One of my favorite new restaurants to open in 2015 was Sink Swim in Logan Square. One of my favorite TV shows back in 2006 was â€œGilmore Girls.â€ These things may not seem related, but they are. Just because something is great doesn’t mean that it will last forever. â€œGilmore Girlsâ€ was canceled in 2007, and the folks behind Sink Swim announced a change of course last month, leaning toward more casual, affordable eats. Founding chef Matt Danko left and was replaced by Mitch Cavanah (GT Fish & Oyster) earlier this month.
During the changing of the guard, chef de cuisine Nathan Whittaker held down the fort and retooled the menu away from luxurious caviar- and creme fraiche-studded oysters in favor of neighborhood-friendly fare such as crab mac ‘n’Â cheese and broiled oysters with garlic butter and crisp breadcrumbs.
I expected dishes like these. What I didn’t expect was top-notch ceviche, a blend of silky avocado and luscious diced mahi mahi dripping with lime and jalapeno and mixed with a satisfying crunch factory courtesy of diced apple, fennel and fried pepitas (pumpkin seeds). The pepitas added a buttery, smoky crunch I’ve never experienced in a ceviche before.
“The dish draws on my experience working withÂ Rick BaylessÂ at Topolobampo, which is where I first learned how to make ceviche,” Whittaker said. “The addition of fried pepitas is a play on Peruvian ceviches adding cancha to their versions. Cancha is a toasted corn kernel, essentially another form of popcorn. I find pepitas have this crunch and deep toasted flavor that goes well with this autumnal ceviche.”
Thanks to the miracle that is Netflix, â€œGilmore Girlsâ€ is back. And with a new chef getting settled in and a killer ceviche on the menu, things are certainly looking up for Sink Swim.
Worth aÂ trip:Â Ceviche ($12) at Sink Swim
3213 W. Armitage Ave. 773-486-7465