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Jan 8, 2006 05:04 PM

Tin Fish or Chinn's?

  • w

Going out for a birthday celebration Monday night and am leaning toward seafood and something in the Glen Ellyn / Lombard / Lisle area. Have never been to either Tin Fish or Chinn's 34th Street Fishery. Any opinions or suggestions on either??


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  1. I went to Tin Fish over Thanksgiving weekend and my reaction was "eh". Food was neither terrible nor great, atmosphere was uninspired and the server was obsequious to the point of annoyance (e.g., asking how the food was before we even had a chance to taste it, showing up every two minutes to see how we were doing, ugh). The server also had no idea whether the shrimp in one dish were deveined.

    1. Chinn's is ok, but very casual. The fish always has been good, but I always leave there feeling as though I've spent too much for what I received. I haven't been to Tin Fish.

      As an alternative, you may want to consider Parker's Ocean Grill on Highland Ave. in Downers Grove. It's been a while since I've dined there, but I thought that the food and atmosphere were very nice.

      1. I've been to both Tin Fish and Chinn's. I like Chinn's slightly better for the variety on their menu. I agree however, that the decor is pretty casual in both.

        I would also recommend Parker's Ocean Grill for a more upscale experience. Be prepared to pay a bit more, however. In that same vein, I would like to suggest Braxton's in Oak Brook. I've always had a good experience there and their crabcakes are the best in my experience.

        6 Replies
        1. re: khm99

          I always forget about Braxton's. I haven't been there in a while, but it's great.

          Also, I forgot to mention Catch 35 in Naperville, which pretty much is in that same price range.

          1. re: khm99

            Been to Braxton's a few times and agree that it is very good. We're hoping to avoid the mall areas. We'll probably do Chinn's since it's only about 5 minutes from home and is so casual. Would jeans be OK?? And any specific rec's off the menu??

            Thanks for your help!!

            1. re: wineaux

              Jeans definitely are okay for Chinn's. I do have a recommendation -- there is a fish called Waloo that occasionally is on the menu. It is excellent, and if you like Halibut-type fish you definitely will enjoy it. I find that Chinn's fish dishes are best prepared simply "grilled", as opposed to their other preparation methods. (Some of their food can be quite garlicky.) Their blue crab claws are very good, but, again, can be very garlicky if prepared in that manner (to the point of being overwhelming).

              1. re: Ron A.

                Ended up going to Chinn's before reading this and I did order the Walu, only I ordered the Cajun blackened... it was even better than you described!! Surprisingly enough, the restaurant was packed for a Monday night.

                Thanks for the info... we'll definitely be back!!

                P.S. You're also right on the garlic... we could smell it as we pulled into the parking lot!

                1. re: wineaux

                  Glad to hear that you enjoyed the walu. I'm not surprised that Chinn's was packed. I think that the local hotels (on Warrenville Road in Lisle) send a lot of business people over, plus it draws a good crowd of locals. Also not surprised that you smelled the garlic in the parking lot -- I think it's the infamous garlic rolls. My wife and I always hate how our clothes smell when we leave there.

            2. re: khm99

              I've never been to Tin Fish, only Chinn's on Rt. 34.

              The amazing thing about Chinn's is that they ship in very high quality seafood, yet have absolutely no idea how to prepare it. (And those nasty garlic rolls, I'm assuming, were once lit on fire and used to blow up German tanks back in WWII? ...) If this restaurant were in New England, there'd be an angry mob outside the place nightly, shouting and shaking their fists and waving flaming torches.

            3. The original comment has been removed
              1. I really like Tin Fish but have not been to Chinn's. My friend who is not very adventurous, really LOVED Chinns. She had manchong and absolutely loved it. I think it depends on when you go. I know the chef at Tin Fish and know that he really strives to serve the freshest food possible and well prepared. The last time I was there, I had a perfectly cooked piece of mahi-mahi with a potato crust and lemon herb sauce. Yum!! Has anyone been to Pacific Blue in Glen Ellyn? Is it worth a visit?