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Jan 10, 2008 07:02 AM

Seeking Seafood in Evanston

My friend and I had dinner recently at Oceanqiue. We were both disappointed. She had the turbot which was bland (the accompanying shrimp, however, were good.) I had the tuna which was good but the portion was very small. The décor was uninspiring.

The service was excellent.

The price for dinner for one entrée each and a shared glass of wine was $113 with tip.

Would like to know your experience there and a recommendation for a good seafood restaurant in Evanston.

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  1. I have eaten at Oceanique a couple of times, and came away with a similar review. The food although very nice to look at was not very good. The service was only above average on my visits with the servers disappearing for extended periods. We will not return to Oceanique.

    I do not know of any seafood restaurants I would recommend to anyone in Evanston. We used to drive up there to go to Davis Street Fish Market, but since they have redisgned the restaurant, and its menu we think it is terrible.

    1. There is Davis Street Fushmarket - IMO an above average seafood restaurant -

      I have also had a good piece of fis at Pete Miller's Steakhouse -

      Davis Street Fishmarket
      501 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

      12 Replies
      1. re: weinstein5

        Bonefish Grill has a location just west of Evanston in Skokie. Bonefish is a mini-chain, but I've always found the fish fresh, perfectly cooked (frequently grilled) and sauced.

        1. re: chowhunt46

          I would second Bone Fish - it is a chain as indicated they do offer a very consistent menu that is excellenet -

          1. re: weinstein5

            Thank you Chowhunt and Weinstein for the tip regarding Bone fish grill. We are going to try it tonight for dinner. We appreciate the suggestion!

            1. re: cybera97

              np - like I said I have not had a bad meal at any Bone Fish I have been to - Bon Appettit

              Bonefish Grill
              9310 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL 60077

          2. re: chowhunt46

            Thank you for the tip chowhunt and weinstein. My friend and I went to Bonefish Grill for dinner and we thought it was great. I had the wild salmon and she had the trout. Both were superb and reasonably priced.

            1. re: cybera97

              Glad to hear you enjoyed it! - I travel a lot and have never been let down by Bonefish

            2. re: chowhunt46

              Please let me know any suggestions you have regarding eating at Bonefish Grill?

              1. re: cybera97

                It can get quite busy so my wife and at times have opted to eat in the bar area where the full dinner menu is served -

                in terms of food I love the Ahi Tuna prepared Pan Asian and the Pisrachio Crusted Rainbow Trout - for sides I enjoy both the Potatos Au Gratin and Island RIce - and for dessert they do an excellent Key Lime PIe!

                1. re: cybera97

                  I'd have to agree, Bonefish is always a sure bet for a tasty meal in the Northern Burbs. Their 'Bang Bang Shrimp' appetizer is really yummy. Also, if you go there and decide you are not really in the mood for seafood, the Fontina Chops are outstanding.

                  1. re: mea_duff

                    We went to Bonefish Grill for dinner again and had another great meal! The trout was especially good. One interesting tip we used for ordering wine that we learned from Karen MacNeil is to order the second glass of wine listed in the section that you are interested in.

                      1. re: jesteinf

                        The theory behind ordering the second glass of wine listed in the section of the wine list you are interested in, according to Karen MacNeil, is that restaurant owners and chefs often put their favorite wines in that area. They tend to be moderately priced and are often wines that are not as well known. This is helpful if none of the wines listed "ring a bell" and you don't know what to order.

            3. Sea Bass at Quince on Hinman in Evanston. Best Ever!

              1. My experience at Oceanique, in numerous visits, has been quite the opposite. The seafood has been absolutely superb, not at all bland, just absolutely delicious, with ample serving sizes. The accompanying sauces have always been excellent. The soups are outstanding, and the desserts are among the best you'll find anywhere in the Chicago area. Every time I've been there, we've had two appetizers, one or two soups, two mains, and two desserts, and every single dish has been just amazing.

