Kingfisher is at 5721 N. Clark. In spite of its proximity to my apartment, the last time I was in the building was over a decade ago, when it was still home to The Round Table. A quick word about that – The Round Table was a tired, tired old place with tired décor, a tired menu, a tired pianist noodling away in the corner, and tired-looking patrons. It was a time capsule in which nothing had changed for decades, and it closed for good only a few months after my visit.
The first thing I noticed upon entering was that the interior has been completely gutted since then. There is no sign of its former identity at all on the inside – though the façade of the building could probably use a little TLC. But you know what they say about a book and its cover —
I started with a cup of shrimp bisque. In retrospect, I should have ordered a bowl (or two) of it. Most excellent, and it left me wishing I were more a gourmand so that I might have identified a few of the subtle seasonings that enhanced it. Next came my entrée, blackened catfish. This was a bold choice on my part; ordering it was my way of laying down the gauntlet and asking Kingfisher to prove itself. I say that because I’m usually disappointed by blackened catfish at non-Cajun restaurants. It’s usually pretty wimpy in the seasoning department. Not so here. I really ought to mention it as a cautionary tale to the potential customer – if you like it really blackened and flavorful, this is the dish for you! – but if you’re expecting (or wanting) something wimpy, you should keep looking. High, high marks!
In the name of scientific research, I prevailed upon my friend to share some of the seafood fettuccini she’d ordered. It was everything you’d want that dish to be – fresh, flavorful, and ample.
I had one quibble (I have to mention this in the name of fairness). The lemon pound cake I ordered for dessert was about a day older than it should have been. But it was tasty and I’d order it again if had my waiter’s assurance that it was fresh.
Also note – Kingfisher is presently BYOB. Their liquor license is pending (this is often the case with new restaurants). And before I forget – there is also a tidy selection of attractive looking non-seafood offerings (e.g., beef, chicken). All in all, a terrific dining experience, and I fully expect to make a return visit soon!