Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Salt Air

Oysters and cocktails under the stars at Bow & Stern

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It's official: your New Year's resolution lasted exactly one week. Congratulations, it's better than nothing.

We've got a better idea in mind for 2014: eat more oysters.
 
And shellfish lover's paradise Bow & Stern is the only place to do it, complete with enough nautical chic touches to make a wintry Chicago Ave. look like summer in Nantucket.
 
This whole oyster thing is going to go down one of three ways.

Purists: You know what you're doing. Go raw with smoked tomato cocktail, wasabi, or red wine mignonette.

“I don’t really like oysters” people: Your binary bivalve fork in the road goes grilled or deep-fried.

Thrill seekers: Order your oysters pickled with wasabi tobiko caviar.
 
No matter how you're ordering, you'll do so below a vaulted skylight, basking in sunlight (as soon as that foot of snow melts) in a dining room that looks more seaside boathouse than West Town eatery.

Maple-jalapeno glazed Skuna Bay salmon and confit pork belly scallops await those still hungry. Then head to the bar (not to be confused with the raw bar near the entrance) with a Cheena-Cheena — bourbon, Bigallet China China, Cigarrera Manzanilla, and chipotle-tea syrup.

One of your resolutions was swapping coffee for tea, right?

Bow & Stern bowandsternoysterbar.com
1371 W. Chicago Ave. (at N. Noble St.), West Town
(312) 988-0644
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Price: 2 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Blue Line to Chicago
Scene: Cozy couples and groups of friends escaping the snow with plates of some of the freshest oysters in the Midwest.
Best bets: Raw oysters; crispy Lubina; rock lobster & grilled Wagu sirloin
Nearby: Mexique; Five Star; Flo

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