Fish & Game Brewing Company is a unique place on the West Side. Very popular with tourists who want fine dining that isn’t unbelievably pricey, it’s also a well-known hang for locals, especially those who work in the service industry. I’ve spent many nights sitting at the bar sampling their various microbrews, chatting with friends or taking advantage of their late night menu of nachos, burgers and sandwiches.
But recently I realized I’d never actually gone there and sat down for a normal Fish & Game dinner. I’d experienced the Brewing Company side of the place many times, but never yet indulged in the fish and/or game. So one night last week a friend who found himself in a similar predicament and I rectified the situation.
As we browsed the menu, we were somewhat surprised to discover how much more extensive it is then the late night bar menu. Okay, I was—my friend’s been going there a lot longer than I have. Anyway, I was having trouble deciding between seafood dishes like the Garlic Clams ($12), Fresh Catch of the Day (Market Price) and the Thai Barbeque Shrimp ($24). But Anthony took no time in settling on the King Cut of the Prime Rib ($26). When our waiter returned with our drinks and to take our order, I went with my first instinct and ordered the Thai BBQ Shrimp.
As we enjoyed our beers—Bikini Blonde Ales, the night’s special ($3)—we took a moment to check out the crowd. The scene was definitely a bit different from their late night crowd and the opposite of their Wednesday Open Mic Night crowd. Instead of a throng of local 20 and 30-somethings bouncing from table to table, there were elegantly dressed families on vacation spreading butter onto fresh rolls and listening to some light guitar music.
Considering the crowd and relative complexity of the items we ordered, our food arrived rather quickly. My shrimp were served atop steamed vegetables, both smothered in a tangy barbecue sauce with just the right kick. It also came with a side of steamed rice carefully decorated with taro strings curls. The presentation was impressive and the food delicious.
Anthony seemed to be equally pleased with his sizable cut of prime rib, which he pretty much devoured. So pleased, that when I asked him how his meal was, the only response I got was a smile and grunt between bites. When he was done, he said they cooked the thick slab of meat exactly right (medium). At first concerned about the decision to place the prime rib directly over the au gratin potatoes, he said a couple bites of flakey, cheesy potatoes convinced him it made no difference whatsoever.
In other words, the food’s good. It’s no Open Mic Night, but if you want something more substantial than a plate of nachos at 12:30 a.m., there are few places better. MTW