From the street, Shaw's Crab House looks unassuming: an awning on a cross street just north of Chicago's Loop. Inside, it's two spots: a formal fish house, and an informal oyster bar. Turns out, it's part of the Lettuce Entertain You conglomerate (Maggiano's Little Italy in Bellevue is, so far, the only example in the Seattle area). The oyster bar is clearly where it's happening.
Barman Josh Keeseker and oysterman Luis Tedroza supply a sampler of virginicas from three of the country's best sources: Totten Inlet in the South Sound between Olympia and Shelton, Fishers Island on Long Island Sound, and Naragansetts from Rhode Island. Rhode Island is sweet, New York is salty and smooth, Totten Inlet is the best of both.
Regular readers will recall that we've seen the Totten Inlets before. They were named best-tasting virignica oysters in the country last year (by an east coast panel, yet), and are regularly promoted by Seattle's oyster guru Jon Rowley.
Shaw's, grateful for Jon's services on behalf of the bivalves, named him to its oyster honor roll and put his portrait in their board room. There's more coming about Jon later this week, by the way.
Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard, Chicago 312-527-2722
Oyster Bar menu at Shaw's, sampler of virginica oysters, Jon Rowley's portrait
Posted by Ronald Holden at October 29, 2008 12:01 AM