The summer sun brings a renewed interest in chilled foods, and one of the best ways to fill up while cooling off is via raw bar options and seafood towers. And luckily, Chicago is rich in both. From Maude’s and Bavette’s sophisticated presentations, to the luxe towers by RPM Steak, below a guide to the city’s most prized chilled ocean animal offerings.
1. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
Steakhouse Del Frisco’s Shellfish Plateau is arranged to feed two or more guests, with the market price ranging between $95 to $100. The assortment includes about one pound of Alaskan King Crab legs, six shrimp, and four pieces of chilled crab claws. Cocktail sauce and mustard sauce land on the side, and guests can add on a chilled lobster cocktail for $18 or Jumbo Lump Crab Louie for $16.
2. Margeaux Brasserie
Chicago, IL 60611
Celeb chef Michael Mina’s Parisian-inspired Margeaux Brasserie within the Waldorf Astoria serves The Grand Shellfish Tower during both brunch and dinner. The $149 ocean animal collection is built for four to six guests, and involves 12 oysters, 12 shrimp, Prince Edward Island mussels escabeche, chilled Maine lobster thermidor, and Alaskan king crab salad paired with three sauces (gin cocktail, avocado green goddess, and house mignonette) for dipping.
Grab a seat at the upstairs oyster bar within aquatic-leaning Devon Seafood Grill for two chilled shellfish platter options. The $55 arrangement suits two to three guests, while the $98 engagement involves more for four to six. Expect to score shrimp cocktail, oysters, lobster claws, king crab legs, roasted tomato cocktail sauce, and white balsamic mignonette.
4. Heritage Restaurant & Caviar Bar
Chicago, IL 60622
As its name suggests, Chicago’s first caviar bar hinges on eggs from the sea. In addition to a wide-spanning selection from Golden Osetra to wild Illinois Hackleback, the eatery also offers preserved fish and a handful of oyster options. Typically $4 a pop, drop in on Mondays for the $28 Red Lobster-inspired all-you-can-eat special from 4 to 9:30 p.m.
5. GT Prime Steakhouse
Chicago, IL 60654
Boka Restaurant Group’s contemporary steakhouse helmed by chef Giuseppe Tentori offers a bunch of chilled seafood options, like wasabi tobiko scallop ceviche and jumbo shrimp with beer mustard. The single seafood tower, which hit the menu four months ago, run $150 and includes a pound of Maine lobster, half a pound of Alaskan king crab, six shrimp, six East Coast oysters, two ounces of tuna tartare, and two ounces of scallop ceviche.