Oh Lucky Fish… I don’t know what was going on with you during our visit, but it was like a comedy of errors all night, which, unfortunately, did not make you look good. But that disaster aside, could the food itself make up for the service? Maybe…
Lucky Fish in Northbrook was selected as the location to celebrate my mother in-law’s birthday this week. My wife’s family is a big lover of seafood, while I am not, but it wasn’t my birthday, so I was hoping there was something on the menu I could enjoy.
The restaurant itself is located in downtown Northbrook, right across the street from The Landmark Inn. I believe the space used to be the old Northbrook Garage, but was converted a couple years ago into restaurants and shops. I’m not sure how long Lucky Fish has occupied this space, as I don’t make it into downtown Northbrook all that much anymore, but the restaurant itself is very nice.
The main dining area features a large bar and a decent amount of tables, which is all well and nice, but the patio out back is where this place really shines. Through the back doors lies an oasis that I couldn’t have imagined in downtown Northbrook having grown up there. The patio is very large and accommodating to most large sized groups, although we ran into a little bit of trouble when we first arrived for our reservation.
Now, if you’ve read this blog in the past you know that I speak my mind and won’t beat around the bush if I didn’t like the food, or if something about a restaurant didn’t sit well with me, so Lucky Fish, unfortunately this part of the review is not going to be pretty.
When we arrived at the restaurant for our reservation, we were told that the table was ready and we could follow the hostess back to the patio. Upon exiting the doors of the restaurant into the patio, we were told that they needed to find another table, as they didn’t think our party would fit at the table they had setup.
Spoiler alert, we didn’t even fit at the table after they brought another table… 20 minutes after we were supposed to sit down.
I don’t know if they got confused by the reservation saying 10 people requiring chairs and 1 baby (high chair), or what the deal was, but we were crammed into that table like sardines. We managed to make it work by putting the high chair on a corner since the baby wasn’t eating. But that still left one of our adults sitting at a corner trying to eat without knocking into the people around him.
After we got situated at the table, or server, who was extremely nice by the way, came over and took our drink orders. All of the adults ordered some sort of cocktail, beer, or wine, while the kids got chocolate milk and lemonade.
The drinks took a little while to get to the table, which is understandable considering how many cocktails we ordered, so no problem there, but I do have a problem with nobody bringing any waters to the table or anything while we sat in direct sunlight trying to shade ourselves from the heat.
Although, maybe they just thought that spilling the entire top of the seafood tower on my wife would cool her down enough to not need the water…
Yup, that happened.
As they were setting the seafood tower down on the table, the top, which is not attached to anything, slid off of the wire holder and into my wife’s lap. Thankfully she only ended up with a little bit of ice, shrimp and crab legs in her lap, while my pants got a bit wet from falling ice. It could have been a lot worse, but it just added to frustration we already had over the service we were getting.
I will say though, the runner that brought out the seafood tower did add a few extra shellfish to the top when she brought out a new one. So that was much appreciated. They were also very apologetic, so it’s hard to be too mad…
Everyone put their entree orders in at the same time as the appetizers because it seemed to take forever for anyone to come over to us, so at this point we were just kind of relaxing, waiting for our food.
The seafood tower came out, along with a couple orders of the fried calamari, which everyone seemed to enjoy. I don’t eat much seafood, but I had a little shrimp off the tower, which was ok… and I had some calamari, which was actually really good. It’s got a slight kick to it, but it’s definitely one of the better fried calamari dishes I’ve ever had. My only complaint is that I felt each plate was kind of small… but it could have just been me wanting more… especially after my entree came out.
As I said, I’m not a huge fan of seafood, so Lucky Fish would never have been at the top of my list of places to eat at, but upon reviewing the menu before going to dinner, I saw that they had a filet that I could get without any seafood, so I knew I wouldn’t go hungry.
What I didn’t realize though, is that I was going to get a pretty poor excuse for a filet. Especially at a price point of $28.
I understand that an 8 oz. filet is not very big, and maybe I had my expectations too high, but I do not think what was brought out to me was worth $28 in any way, shape, or form. Honestly, the mashed potatoes were better than the steak itself. And that’s not even because it was cooked wrong, I asked for medium, and it was definitely medium well, it just did not seem like a quality piece of meat to me.
I know I should have just said something regarding the temperature of the steak, instead of just complaining about it after the fact, but by this point my confidence in the restaurant was pretty low and I didn’t feel like waiting around for them to try and fix my order, so I ate it, and it was fine.
So while my filet was definitely not worth the price of admission, I think everyone else seemed to really enjoy their food, which would make sense, since they all got seafood, which is what this restaurant is apparently known for. So it’s probably my own fault for not liking seafood, and trying to find something I would like, at a seafood restaurant, I know that I’ve had amazing filets at other seafood places, so I stand by my thoughts.
I can’t remember what everyone else got, but I think my wife got a 1/2 pound of the jumbo cod, 2 people got the chilean seabass, and someone got the ‘Sizzling’ Lobster Remoulade (pictured at top), and they all seemed to enjoy them.
So my advice, if you’re going to go to Lucky Fish, you better like seafood, or be able to order off the kids menu.
And to even further add to my disappointment, I talked to my parents this morning about our experience and they seemed super surprised because they’ve gone there a few times and had an amazing burger…. a burger??!?!?! Where the f— was this burger on the menu? It most definitely was not on the menu last night, and it’s not on the menu on their website… My parents told me there used to be a whole section dedicated to those people that don’t want seafood, but clearly that section doesn’t exist anymore. I would have ordered that burger in a second, and it probably would have changed the whole dynamic of this review.
But sadly, there is no more burger, which means my parents may not be venturing out there again unless it’s just for drinks on the patio.
That’s really the only way I can describe our experience, both with the service and the food, at Lucky Fish Northbrook. I even ran into a friend at the ice cream place next door, and he agreed with me when I told him that we weren’t all that impressed.
I’m sorry Lucky Fish, but when we’re spending between $20-30 per entree (without drinks), I expect a little more out of the food. Unfortunately I can’t recommend this restaurant to anyone who doesn’t like seafood, and I can only partially recommend it to those that do.
The patio is incredible and the drinks were good, so if you’re looking for a nice summer spot to relax outside and have an adult beverage, by all means check this place out. But if you’re really looking for some good seafood, I would just wait until The Happy Lobster truck is in your area instead.