The New England vibe of the seafood-focused Shaw’s Crab House helped make it an institution in the River North neighborhood. But Shaw’s also is famous for doubling up as one of Chicago’s best steak houses.
Alongside a menu of fish and shellfish flown in daily you’ll fine prime cuts of steaks. Classic preparations of New York strip, a 22-ounce, bone-in cowboy ribeye and “surf & turf” combos are some of the biggest sellers at this very business crowd-focused eatery. You’ll find, in fact, many business suits mixed in with business casual types, especially during lunchtime and right after work.
The reality is Chicago’s best steak house’s serve some of Chicago’s best fish. So just like there is prime fresh caught seafood.
Here we take a look at one of Chicago’s preeminent purveyors of fine fish and seafood, flown in from all over the world and delivered to a myriad of restaurants and vendors. I recently took a tour of the facilities to learn more about it.
This fish company is basically the Willy Wonka factory of fish, with less whimsy and more scales. And when you tour it, your guide isn’t a sociopath. But I felt like a nautical Augustus Gloop while visiting recently, touring the facilities and learning what goes on at one of Chicago’s preeminent fish and seafood purveyor. After strapping on special coats, hats, and boots, so as to defend against the cold weather of the facilities and the fish smell, it was down the rabbit hole I went. There was a lot to see and discover at the fish company, but there are many other takeaways from my field trip.
But at the core of Shaw’s dining program is seafood, and it’s seasonal and ultra-fresh, including including oysters, fish and crabs. Speaking of crabs, of note are the naturally, sweet Alaskan red king legs, Florida stone crab claws, Maryland blue crabs, whole Dungeness and soft shells.
The other main attraction at Shaw’s is the Oyster Bar, a retro-feel lounge with nightly live jazz and blues, plus a spacious oyster bar. This is where mollusks lovers hang for occasional discounted oysters and very strong martinis and Manhattans. The Sunday brunch buffet is also very popular with families.
Here is Shaw’s recipe for Alaskan halibut with bacon, pearl onions, pea tendrils and fresh English pea broth.
There is a second location in Schaumburg.