CHICAGO – August 24, 2015 – Oyster on Halsted is an oyster bar and East Coast-inspired seafood restaurant opening in Lincoln Park (1962 N. Halsted St.) in November 2015. The concept was created in partnership with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ founder Rich Melman and the team behind Shaw’s Crab House and Oyster Bar, including Shaw’s Partner Bill Nevruz and Executive Chef Pete Balodimas.
“We want Oyster on Halsted to be a true neighborhood spot that offers the same upstanding and personalized hospitality and service that guests expect at Shaw’s in a casual and fun environment.”– says Nevruz.
Additionally, the team will open Low Tide Lounge, a subterranean cocktail lounge located in the lower level of Oyster on Halsted that will offer a selection of craft cocktails.
Chicagoans will be able to get a first taste of Oyster on Halsted at the 27th annual Oyster Fest taking place Friday, September 11 from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets are available at Oysterfestchicago.com.
At the center of the Oyster on Halsted menu are the oysters on a half shell from both coasts and a variety of fresh seafood dishes and East Coast classics. The menu will include signature dishes like: Stuffies – a classic stuffed clam dish baked with chorizo, Steamers with drawn butter and lemon, chilled cocktails like King Crab Cocktail, a Lobster Roll prepared two ways (either a New England style served chilled with mayo or a Connecticut variation served warm with butter) and a Lobster Spaghetti with lobster jus, cured tomato and arugula, and more. The menu will also feature a selection of fresh fish like the Crispy “One Sided” Snapper with Thai chili, fish sauce, lime and cilantro.
One parallel between the menu at Shaw’s and Oyster on Halsted will be the oyster program.
“The menu will be oyster centric and use the same relationships with oyster farmers on both coasts that we have developed over the last 30 years at Shaw’s.” – says Chef Balodimas.
As the Divisional Chef of the Shaw’s Crab House Division, Chef Balodimas oversees the oyster program and seafood focused menus for both Shaw’s Chicago and Shaw’s Schaumburg. Chef Balodimas began his career as chef de cuisine at Tin Fish in Tinley Park, IL and a sous chef position at the world-renowned Spiaggia in Chicago. Balodimas was the chef/owner of Fahrenheit in St. Charles, IL, which was nominated as a top 10 new restaurant by Chicago Magazine in 2008. He then served as executive chef of several of celebrated chef Jose Garces’ restaurants in Philadelphia, Arizona, and California before joining Lettuce Entertain You in 2013.
DÉCOR & VIBE
Oyster on Halsted will seat about 80 guests with high top bar seating in the front of the restaurant, the oyster bar and a bustling dining room. It will have a casual Cape Cod vibe with a mix and match of vintage and modern design elements. The restaurant is meant to feel rustic, yet eclectic with playful touches, like the oyster board that will display the ever changing oyster varietals and chalkboards throughout the restaurant that showcases back of house seafood preparations to the guests, including steam times on lobsters or how to shuck an oyster. Guests will find that the experience and décor get more playful as they make their way up in the multi-level space, from the sleek Low Tide Lounge to Oyster on Halsted and finally to the second floor concept which is slated to open in early 2016.
Oyster on Halsted is located at 1962 N. Halsted 1st Fl., Chicago, IL 60614. The restaurant will open for dinner service with weekend lunch coming soon. For more information, visit Oysteronhalsted.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @Oysteronhalsted.