During my time in Chicago, I had walked past Joe's a number of times because it was on my route to catch the convention bus - and the large words 'stone crab' immediately had me thinking of the delicious meals I had enjoyed a few years earlier in both Princeton, NJ and Orlando, FL! Since I had not really gone overboard so far on this trip, I thought it was time to go for the crabs once again on this, my last full day in Chicago. It was about 1 PM by the time I was ushered to a table along the wall, with a view out over the large dining room. The waiters were very immaculately groomed and dressed and everything was done 'just so', so I could see this was going to set me back a few bucks. No problem, I was ready to enjoy!
Favorite Dish: As I said before, I'm not a bulk eater since my food preferences lean toward interesting flavours rather than how much I can stuff in! Consequently, I kept my order of crabs down to their lowest level of seven medium stone crabs with lemon wedges ($27) accompanied by a small baked potatoe ($2.50) and a few shoots of freshly cooked asperagus ($4.50). This was accompanied by small dishes of sour cream, shrimp cocktail sauce and a unique crab sauce of some sort. In keeping with my Guinness theme at the John Hancock Tower, I had one of those ($6) as well as water to wash things down. The crabs were delicious, with their shells already having been broken so it was easy to remove the pieces and pry the meat out with a delicate little fork. I took my time and really enjoyed the meal, well worth its $50 cost (tip included).
When Ian & I made plans to visit Chicago I knew I had to treat him to Joe's Stone Crab! I'd had a fabulous dinner here for my 40th bday party:
Full House appetizer platter [Oysters Rockefeller, Jumbo Lump crabcakes, Shrimp De Jonghe (crab-stuffed shimp), shrimp, & fried calamari, Alaskan King Crab Claws]
grilled corn cut off the cob topped with cilantro
"Jenny's Potatoes" (mashed potatoes topped with cheese)
Pinot Gris w/dinner
We split the check 3 ways and with tax & tip my portion totaled $105 (hey, it was a 40th birthday celebration)!
This trip, we started off with the medium appetizer of 4 stone crab claws ($17.95) which I had with a glass of Moet & Chandon sparkling Brut - $18). I tried the Steak "The Original" (16 oz. bone-in filet mignon - $42.95) while Ian tried the 16 oz. rib eye steak ($35.95). Accompanying our steaks were fried green tomatoes ($6.95) & hashed browns (I could go back JUST for those potatoes - $6.95). We absolutely could not even think about dessert even though we both wanted the Key Lime Pie! Everything plus tip was $180.
Dress code: CASUAL - I noticed a family dressed in track suits and not an eyelash batted.
Favorite Dish: Hashed Browns
The Original Steak
Alaskan King Crab Claws
Photos: May 2009 & September 2007
For dessert they brought out a birthday cake for me (a brownie-type cake covered with hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream) Kristi ordered a Bananas Foster dessert which we all shared and I had ordered a Key Lime Pie (didn't realize they were bringing out the birthday cake for me). I asked if maybe they didn't have a few fresh raspberries in the kitchen for the Key Lime Pie; sure enough, they did! Only ate a 1/3 of that and took the rest back to the hotel (which, of course, I forgot as it's still in their fridge). :D
Favorite Dish: Key Lime Pie, of course, my favorite! Not a big fan of bananas but the Bananas Foster was excellent, too.
Last visit August 2012
I've been going to Joe's for about a decade, mostly for special occasions like birthdays. Joe's is always busy, I suspect that a lot of their clientele is expense accounts as many of the tables have 6 or more people wearing business attire. My most recent visit was for my birthday in August 2012, be sure to mention it's a special occasion, they brought over a sinfully rich chocolate brownie/cake topped with ice cream and a candle. Nice touch!
Don't think about coming here on a weekend night, or even a weekday night, without a reservation. You can reserve online at Open Table. It's open for lunch on the weekends, a lot of downtown restaurants are closed then.
Other places that get good reviews you might try for seafood:
Shaw's Crab House, 21 E. Hubbard
Catch 35, 35 E. Wacker (I thought it was expensive, an expense account type of place)
One place that I didn't like that others like:
McCormick & Schmick's, 41 E. Chestnut, ate here 11/4/06, liked the decor, the quieter atmosphere and spacing of tables but the crab cakes were a little too greasy and you could taste the filler. Tuna appetizer was small for price, Seafood Newburg didn't knock my socks off.
Favorite Dish: Crab cakes!!!!!
Everything we tried here was good-the bread, the calamari appetizer, the jennie potatoes (cheese mixed in with mashed potatoes) but the crab cakes are the best I've ever had. I rarely order anything else, they are that good!
In September 2007, we ordered the Full House appetizer with jumbo lump crabcake, shrimp De Jonghe, oysters rockefeller & fried calamari. I thought it was all good except the calamari was a little tough and overcooked. Since we had crabcakes on the appetizer platter, I ordered Alaskan King crab claws, 4 large claws filled with meat. Very good but I'm going back to the crab cakes next time! The roasted corn was very good, tasted like kettle corn.
For dessert we tried the key lime pie and banana cream pie, both tasty, plus they gave Mary a piece of birthday cake, more like a brownie.
I did not know this place was here, I had only seen the one on Ocean Dr. in Miami... and what a sight for sore eyes! I love this menu, EVERYTHING on it is amazing.. but you'd better call ahead, this place is in high demand at dinner time. Also, the dress here, as in Miami, is business casual in the least, it is a place you would take to either impress clients or treat yourself to a decadent meal, the presentation of every meal is awesome and should be appreciated, as you could go broke eating here every night (thank goodness for the compnay card!)
Favorite Dish: I love the crabs, but some of the appetizers are to die for as well ( I liked the 2nd Mortgage dish). The steaks here are also very accurately cooked with a great flavor. The menu here is very extensive, so please take your time when ordering, the next dish is always that much better....