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Where to eat raw oysters: Chicago oyster bars and deals

COMING SOON

Joe Fish
445 N. Dearborn St.
ETA: March 10
At this coming-soon seafood restaurant in River North from Rosebud Restaurants, chef Joe Farina will bring in five to eight varieties each of West and East Coast oysters daily. Oysters will be served with a classic mignonette, jalapeno pesto and cocktail sauce made with fresh horseradish. "We're also doing some oyster and champagne pairings with a caviar supplement," Farina said.

Frederick's Oyster Pail & The Wilcox
2928 N. Broadway
ETA: May
This two-level hangout in East Lakeview will be named for Frederick Weeks Wilcox, who patented the oyster pail—that folded paper box otherwise known as a Chinese takeout container. Owner Phil Tadros--who also is behind Bow Truss Coffee and Strange Pelican Brewing Company—describes Frederick's Oyster Pail (the main level) as a bar-style space for oysters and drinks, while The Wilcox (downstairs) is a "speakeasy basement" for sit-down service. Strange Pelican-due to open in a month or two—may even brew an oyster stout to be served here. "We just want to make oysters fun and approachable," he said.

RECENTLY OPENED

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
1371 W. Chicago Ave. 312-988-0644
Oyster orders are made in small quantities at this West Town restaurant, which means the eight to 12 varieties shucked behind the bar are constantly changing. "We take great pains to really research and find smaller distributors on the coasts that deal directly with the farmers instead of buying in bulk," owner Bryan Burrow said. Traditional fixings are available, but you'll want to try the house-made smoked-tomato cocktail sauce and wasabi-ginger mignonette.

Kinmont
419 W. Superior St. 312-915-0011
At this rustic seafood-centric restaurant in River North, changing-daily selection of East and West Coast oysters can be ordered by the half-dozen and dozen, served with classic accoutrements: cocktail sauce, champagne mignonette, housemade hot sauce, lemon wedges and saltine crackers.

Pearl Tavern
180 N. Wacker Drive 312-629-1030
At this recently opened oyster bar, options change daily but will always include at least two West Coast and two East Coast options by the half and full dozen. If you catch chef Chris Lorenz with a moment to spare, ask about his oyster journal.

Chop Shop
2033 W. North Ave. 773-537-4440
The raw bar portion of the menu takes up just as much space as the charcuterie or steaks at this Wicker Park butcher shop/bar/restaurant hybrid . East and West Coast oysters are available by the single shell as well as half dozen or dozen. Try the chef's oyster pairing for seasonal preparations such as Deer Creek oysters with pickled beet foam and caviar. –Lisa Arnett

 

STAFF FAVES: MORE OYSTER BARS

The Savoy | GT Fish & Oyster  |  Fish Bar  |  The Publican  |  Maude's Liquor Bar
Shaw's Crab House  |  Half Shell  |  Girl & the Goat  | Dusek's 

 

OYSTER DEALS
High-quality raw oysters can easily run up your dinner bill, but plenty of spots around town feature weekly deals to make the price easier to swallow.

Acre
5308 N. Clark St. 773-334-7600
$1.25 oysters 5 p.m.-midnight Monday through Friday and 3 p.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday through March 31

Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
1371 W. Chicago Ave. 312-988-0644
$1-$1.25 oysters 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays starting March 11

Benny's Chop House
444 N. Wabash Ave. 312-626-2444
Discount oysters (ranging from 25 cents to $1.50) from 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays.

The Bedford
1612 W. Division St. 773-235-8800
$1 oysters and half-priced sparkling wine on Thursdays

The Bluebird
1749 N. Damen Ave. 773-486-2473
$1 oysters from 5-7 p.m. daily

Chicago Oyster House
1933 S. Indiana Ave. 312-225-8833
$1 Blue Point oysters from 5-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays

Devon Seafood Grill
39 E. Chicago Ave. 312-440-8660
$1 oysters from 4-7 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 4-10 p.m. Sunday

Frontier
1072 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-772-4322
$1 oysters from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday; $10 for a dozen oysters from 4 p.m. Thursdays until they run out

The Grid
351 W. Hubbard St. 312-321-1351
$1 oysters from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday

La Sardine
111 N. Carpenter St. 312-421-2800
$1 oysters during Friday dinner service at the bar

Pops for Champagne
601 N. State St. 312-266-7677
$1 oysters from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday

Raw Bar & Grill
3720 N. Clark St. 773-348-7291
60-cent select oysters Thursdays; $20 for a dozen oysters and two domestic beers daily

Shaw's Crab House
21 E. Hubbard St. 312-527-2722
Half-off select oysters from 4-6 p.m. daily

Tavernita
151 W. Erie St. 312- 274-1111
$1 oysters from 5-7 p.m. daily at the bar

Trellis
2426 N. Racine Ave. 773-644-6441
$1.50 oysters from 5-6:30 p.m. daily and 10 p.m.-midnight Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday

Vera
1023 W. Lake St. 312-243-9770
$6 half-dozen oysters Mondays

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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