When’s the last time you walked down the street and stepped inside a restaurant that you always pass by? I’ll admit, the thought of stepping into a restaurant without doing proper research scares me. One, I’m not rich, and two, I hate paying for things that I don’t get a great experience out of. I do hours of research on the proper restaurants to make sure that I’m getting the best bang for my buck, so if one thing on the item is subpar or the service sucks, I always remind myself this is why I do research.
This was my experience heading to The Albert in Chicago. I was walking down the street not sure what to eat and decided to google restaurants around me, and the The Albert was walking distance so I figured I’d give it a try. The menu wasn’t bad and the prices were reasonable so that’s a good start. When I finally got to the restaurant, I had absolutely no idea how stunning it would look in the inside. I was undressed and would’ve felt better in a more business casual outfit, instead of the t-shirt and jeans I was wearing. (This is part of the reason why I do research. Look the part, play the part)
I decided to order a few things off the menu on a “fly”. I decided to go with the Gem Salad, Charred Octopus, and Poached Halibut. I rarely order salads when I go out, but every once in a while I’ll get a Caesar Salad. The Gem Salad consisted of Brioche, Anchovy, and Capers. A simple but effective salad. The saltiness of the anchovy to go along with the Brioche crutons worked hand in hand with each other. It had a very refreshing and light taste to it, and it wasn’t drenched with dressing. The Capers I could’ve done without though, because adding it with the Anchovy was a bit salty, but nonetheless it was a good and simple salad.
The next dish was the Charred Octopus. It consisted of Peruvian Potato, Rouille, and Watermelon Radish. This definitely was a dish with different flavors that you tasted with each bite. The Octopus was grilled to perfection and complimented the Watermelon Radish. The radish gave off a slight sweet flavor, but the spiciness of the Rouille help balance the overall flavors given. The Octopus was slightly charred for too long, but it didn’t have a burnt flavor to it. I was thoroughly pleased with the presentation and the flavors of this dish.
The last dish was the Poached Halibut. It consisted of Yellow Squash, Curry, and Fennel Salad. The flavor of the Halibut was missed a bit because of the flavors of the Curry mixed in with the Yellow Squash was over-powering. The fish was meaty and light and absolutely was a great accompaniment to the curry. The curry was a bit sweet and had a kick to it with each bite. It wasn’t over-bearing with spices, but it did have a smooth and filling texture.
Overall, take a chance on a restaurant that you may see in the area, it may surprise you. As for this restaurant, I was pleased. The interior along with the presentation and taste of these dishes excited me. If you decide to go, let me know what you think.