                I consider Oceanique to be the very best restaurant for seafood in the entire Chicago area. I also consider it the very best restaurant in Evanston BY FAR, which is quite a compliment considering that Evanston also has such great "casual fine dining" restaurants as Chef's Station, the Stained Glass, Jacky's Bistro, and Jilly's Cafe. (I found Quince very disappointing, not as good as anyplace in this group.) Like weinstein5, I've also had good seafood (a delicious sauteed skate) at Pete Miller's. You can find excellent seafood at any of these other places, too, although none of them emphasize seafood over other types of food.

                Other seafood places in the area don't offer the elaborate preparations, wonderful sauces, or exquisite desserts of Oceanique. But you can find good, fresh, well-prepared seafood, often at a price lower than at Oceanique. As mentioned by others, the only other restaurant in Evanston proper that specializes in seafood is Davis Street Fishmarket, which is pretty good. Towns near Evanston have additional choices. Skokie has three seafood restaurants located right near each other: Don's Fishmarket (an independent restaurant that has been there for many years), Bonefish Grill (a chain), and McCormick and Schmick's (another chain). All three of these are pretty good, too.

                My very favorite seafood restaurant in the area, other than Oceanique, is Mitchell's Fish Market in Glenview. Like the others, they have fresh, well-prepared seafood, but their preparations are more creative than Davis St and the Skokie restaurants. In particular, I recommend their kung pao fried calamari appetizer, and any of their mains "Shang Hai style" (steamed with ginger and scallions). A bit further than Skokie, but worth the trip (15-20 minutes).

                One other seafood place worth mentioning is Flamingo's Seafood, in Mount Prospect, 20-25 minutes from Evanston. Flamingo's is a Mexican restaurant specializing in seafood, and their seafood is absolutely wonderful. The last time I was there, I had a grilled Chilean sea bass with a guava-habanero sauce, topped with crushed pumpkin seeds, and it was amazing.

                Website links:
                Oceanique -
                Chef's Station -
                Stained Glass -
                Jacky's Bistro -
                Jilly's Cafe -
                Quince -
                Pete Miller's -
                Davis Street Fishmarket -
                Bonefish Grill -
                McCormick and Schmick's -
                Mitchell's Fish Market -
                Flamingo's Seafood -

                5 Replies
                1. re: nsxtasy

                  Thanks for all of these suggestions -- I'm looking for seafood in Evanston too! I'm actually searching for a fishmonger other than the overpriced Whole Foods counter, but I think I'm out of luck in that department...

                  Flamingo's Seafood in particular sounds very yummy. I've got to find a co-'hound with a car.

                  1. re: theannerska

                    You can get fairly close to Flamingo's from Evanston by public transportation. The Pace #208 bus leaves downtown Evanston heading west on Church Street. Further west, it jogs over to Golf Road. If you get off at Golf Road and Busse Road, you can walk half a mile south to the restaurant. For more information, including a route map and schedule, see

                    1. re: theannerska

                      Good place to buy fish is The Fish Keg at 2233 W. Howard St., Chicago
                      Tel: (773) 262-6603. It is just west of Clark St. at Howard. Howard is the border between Chicago and Evanston, so it is on the south side of Howard. There is a small parking lot right next to the store which looks kind of like an old, small, neighborhood grocery store. You can purchase raw or fried fish, shrimp etc. They custom fry each order. No place to eat in the store. Can also get small side salads and bottled soft drinks and juice as well. The only place I have found where I can get Walleye. Sometimes I get it fried; sometimes I take it home and cook it myself. At first I was unsure about the place because it's kind of dicey looking, but I got great fish there.

                      1. re: theannerska

                        If you head straight north on Sheridan to Winnetka (just past the B'hai Temple), next to the Jewel there is a seafood market. You may be able to take a Sheridan bus up there.

                        1. re: stellamystar

                          Thank you Chicago hounds for all your great advice! I was visiting from New York City - if you are ever in NYC and want a great deal for superb seafood check out lunch at Jean-Georges. It is one of the relatively few four star restaurants in the city and offers a three course lunch for $24.-