When it comes to beating the summer heat, you could go the usual ice cream route of course. But equally curative for the summer months are slurping down some fresh oysters. We may not border an ocean, but our restaurants are certainly filled with bounteous bivalves. With National Oyster Day coming on August 5, there’s never been a better time to indulge your nautical cravings. Here are some top-notch places to celebrate.
Margeaux Brasserie: National Oyster Day is as good an excuse as any to visit brand-new Margeaux Brasserie. This French stunner inside the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is rolling out the red carpet for oyster fanatics on August 5, with $2 wood-fried oysters served with bacon, leek and Pernod creme, available during happy hour from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
GT Fish & Oyster: One of the best places to eat oysters in Chicago is certainly one of the best places to celebrate the holiday on August 5, what with GT’s roster of pristine oysters on the half shell and fried oyster po’ boy sliders. Additionally, the restaurant is extending the holiday celebration throughout the month with its “Shuck like a Chef” class. Taking place August 23 at 6:00 p.m., the class is a great way for oyster-lovers to up their shucking game. Tickers are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shuck-like-a-chef-tickets-32627617081
Frontier: In honor of National Oyster Day, Frontier is celebrating all weekend long with festivities August 4-6. On August 4 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., the West Town restaurant will host an oyster and rosé patio soiree, featuring $1 oysters, $2 char-grilled oysters, $12 bacon-wrapped oysters, $5 glasses of rose, $5 glasses of frosé and more.
Cold Storage: Happy hour runs all day long on Oyster Day at Cold Storage, providing ample opportunity to partake in $1 oysters and $3 draft beers. Plus, for every 100th oyster shucked, the “golden oyster” will be served. Like in Willy Wonka with the golden ticket, basically. But for whoever gets the golden oyster, their check will be comped. The restaurant opens early for lunch on August 5, at 11:00 a.m., so you can start partying asap. Additionally, the restaurant will be pouring special Sea Pearl Martinis, an exclusive cocktail inspired by an oyster shooter that’s made with oyster-infused Ketel One, dry vermouth and orange bitters.
Vol. 39: Since oysters and martinis go together like peanut butter and jelly, you can’t do any better on Oyster Day than the impossibly chic Vol. 39 inside the Kimpton Gray Hotel. This throwback-y lounge, reminiscent of a mid-century cocktail haunt, has a special oyster and martini combo for the holiday this year: six oysters paired with a martini for $25.
Shaw’s Crab House: The reigning champ of seafood in Chicago, Shaw’s is an apt place to celebrate any nautical occasion. For Oyster Day, that means the restaurant is doling out half-priced oysters in the Oyster Bar from 11:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Dusek’s Board & Beer: For those who prefer their oysters with a little heat, Dusek’s Board & Beer is offering a special wood-roasted oyster and beer pairing for Oyster Day. Available both at brunch and dinner, the dish features wood-roasted Katama oysters Rockefeller with coriander persillade, which matches nicely with the adjoining Allagash White wheat beer. The pairing costs $15.
RM Champagne Salon: Last but certainly not least, this chic Parisian parlor is going big for the holiday, serving up a lavish combo of a dozen oysters and a bottle of JCB No. 21 Cremant de Bourgogne for $75.