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Weekly Planner: Brunch News Edition

Brunch News Edition Lowcountry Adds Brunch Fasten those bibs, because brunch is served at Lowcountry. The South Loop outpost of the boil-in-a-bag seafood concept, which specializes in Cajun-style shellfish, has added weekend brunch to its popular portfolio. A slight departure from its usual eat-with-your-hands bag-centric menu, the brunch offerings span a spectrum of Southern comforts, from […]

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Jun 18, 2018 09:51 PM
Best Restaurants in Boystown

With June being Pride Month, there’s no better time of year to spend dining and drinking in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. The vibrant Lakeview area enclave is best known perhaps for its clubs, drag brunches and rainbow pylons, but the neighborhood is becoming a serious dining destination in its own right, thanks to restaurants like these: […]

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Jun 11, 2018 10:32 PM
Weekly Planner: Taco Joint’s Specials and ROOF on theWit’s Movie Series

Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy Hour at Punch Bowl Social Happy hour is the happiest of all when you’re surrounded by bowling alleys, bocce courts, karaoke rooms and dart boards. The West Loop’s brand new Punch Bowl Social, a behemoth dining and gaming complex out of Denver, has jumped on the happy hour bandwagon, […]

The post Weekly Planner: Taco Joint’s Specials and ROOF on theWit’s Movie Series appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Jun 05, 2018 06:53 PM

Chicago's Top Lenten Dishes

Fresh off the gluttonous revelry of Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day, Lent is a season to reel things in. And by "things," we mean meat. That's why these next few weeks are the time to steer towards lighter seafood and fish dishes, which both abound throughout Chicago restaurants. And in case you were worried about it, you'll be pleased to find that Chicago steakhouses actually serve some of the best fish and seafood too. 

 

Mastro's Steakhouse
Seafood at Mastro's Steakhouse

 

Shrimp at Erie Cafe: This longstanding River North bastion is known for its steaks and chops, but soon you'll be regarding it for its stellar shrimp. Of the many great fish and seafood items here, like the crab cakes and baked clams, the shrimp stands supreme. Most notably because there are so many versions of it done so well. This is where the famous Shrimp de Jonghe can be tasted in all its glory; the classic Chicago dish is a casserole of whole peeled shrimp immersed in garlic-scented breadcrumbs. There's also French fried shrimp, or grilled shrimp a la George. 

 

Salmon at III Forks Prime Steakhouse: Another prime example of a steakhouse with serious seafood panache, III Forks Prime Steakhouse has particularly extraordinary salmon dishes you'd be wise to order. Along with those sterling steaks, the seafood and fish dishes hold their own, as evidenced by dishes like Atlantic salmon with tarragon chimichurri, or a salmon Caesar salad that takes a classic to a savorous new level.


Seafood cocktails at Mastro's Steakhouse: Steak may get top billing at this meaty Mecca in River North, but don't overlook the pristine seafood dishes scattered throughout the mammoth menus. Chief among them are the seafood cocktails featured on the appetizer menu. You've got a few options here, all of which are insanely fresh, light, bright, and bursting with oceanic flavor. There's the classic plump shrimp cocktail, along with a Dungeness crab cocktail and even lobster cocktail. And this is just the tip of the seafood iceberg at Mastro's. 

Mussels at Hopleaf: You'd be remiss in talking about seafood staples in Chicago without mentioning the famed mussels at Hopleaf. Andersonville's iconic Belgian beer bar is home to some of Chicago's best shellfish, especially when they're steamed in buttered Belgian beer and served in a crockpot the size of a Mini Cooper. They're served with the most addictive crispy frites and aioli. There's also warm, chewy bread that is perfect for dunking and sopping up all that precious seafood elixir. 

Nigiri at Momotaro: The seafood at the West Loop's quintessential Japanese restaurant couldn't be any fresher and more perfect if you were dining oceanside in Japan. The best way to taste that almighty freshness is with Momotaro's nigiri, an unparalleled rendition of some of the ocean's crown jewels, adorned simply with elegant accoutrements and finesse. Try the salmon belly with korashi miso and battera, the smoked aji with 1,000 year-old cypress, or for the daring, the Kawahagi sailfish served with its liver. 
 

Chicago Cut
Lobster gets the escargot treatment at Chicago Cut



Lobster "escargot" at Chicago Cut: One of the most lavish steakhouse seafood dishes in town is also one of the most unusual. Combining lobster with French technique, the clever chefs at this famous steakhouse serve tail pieces in garlic butter with melted Havarti and crostinis. It works surprisingly well, and it's a surefire hit for those squeamish about snails. 

Oysters at Maude's Liquor Bar: Come for the chic pomp and circumstance, stay for the immaculate oysters. The West Loop's sultry haven, romance-oozing Maude's Liquor Bar is a fine destination for all things opulent and alluring. This is particularly true of their seafood, served up in awe-inducing seafood towers or as a la carte plates. One section of the menu to pay attention to is Maude's daily selection of fresh oysters. They've always got at least a few varieties on hand, each one perfectly indicative of their East Coast and West Coast origins, and they're some of the best in town. 

Fish tacos at Antique Taco: Fish tacos may be commonplace in coastal cities like San Diego, but in Chicago they're still a rare find; good ones at least. One great find for fish taco excellence is Antique Taco, the smartly modern taqueria that enhances the taco experience with each and every menu item. Their version of a fish taco is a tempura-fried fish fillet with sriracha, tartar sauce, smoked cabbage, scallions, and sesame. They even have a garlic shrimp taco made with cauliflower elote, crispy kale, and basil-avocado salsa. 


Prawn heads at mfk: Throughout the killer seafood-heavy menu at Lakeview's Spanish-accented mfk., there's something wholly unique you need to try. While some dishes skew complex, the crunchy prawn heads succeed in their bold simplicity. They may look a little unnerving, but one crispy bite and you'll be grasping for more, especially when dredged through romesco-like Salbitxada. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Wicker ParkRiver NorthRiver NorthUptownLoopRiver NorthWest LoopLakeviewWest Loop

The comfortable Andersonville beer lounge draws the suds enthusiast for its more than 200 selections. Also, all menu items complement the beer.

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The seafood-focused restaurant based in Lincoln Park showcases signature items with a Spanish accent. It also boasts a "seaside" atmosphere, with wine to match.

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