Joe Fish Swims Into River North

The newest Rosebud restaurant, a coastal Italian seafood joint, is now open.

Mussels with crushed tomatoes and chili flakes at Joe Fish   Photo: Marcin Cymmer

Empty almost a year, the space that housed Rosebud Trattoria is open now with the regular-guy name Joe Fish (445 N. Dearborn St., 312-832-7700).

Joe Fish might have had his name changed from Giuseppe Pesce at Ellis Island, because chef Joseph Farina describes the cuisine as coastal Italian. He rattles off descriptions of an oyster bar serving five West Coast and five East Coast oyster varieties; varying sizes of lobster tails; and tableside preparations of sole, loup de mer, and branzino. Terrestrial options include Allen Brothers steak for two with Oscar lobster sauce, herb-breaded rack of lamb with fava beans, and steak Diane.

A partnership with Bang Bang Pie Shop will bring biscuits served with daily-special compound butters or whipped lardo, and rotating desserts.

Farina also mentioned a dish called the Penny Salad, which he says isn’t named after a local dining critic, but still sounds appealing despite that deficiency: Honeycrisp apples, mandoline-shaved sunchokes, watercress, and an apple-cider vinaigrette. 

Update:

The fish pun in this story’s headline proved too irresistible for the editors at Chicago magazine. What follows is an unedited transcript of the staff chat room moments after the story was posted:

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