Seafood in Chicago
Well, it's 8pm and I find myself in the mood for seafood. Oysters are especially tempting to me right now.
I'm staying at the Westin on N. Michigan Ave. and would like some reco's that are within walking distance or a short cab ride away. Bear in mind that I am eating alone.
All responses appreciated.
Shaws is fairly close. They usually have a pretty good selection of Oysters served in the bar section. They are open until 11pm tonight.
Shaw's Crab House
21 E Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60611
Here is a link to their oyster bar menu.
They currently have two of my favorite oysters, Penn Cove and Snow Creek.
re: Roger Spark
As I wait for responses I've done a little research. Shaw's comes up in the mix, but what are your thought's on Hugo's Frog Bar and McCormick and Shmicks?
Edit: Where are Penn Cove and Snow Creek oysters from. I love malpeques but really dislike a Pacific Ocean kind I tried in Seattle last year.
Both Penn Cove and Snow Creek are Washington State oysters. They are of the west coast variety (c. gigas), which I happen to prefer. They tend to be juicier and more ocean-flavored than their smaller but sweeter east coast cousins (c. virginica). Shaw's also has a few types of east coast oysters.
I have never eaten oysters at either M&S or Hugo's Frog bar, so I can't help you there. I do know that Hugo's is probably a zoo on a Saturday night. Besides, I always thought of Hugo's as a steak place, not a seafood venue. A lot of attention has been given lately to Fulton's on the River, which would be a short cab ride or a healthy walk. In fact, just this week, the Chcago Reader published a feature article about Fulton's chef entitled "The Oyster Whisperer". However, because of the article, they may be pretty overwhelmed on the Oyster front.
Fulton's on the River
315 N LaSalle St
Chicago, IL 60610
re: Roger Spark
Hugo's Frog Bar is most definitely primarily a seafood restaurant, not a steakhouse. Hugo's is owned by Gibson's, the steakhouse next door. They wanted to open another place with its own identity as a seafood restaurant, and Hugo's is it. It's a great choice for seafood and I'm glad Davedigger enjoyed it (although the other places mentioned are equally good choices).
Hugo's Frog Bar
1024 North Rush Street
re: Roger Spark
Interestingly, Mr. Mavrantonis won't serve or eat Gulf Coast oysters, which he compares to "playing Russian roulette". I think the real chance of getting a vibrio infection is about 1 in a million for every oyster, and is reduced if you eat them in winter, shuck them yourself, and don't have liver disease already. Like any food, source and preparation matters. Some of the Southern varieties - particularly the Appalachicolas - are among the world's best and make many West Coast oysters seem flavorless by comparison. At any rate the guy is missing out on some really good oysters.
M&S is good...nice variety and good service when I have been there. One thing about Chicago...there are many choices for eating well, and a lot is a matter of personal taste!!
Thanks guys! I ended up at Hugo's because it was really close. The oysters (east coast) and mignionette were outstanding. It was quite busy, but I had no problem getting a table in the dining room all by my lonesome, and I had a great waiter. All in all a good dinner. :)
I've never eaten at the Catch 35 on Wacker, but the one in Naperville actually is very good (I believe that the menus are quite similar, if not identical). It's not cheap, but the quality is very high.
Also, to add my 2 cents to the above discussion, Hugo's definitely is a seafood-oriented restaurant (although they also serve Gibson's steaks). The quality of the fish served at Hugo's, in my experience, also has been quite high.