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Fish- and shellfish-centric restaurant from Michael Kornick and David Morton.

Our Review

The only thing missing from Michael Kornick and David Morton's nautical adjunct to DMK Burger Bar is an animatronic one-eyed pirate with a cursing macaw on his shoulder. What it does have is faux salt-blasted planks on the walls, a canoe hanging from the ceiling (are those seaworthy?), and a greatest-hits list culled from classic New Orleans oyster bars, New England clam shacks, and the extinct species of Chicago River fried-shrimp shanties. Alongside a trio of four-seater booths, the 18-seat cedar bar rectangulates in front of the open kitchen like a pair of beaver teeth. By the entranceway you can wait for a seat, drinking small, sweetish but potent cocktails or huge-headed Belgian beers inexpertly poured in—gasp!—mason jars. And you will probably wait. Someone is always waiting. And you will probably need a drink. But the dishes come out fast enough—and small enough—to ensure rapid turnover, and as busy as it is, it's ideal for single eaters. Lobster bisque is sweet, peppery, and corny lobster bisque; the po'boy swaddles thick-cut slaw and zingy remoulade from which spill fat, amoeboid fried oysters, hot and too monstrous to be contained by the flimsy cardboard boat. Sausagey gumbo with diaphanous threads of crabmeat or chunky New England clam chowder with sizable lumps of chewy mollusk can easily be supplemented by quarter-pound portions of hard-fried shrimp or calamari or small plates of supertender grilled octopus with preserved lemon, olive oil, and chile. A deep Cobb salad might take up some digestive real estate too, with fat shrimp and hunks of crab claw (though the promised salmon and squid was missing from mine). But for the most part raw preparations like the changeable tartare and carpaccio and grilled catch of the day are mere snacks—perhaps meant to whet your appetite for a burger and shake next door. Still, if you can abide the cornball menu-ese—there's a cocktail called Sonja Does Sicily—and the P.J. McPickleshitter's aesthetic—a fly rod sits in the corner in case you want to go casting for wild Lakeview Chad or Trixie—a figurative shrimp shack that promises to serve "sustainable, wild-caught and responsibly farmed" seafood isn't a bad thing at all. Reservations accepted for parties of three or four only. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $
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