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SHAYDA TORABI Shayda Torabi is the Editor of Dine With Shayda. She is a born and raised Austinite with an obsession with good food. Working at an Austin Tech Startup on their marketing team, she travels and documents her dining all over the world.

Who: Fulton Market Kitchen

What: Innovative global fare in a chic warehouse space adorned with elaborate murals

When: Monday to Friday 5pm – 2am, Saturday 5pm – 3am, Sunday Closed

Where: 311 N. Sangamon St., Chicago, IL 60607

Why: Pictures and reviews did not do this place justice, but it certainly helped piqued my curiosity. Fulton Market Kitchen is located in Chicago’s bustling West Loop neighborhood and not only is it a restaurant and bar, but it’s an art gallery too! My sister and I were in town visiting for Lollapalooza, a popular music festival, and had added this to our list of placed we had to check out.

We pulled up to Fulton Market Kitchen not really knowing what to expect, the warehouse was painted in black and white linear blocks, and there were large graphics hung on the outside. It was badass, avant-garde, and very bold– we were in for a treat. For me, dinner is just as much about the food as it is the ambiance, and I was really looking forward to checking this mad artist lair out.

Walking in there are so many pieces it was hard to pick just one thing to look at. Everything was a piece of art, but it was all purposeful. From the light fixtures to the dining furniture it made sense in the space and brought a neat dynamic to dinner. Because it’s a warehouse space you can see the whole restaurant for the most part. There is a lounge with couches and comfy chairs near the beautifully ordained bar. There is a platform with a small dining area up a couple of stairs, which is where we sat and could see over the whole restaurant.

Fulton Market Kitchen boasts a very robust spirit program, offering over 400 bottles with an emphasis on hand-picked barrels. They’re most known for their “Art of the Old Fashioned” which features 7 signature barrels selected by the Fulton Market Kitchen staff.

The menu is ideal for tasting and sharing, the plates are small but fulfilling. We began our meal with drinks, since neither me or my sister care for whisky so we went with some of their other popular cocktails. The drinks are named some pretty crazy things, but hey they’re works of art after all, so it doesn’t necessarily have to make sense. I had the “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the shrub” made with Beefeater Gin, strawberry-balsamic shrub, amaro lucano, lemon juice, and ginger beer. And my sister had the “Play on Playah” made with Absolut Elyx, Kappa Pisco, pineapple, lime, habanero syrup, orgeat, and sparkling wine. Both drinks were works of art, made with great ingredients that added to the depth these drinks had.

We decided to share an order of the brussel sprouts, crispy octopus and brisket ravioli. It was enough food for the two of us, and the flavors were out of this world. While we were enjoying our dinner we spotted the artist in residence, Ariana Essian, working on a special piece during dinner. The restaurant works with local artists to incorporate their craft into the experience of drinking and dining. It’s so dynamic and gives off a very happy, creative vibe.

Dinner at Fulton Market was so memorable, I loved getting lost in the art and, of course our meal was spectacular. It’s fun to see businesses incorporating experiential dining in unique and interesting ways and at Fulton Market Kitchen everything was top notch. If you’re in the mood to check out a new artist, or just wanting an upscale place to wine and dine, then Fulton Market Kitchen is for you!

And be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat at @DineWithShayda for my daily food adventures.

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