "a sunny photo you'd find in Coastal Living," as the main reasons.
Big praise goes out to the menu's use of seafood, particularly the boquerones which give "sweet, tart and briny flavors and a satisfying crunch," as well as the ceviche of "perfectly dressed slices of suzuki" that "rest on crunchy squid-ink tostadas." Dishes cooked on the plancha, such as "impeccably sourced shrimp and clams with citrus butter," perfectly cooked "fat sea scallops" and Veracruz styled "mild, softly textured squid" stand out as well. Cobia collars in the platter item of fisherman's stew yield "considerable" payoff.
Non-seafood dishes make an impression on Vettel, with the "crunchy/fluffy potato croquettes" and the pork and veal meatballs receiving notice. A ribeye cap featuring "luxuriously fatty, bright-red slices of grass-fed beef, is a wonderful indulgence." Expectations be damned, the chicken ballotine surprises as it comes out a "crispy-skinned beauty."
The lack of desserts is no surprise given the tiny confines that mfk. resides in, but the Basque cake underlines the restaurant's and "Lacasse's simplest-is-best ethos," Vettel notes.