MK gets a makeover, adds bar menu

MK's new makeover included adding bar seating for 40 plus a bar menu.

MK's new makeover included adding bar seating for 40 plus a bar menu. MK

When MK closed for a month earlier this summer to add bar seating for 40 and a bar menu, as well as generally freshen up the restaurant, we were excited. Michael Kornick's contemporary American joint, helmed by chef Erick Williams, has been a consistent stalwart in River North for 15 years. Plus we like to eat at bars and hoped the new menu would make MK a more accessible spot for a quick dinner.

The verdict: It does. While two cocktails and two bar snacks still set us back $48 (before tax and tip), the bar is a solid option for a bite and really good drink. We had a barrel-aged Manhattan, plus when our neighbor at the bar ordered a barrel-aged negroni, made with in-house barrel-aged Bombay Sapphire East gin, Campari, Aperol and Dolin vermouth, the bartender poured us a little sample as well. For snacks, we tried the crab toast, crunchy pieces of bread topped with blue crab, roasted corn and truffle cream, an unexpected combination that was rich and earthy.

But the standout dish was the fried chorizo stuffed Gordal olives, which sat on a bed of hazelnut romesco sauce. The salty little snacks only have four to an order, and were so delicious that we contemplated getting a second round. Other dishes on the menu include fried salt cod fritters, chilled oysters and a boar bacon BLT. We're already looking forward to a return trip to try them.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)