Growing up– I participated in Lent as a religious experience. Unfortunately, as a kiddo, I wasn’t the biggest fan of fish and any sort of plant was still foreign matter to me. I settled with a lot of cereal and pb&j’s (somewhat similar to my current meal plan). To this day, my lent is somewhat backwards when it comes to fish. I decided to give it up for 364 days of the year– hoping that by the time that one days comes around, I’ll actually dig it… and dare I say crave it.

For some, Lent is an annual religious passage– for everyone else, it is a time to indulge in fish, seafood and vegetable specials around the city!

The last day of Lent is Thursday, April 2nd. These restaurants have made sure to provide some amazing dishes that will please the.. meatless masses. Hmm. I’ll just run with that.

For an event that is all about sacrifice, you sure aren’t giving up flavor and satisfaction.

Chicago Lent Specials:

18 S Michigan Ave
(312) 578-0763

  • Artichoke Hearts, tomato, caperberry, kale, caper aioli ($18)
  • Apple Taleggio Totellini, walnut and mint pasta, charred apples, mushroom ($16)

Bar Toma
110 East Pearson Street
(312) 266-3110

  • Burrata Pizza, Pugliese burrata, arugula, Savini white truffle oil ($17)
  • Veggie Pizza, green peppers. Mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, fior di latte mozzarella ($15)

Ceres’ Table
3124 North Broadway
(773) 922-4020

  • Mushroom Risotto, saute?ed mushrooms, thyme, red wine sauce, parmesan cheese ($18)

Grillhouse by David Burke
1301 American Ln, Schaumburg
(847) 517-1600

  • Grilled Yellowfin Tuna, orange, green beans, black olives, celery root puree ($28)
  • Oven Roasted Whole Branzino, fennel, cherry tomato, herbs, lemon caper ($29)

Lush Wine & Spirits
2232 W. Roscoe St. / 1412 W. Chicago Ave.
(773) 281-8888 / (312) 666-6900

  • Gourmet Spanish Tins of Seafood (Matiz Gallego Pulpo (octopus in olive oil), Matiz Gallego Sardinillas with sweet piquillo peppers and Ortiz aged tuna in olive oil – $12 each)

Marion Street Market
100 S. Marion St., Oak Park
(708) 725-7200

  • Spicy Crusted Whitefish, granny smith apple, fennel, radish sprouts ($19)
  • Seared Diver Sea Scallop, pickled sweet red onion, corn shoots ($30)

Piccolo Sogno
464 North Halsted Street
(312) 421-0077

  • Barbabietole, Mixed beets, shaved fennel, imported buffalo, ricotta, greens, citrus infused oil ($11)
  • Stracci Di Farro, Farro flour pasta triangles, mushrooms, asparagus, garlic, truffle oil ($17)

Piccolo Sogno Due
340 North Clark St
(312) 822-0077

  • Tonno, Ahi tuna grilled rare, eggplant caponata with olives, raisins and pine nuts, rapini ($28)

Pizza East
113-125 N. Green St.
(312) 754-6920

  • Eggplant pizza with tomato, mascarpone, pesto ($13)
  • Whole cauliflower, lemon, yogurt, chili ($10)

River Roast
315 N. LaSalle St
(312) 822-0100

  • The Big Fish, served crispy or fire roasted. Serves two ($42)
  • Boatload of Veggies, market fresh vegetables roasted to perfection ($22)

Roka Akor Chicago
456 N. Clark St
(312) 477-7652

  • Yuzu Miso Marinated Black Cod with Pickled Red Onions ($34)
  • Deluxe Sashimi Platter (Market Price)

Seven Lions
130 S Michigan Ave
(312) 880-0130

  • Black Cod, acorn squash, ricotta gnocchi, maitake ($28)
  • Cauliflower Steak, toasted barley, wild mushrooms ($18)

401 N Wabash, 16th Floor
(312) 588-8030

Selections from the a la carte Lunch Menu:

  • Burgundy Truffle, Asian Pear and Hazelnut Salad ($19)
  • Smoked Sea Trout, Pickled Apple, Charred Leek and Frisee ($20)
  • Maine Lobster, Roasted Fennel, Vadouvan Carrots and Potato Gnocchi ($37)
  • Roast Halibut, Celeriac, Chestnuts and Sauce Vin Jaune ($32)
  • Dover Sole, Wilted Greens, Cauliflowers and Pine Nut Grenobloise ($35 per person, serves two)

State and Lake Chicago Tavern
201 N State St
(312) 239-9400

  • Lake Perch Tacos, avocado puree, cabbage slaw, cilantro lime vinaigrette, wood grilled salsa ($14)
  • Kale Salad, buckwheat groats, almonds, blood orange, warm bacon-golden ($9)

Ten Mile House
1700 Central Street, Evanston
(847) 905-0669

  • Herb-Basted Grilled Salmon, mixed greens, asparagus, artichokes, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, french feta, lemon-garlic vinaigrette ($16)
  • Today’s See-Food, we saw it, it looked good, so we cooked it (market price)

The Allis
113-125 N. Green St.
(312) 521-8000

  • Breakfast: Lean sandwich egg white, tomato, almond aioli, greens ($8)
  • Lunch: Roasted vegetable sandwich, mozzarella, pesto, baguette ($8)
  • Evening: Charred carrot hummus ($7)

The Boarding House
720 N Wells St
(312) 280-0720

  • Mushroom Risotto, parmesan, marcapone and porcini cream ($21)
  • Scallops, kohlrabi, concord apple, pickled mustard seeds, guanclale ($30)

The Florentine
151 W. Adams St.
(312) 660-8866

  • Fazzoletti Herbed Pasta, yellowfin tuna, tomatoes, olives, white wine, oregano ($28)
  • Agnolotti, mushrooms, mascarpone, charred red onions, arugula, pine nuts ($28)

The Gage?
24 S Michigan Ave
(312) 372-4243

  • Today’s Fish and Chips, Guinness Batter, Malt Tartar Sauce, Lemon ($17)
  • House Smoked American Sturgeon, Frisee, Confit Potato, Charred Shallot, Fennel, Dijon Vinaigrette, Trout Roe ($16)

Twisted Spoke
501 N. Ogden Ave
(312) 666-1500

  • Shrimp Po’Boy, tasty marinated shrimp, lightly breaded to order, tomatoes, crispy cabbage, cajun tartar sauce, toasted garlic french bread ($12)

The Meatloaf Bakery
2464 N. Clark St
(773) 698-6667

  • Omega-3 Loaf ™ Wild caught Alaska salmon; rich and fluffy with a hint of lemon, parsley and dill. Topped with wasabi mashed potatoes and served with fresh lemon-dill yogurt sauce (Loafie: $2; Cupcake: $9.95; Tart: $49.95)

Unite Urban Grill
1450 West Chicago Ave
(312) 455-8900

  • Lake Superior Whitefish, served with grilled lemon, olive oil and thyme ($17)
  • Vegetable Ratatouille, stewed vegetables, tomato broth and herbs, topped with goat cheese ($16)

1400 W. Randolph St
(773) 583-0500

  • Mushroom Pho, Rice Noodles with Tofu, Mushrooms, Bean Sprouts, Jalapeño & Thai Basil ($12)
  • Wheat Berry Bibimbap, Steamed Wheat Berries Served Warm with Vegetarian Kimchi, Eggplant, Cucumber & Avocado ($10)