Shaws Crab House
I recently attended a large party business dinner at Shaws Crab House. I have to say that the service was among the worst I've ever experienced in my life. The dinner took 3 and 1/2 hours, and the most incredible thing was that at 10:40, AFTER waiting close to 2 hours for our entree's, the waiter came up and explained that they had "run out of lobsters." Of course had they served us in even remotely timely fashion, they might've had a few left to serve us in the first place but a seafood place running out of lobsters? This long painflully slow dinner was a fiasco from a restaurant perspective. The food was mediocre, and what came out of the kitchen, at the slower than snail's pace was hit or miss, and some of it was shamefully served at a lukewarm temperature. I wouldn't go back there even for free.
I eat lunch at Shaw's (restaurant dining room, not the lounge) downtown several times a month. I was just there a few days ago. Service is always excellent and the food is consistently good. I don't go there for dinner because there are other seafood places I like better (Roy's and Spring come to mind immediately), but Shaw's is certainly decent. I've had a number of good meals at the Schaumburg location, too.
I'm an out-of-towner but Chicago is one of my frequent trips for business. I eat at Shaw's Chicago each trip because:
1. I love their Lobster Bisque
2. I sit in the bar, at the bar. The bartenders are incredibly professional and personable
3. The jazz band during dinner
4. It's within walking distance of two of my standard hotels
I only ever order the bisque and maybe the crab cakes or a ceasar salad, so I can't comment on the fish itself. But it's one of those places when 7-8pm comes around and I haven't made up my mind on what to eat, I can always count on finding a seat at the bar without having to wait until 9:30 to eat.
I agree with swsidejim, "Overall I like Shaw's for what they do. Nothing special, but always good food"
For me..Shaw's is a nice evening out with decent food. Usually. I say usually because I've been to Shaw's several times, both in Schaumberg and in Chicago.
Time after time the Chicago restaurant gives us poor food (overcooked and/or cold) and horrible service. I won't go to the Chicago Shaw's any more, it's too consitant...consitantly disappointing.
However, we've always gotten good service and decent food from the Schaumberg site. Nothing special...but a nice evening out with some seafood.
Ive only gone to the Shaws in Schaumburg (I rarely go into Chicago to dine anymore since moving from Naperville to Marseilles, most of the good city spots now have suburban outlets.)
I find Shaws expensive, but good, I only order the King Crab legs, and maybe a Filet, and have always been happy with each.(however, it isnt difficult to steam crab legs, and grill a filet.) I have had issues with poor service. This is one of the few restaurants I have "stiffed" a server out of any tip other than a penny, and a note telling them why they get no tip. Before I am crucified for being cheap I generally tip 20%-30% for any meal.
Overall I like Shaws for what they do. Nothing special, but always good food.
It's been awhile since we've been to Shaw's, but not because we've had a bad meal there. We've had some great things. Any other folks had a bad experience lately? We're thinking about going in the near future. I'd like to know if things have consistently gone south. (fyi, things we've had that were all good - crab cakes, tuna sandwich, halibut (a couple different preparations), clams, whitefish. In both the Blue Crab and the restaurant proper).
Our last meal at Shaw's was in the Blue Crab Lounge, and the food was disappointing. I used to think they had the greatest fish and chips, but there was nothing special about it on this occasion - soggy breading, limp fries. My husband had the pan fried perch, which made him wish we were at Phil Schmidt's (30 years ago - oh that perch!). The fish had a strange un-perch-like muddy taste. The oysters we had as an appetizer were good - and that was it.