**** (4 stars)
I always check out the interior pictures on Yelp before I visit a restaurant, because they tend to tell me more about the dining experience than almost anything, including sometimes event the menu. So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Pescadero, because it is really much nicer than the Yelp photos (even my own) suggest. Rather than the Long John Silvers decor of the photos, it really is more restaurant-ish. And despite the concrete floor, they've added acoustic treatments to the ceiling, which really help with sound levels.
The menu offers a variety of cooked fish, from pan-seared to fish and chips, a ceviche that sounded tempting, and a few "from the land" items. And of course there are oysters. There are happy hour specials on the latter, along with tap beer.
But I went a different route and had the Mussels Frites. They were a traditional French preparation in a garlic broth. The serving sizes of both the mussels and the accompanying frites (French fries for you landlubbers) were very generous. The garlic broth for the mussels was simple, but good, and the mussels were tender and tasty. The frites were the right dimensions for traditional Parisian frites, but could have used a couple more minutes in the fryer.
The wines by the glass offer a nice variety. My Albarino was a perfect match.
For dessert I had the special Bananas Foster cheesecake, which had lots banana flavor and a nice graham cracker crust, and an espresso.
Service was friendly, and the restaurant, open only a couple of weeks, seems well managed.
Pescadero Seafood & Oyster Bar
1258 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60657