When you think of a beer and mussels, what comes to mind?
Overflowing pint glasses on a distressed wood bar and maybe a defunct Big Mouth Billy Bass, right?
Fisk & Co., River North's new destination for bivalves and Belgian beer, has none of those things. But it is open as of today, so take a look around.
It's all happening in the former South Water Kitchen space. Also known as that dark and brooding restaurant at the base of Hotel Monaco. You'll notice, upon your arrival at the marble raw bar, that it's significantly less dark and brooding. Instead, the phrase "surprising sophisticated" comes to mind when you enter the split-level space.
Upstairs, it's all frites with black garlic ketchup and Thai curry mussels. Plus something called Chef's Sea Board, which you will learn is an aquatic take on charcuterie with smoked whitefish rillette, shrimp mortadella and half a dozen oysters, of course. They go nicely with the pretzel monkey bread you will be fighting over between sips of St. Feuillien Tripel.
Downstairs, a velvet wingback-filled lounge is separated from the dining room with woven ropes. Here, you'll partake in a cocktail or two—maybe it's the Three Steps and Overboard made with 12-year rum and cider, maybe it's the Miss Haze made with gin and beer syrup—while catching the action of the kitchen through Art Deco-style gold screens.
If this is the new face of the beer bar, you're ok with it.