Smelt still in season on Chicago menus

May 10, 2011 9:56:41 AM PDT
Spring in Chicago can be synonymous with the traditional smelt season. This once exotic fish is now prevalent in Lake Michigan, and it can be fished for about two months in spring.

While smelt season officially ended a few weeks ago, the little fish will remain on the menu at Shaw's Crab House for a few more weeks. Chef Arnie Pellez has a few ways to prepare the tiny fish.

Smelt-seekers can still get their fix with a cracker-meal-crusted smelt, served atop a triangle of toast with parsley, lemon and tartar sauce ($7.99). It'll be served all day in both the Oyster Bar and dining room. In the Oyster Bar only, smelt also will appear fried on a bed of hand-cut fries with slaw and tartar sauce ($12.99), both day and night.

In addition, soft shell crab will make an appearance from May through October. Initially the delicacy will be plucked from South Carolina, and fished northward from Virginia to Maryland as the season progresses. Look for them in sandwich form and as a two or three-crab platter with Shaw's zippy lemon butter (market price). Soft shells will also be featured from the sushi bar in Shaw's Spider Roll.

21 E. Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL 60611

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