Following in the misnomer tradition established by its predecessor in the space, the not-actually-a-hotel Victor Hotel, Fulton Market Kitchen (311 N. Sangamon St., 312-733-6100) has its front door a few steps up from Fulton Market on Sangamon Street. The global-contemporary restaurant is scheduled to open March 21.
Daniel Alonso (Black Bull currently, Hubbard Inn formerly) and Alex Morales conceived of the space as an art haven, exhibiting the work of local artists in the 110-seat dining room. Those who remember the Victor Hotel as a project of the ebulliently decorative restaurateur Jerry Kleiner can imagine the high-ceilinged, gallerylike setting.
The executive chef, James Gottwald (One Sixtyblue, Sunda, Rockit, the cheesesteak specialist Monti’s), alliteratively says the food will get back to pretty, playful plates. He cites a dish called the Goldfish—a whole 1.5- to 2-pound red snapper dredged and fried tempura-style with a coconut-ginger beurre blanc, whole red and green chiles, and edible gold flakes. “Some people might get somewhat distracted having the head on the fish, but the gold will soften the edges,” he says.
The menu covers small plates such as sweetbreads, scallop crudo, beet carpaccio, and lemon-cured radishes with pink peppercorns and grapefruit—as soon as the radishes come in. There are also more substantial plates such as a Lyonnaise salad, a Guinea hen ballotine, and skate with fennel purée and wild mushrooms.
Situated as close to Fulton Market as it is, Fulton Market Kitchen isn’t really much of a misnomer. But the owners probably didn’t realize they foreclosed on the possibility of opening a sister restaurant called Sangamon Kitchen around the corner on Fulton Market. That would really confuse people.