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Chicago Oyster Specialists

May 02, 2014
Pearl Tavern

Despite the fact that the city is positioned a rather significant distance from any meaningful body of saltwater, Chicago has long loved oysters, as evidenced by the fact that local bars first began to serve them more than a century ago, when cross-country trains brought the bivalves to the Midwest. Fast-forward to present day, and though the molluscs feature on many a starter and snack menu around the city, serious connoisseurs know there are also a handful of dedicated oyster specialists refining the art of sourcing and shucking. One such venue is Pearl Tavern, the new vintage-inspired offering from owner Adolfo Garcia (formerly of Barn & Company and Hubbard Inn).

Their philosophy is simple: each day Pearl offers at least two oyster varieties from both the East and West coasts, along with Canadian varieties like Royal Miyagis from British Columbia and Little Shemogues from New Brunswick, as well as razor clams, scallops, mussels and shrimp. The shells are served simply with cocktail sauce and mignonette, and are best enjoyed with a glass of white wine, though craft beers and cocktails like the Dirty Pearl (a vodka martini with oyster brine and an actual oyster) are also on hand for pairing. Lastly, it would be remiss not to mention the beautiful space – a woodwork-panelled, pressed tin-ceilinged vision of Carrara marble bartop, bentwood stools and consummately cool throwback style. And so the love affair continues...

180 N Wacker Dr / The Loop / +1 312 629 1030 / pearltavern.com
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