I don’t know about you, but I’m clinging on to Summer with a tight grip. While I may wear ankle boots at night, I’m still spotting sandals on the pavement, which tells me others are in the same boat (yes, I just used a sea reference). While seafood can be enjoyed year-round, seafood on the patio is a luxury with the lucky September weather Chicago has graced us with. The photos tell most of the story, so this is a brief post, but in case you’re in the mood for some light, fresh seafood delights, a couple ideas for you. Oysters on the half-shell ordered during the Midday Menu timeframe as childhood friend Shannon and I approached happy hour at 4:30pm accompanied by a sweet and spicy margarita with pineapple and serrano peppers at Mercadito Fish in the Gold Coast on Delaware is the re-named Little Market. Did you know they serve $1 oysters with the purchase of a bottle of wine? Sounds like a deal I might take advantage of on my second visit.
Just a few days later, my friend Seth and I were partaking in our surprise trade-off dinners, where we each plan the location without disclosing it until we meet just before. My pick was Half Shell on Diversey in Lakeview. The crab legs are their specialty, but they’re served in the most casual and approachable setting – and affordable too, perfect or sharing! Their house salad dressing was tangy and light, and introduced the meaty star of the meal on a fresh note. This hidden gem is downstairs in a dark dining hole-in-the-wall adorned with multi-colored twinkle lights, like a disguised “dive” bar. The bartender remembers your face and party size, and without a written list, keeps tabs on the tables until it’s your turn to be seated. Expect to wait in a cozy interior where you’ll likely meet other diners and bond over the love of approachable, fresh seafood.
The obligatory claw photo…
What are your favorite down-to-earth Chicago seafood restaurant spots?