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GT Fish & Oyster: Outstanding restaurant

Giuseppe Tentori was on a roll -- make that a lobster roll -- in 2011, maintaining the high standards of Boka in Lincoln Park and opening GT Fish & Oyster in River North to overflow crowds. Here was a seafood house that, by virtue of its small-plates menu, made it possible for guests to sample high-end goodies (including outrageously good bamboo-steamed crab legs) while keeping the total tab manageable. Oysters, naturally, are king here (arrive after 10:30 p.m. and the bivalves are half price), dressed with novel sauces (yuzu mignonette, for instance), but a strong cocktail program and excellent desserts make this place a total package. The room, a playful mix of fisherman's-shack and luxury-yacht appointments, bustles with energy (and, frankly, noise) and remains comfortable even when it's packed, which is most of the time. 531 N. Wells St.; 312-929-3501 -- Phil Vettel Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune
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