This week, I got to visit Chicago’s oldest crab house with a guest, called, The King Crab House. This 36 year old Lincoln Park eatery is everything seafood; from a lengthy menu, a raw bar, to a full liquor bar.
Owner Cy Sadaka personally attended to our tasting and left no stone unturned in making it absolutely unforgettable.The restaurant ambiance is airy and lively, and with its longstanding reputation commands some loyalty from its patrons. Everyone on the wait staff is super-friendly and courteous.
At first, I was overwhelmed by the menu, mostly because I wanted to try it all. The restaurant is known for its shellfish, so the oysters were a must. We ordered a big platter of their Blue Point and Chesapeake oysters, and they were shucking good!
The Spicy Shrimp, which is a crowd favorite, had a southern flavor to it and served as the perfect appetizer to our meal.
For hot appetizers, we weren’t leaving without trying the Popcorn Shrimp and the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms. The former was a generous portion of mini, golden-fried, tender, shrimp that has the flakiest crust on it.
The mushrooms were rich with plenty of crabmeat and crab flavor, and a buttery topping that made them entirely irresistible.
I’ve always said that Clam Chowder is my benchmark for seafood places and it’s done brilliantly here. I devoured a cup at the restaurant and jumped at Cy’s offer to pack a cup for me to go. Need I say more?
Then came the highlight of the night, the Seafood Platter that Cy specially put together for us to try. One word came to mind when I saw the platter in front of me, grandiose! What a lavish assortment of Alaskan Crab Legs, Blackened Tuna, Stuffed Hawaiian Swai and Grilled Prawns, nicely laid out in the most colorful presentation!
You can’t go to a Crab House and not try the crab, can you? The crabmeat was absolutely succulent and mildly sweet. Plus we learned a few tricks from Cy on how to crack those legs! A skill that will forever come in handy for me!
Swai, which is from the catfish family, has definitely become a more popular item on menus these days, and I was happy to see a little experimentation with it at the restaurant. Delicate in texture, the fish was fresh, stuffed with spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, and served with a creamy lemon caper sauce. The mild taste of the fish worked really well with these ingredients. This dish was magnificent!
The Grilled Prawns on the platter were beautiful looking jumbo shrimp with grilled onions and a ginger soy sauce that was bursting with flavor. I used the sauce as a marinade for most of the other fish on the platter. It also went perfectly with the medium rare tuna, which also was phenomenal!
We ended with the Cream Key Lime Pie for dessert, a recipe perfected by Cy’s wife who is also a pastry chef. This one, you’ll have to try for yourself!
The seafood gods were definitely smiling! What an enjoyable meal of seafood goodness. A menu comprising of both the classics as well as creative fish fare, depending on what your pescetarian palette is craving.
Many items on the menu still left to try and this just means I’ll have to go back soon. No arm-twisting needed here!
Make your reservation now and go enjoy some authentic seafood at King Crab House, and take advantage of their outdoor patio while it’s still summer.
King Crab House Chicago
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Address: 1816 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (312) 280-8990
Hours: Mon- Thurs: 3:30pm -11pm; Fri - Sat - 11:00am-Midnight; Sun- 11:30am-10:00pm
Price: $5.95- $35.95 or MP