Review: Here's why a table at Fulton Market Kitchen should be a tough get


Against the eclectic art background at Fulton Market Kitchen, chef Chris Curren mixes influences as freely as the decor does. (Sean Leidigh/WGN-TV)

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The restaurant-rich Fulton Market District is full of high-profile restaurants (The Publican, Duck Duck Goat, Roister, Next, La Sirena Clandestina, Swift & Sons and more) and one relatively unknown 3-year-old that deserves your attention.

Barely a half-block north of Fulton Market on Sangamon Street, Fulton Market Kitchen ought to be a tough ticket. Its walls are filled with local art — heck, some of its walls are local art — there's a spacious bar area, at least four distinct dining environments (each with its own decor) and 18-foot-high ceilings in the front room that let you take it all in.

(Photos by Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

The chef, for the last year, is Chris Curren, whose refined-rusticity style has served him well at such previous restaurants as Blue 13, Homestead on the Roof and Seven Lions. Pastry chef Becca Zuckerman, also a Seven Lions alum, was known for her inventive sundaes on Michigan Avenue, and though she's a bit more restrained here, the sweets at FMK are not to be missed.

Many times, when the product on the plate is especially pretty and/or interesting, chefs tend to prefer neutral decor, to focus the visuals on the food. That's not possible here; not only is FMK a riot of color, from cartoon drawings to abstract images, the eye candy also extends to the furniture, including a couple of light fixtures that look like an octopus mated with an architect's lamp, and overhead, where an installation of missile-shaped (or boat-shaped) objects (titled "Strait of Hormuz") hangs 7 feet above the floor.