Evanston restaurant Oceanique participates in Chicago Restaurant Week

Helen Lee, Reporter

Typically, Oceanique’s prices are a bit daunting for students on a budget, but from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12, Oceanique will offer its three-course menu at a generously reduced price as part of Chicago Restaurant Week. Located in Downtown Evanston at 505 Main St., the restaurant is owned by Mark Grosz, who also serves as the main chef.

Oceanique is a restaurant of fine dining with a warm atmosphere, a haven for wine connoisseurs and a go-to for seafood lovers. It is the place to visit for those looking for a French-American experience, and your next stop if you are looking to try out the tasting menu in a beautiful, modern space.

Chef Grosz has been with Oceanique since day one. He learned his trade in France and Hong Kong and opened Oceanique in 1989. Now in its 26th year, the restaurant has grown to become one of the North Shore’s premiere seafood restaurants. Ranked highly on culinary guides like Zagat and Yelp by food experts and visitors alike, Oceanique is the ideal place to eat for a date, special event or any reason at all.

Oceanique has been participating in Chicago Restaurant Week for about five years now, Grosz said. For the two week event, Oceanique offers a $44 three-course dinner menu. The first course is complimentary with appetizers, main courses and a dessert course included in the price. For Northwestern students on a budget looking for a nicer restaurant, Chicago Restaurant Week is the perfect time to visit Oceanique.

“It’s substantially reduced as far as our normal pricing,” Chef Grosz said. “Normally, it would cost around $75, and so for $44, it’s a great value.”

Even when Oceanique is not participating in events like Chicago Restaurant Week, Northwestern students enjoy a 15 percent discount with their WildCARD.

The most coveted dish is the lobster, but other popular dishes include prime beef, filet mignon and sea scallops and kimchi, Grosz said. Options like these and high prices can discourage students from eating at this fine dining location.

“When people read fine dining, they can get a little intimidated, but it’s really not like that,” Grosz said.

Oceanique maintains an inviting atmosphere that offers comfort and ease to its customers. The modern look, with large 20th century Muro paintings, welcomes any and all in.

Grosz said he has fresh food and ingredients delivered from Europe. The food he uses is always organic and from sustainable sources, adding an eco-friendly feel to the modern-style restaurant.

“The flavors, the beautiful freshness of the fish, all of it (matters),” he said. “Quality is our trademark. If you go to a restaurant one day and you go back the next time and it’s not good, you’re probably never going back again, so we have to be consistent with our quality.”

Grosz says he hopes every customer leaves satisfied.

“We have to provide good service every night,” he said. “We approach it like life, theater. Every night we have to be on.”