Any restaurant willing to name itself after celebrated food writer MFK Fisher really sets a high bar for itself—a bar that is Lakeview's pint-sized mfk. handily leaps with flying colors. The cozy, colorful garden-level restaurant keeps things simple and shareable with a curated menu of nautical snacks, Spanish-influenced plates, and a few heartier portions, like a burly bowl of chewy fideo noodles tangled with shrimp, smoked pork, and mussels. The tapas-like bites are its bread and butter, though. Refreshingly simple and pure, dishes like bass crudo on squid ink tostadas, salt-cured anchovies on buttered bread, and a fluffy Spanish tortilla with creamy salt cod brandade are the kinds of things that Fisher would be proud of. The space is small, and fills up quickly, so snag a reservation.
Partner up, pack your (evening) bag, and head overseas—or, at least, across town to this gem of a dining institution. Inspired by the coastal cuisines and laid-back lifestyles of the Catalonia and Basque regions of Spain, mfk. (named after the one and only MFK Fisher) features fresh, ingredient-focused cooking in environs that are bound to transport. Chef Matt Ginsburg serves up several signature plates, including Cantabrian Anchovies (on toasted baguette with lemon zest), Spanish Tortilla with salted cod, and Seafood Fideos in saffron cream. Pair it all with drinks from bar manager Archie Powell, who is known for crowd-pleasers like Pisco Punch and Sangria.
How to book: Reserve via Resy.