Talk about a find. It all began as a search for a suitable Chicago restaurant for our 36th anniversary dinner. I searched for spots near our Lakewood AirBnB, specifically seafood restaurants. Pescadaro was plenty close (1), but we’d been there and the long tables upon which the admittedly great food is served detract from the elegance of the place. Not that we need elegance, but Kathy would be wearing a dress, forgodsakes! A little further out, where Dominick Street & Clybourn Avenue cross in the West DePaul neighborhood near the river, was Diamond Hook (2). Great looking simple menu, 2022 OpenTable Diners Choice Award, pretty new (established 2021). Booked!
We didn’t talk much of it as the trip approached, and I had trouble even recalling the name of the place. We came off a grueling morning characterized by a lunch of Harold’s Fried chicken (3) and beer in Grant Park followed by a 4 mile walk home. Come anniversary afternoon, we weren’t too keen on the 20-minute ride to Diamond Hook on the #9 bus, which would include about 12 minutes of walking. It would be a straight shot down Southport to walk it cxompletely, about 1 and a quarter miles, but we weren’t in the mood for that either. Our Uber driver arrived so fast we thought he was hyper-enthused to take us to the place. We got there to see a clean white storefront and nicely appointed interior, completely empty, save for the waitress who greeted us. Granted, it was 6:15 on a weeknight, and the waitress assured us all was o.k. Indeed, it was, as we sat to an outdoor table on quiet Webster and proceeded to chow oysters and octopus downed by French champagne followed by the best crab cakes we’d had this side of Maryland then crab stuffed shrimp, washed down with a nice sauvignon blanc. Thinking ourselves done, and very satisfied, the chef brought us out a piece of his key lime pie that even my sweets-averse sweetie liked. All in all, it was a memorable anniversary dinner. We’ll surely be back. West DePaul neighborhood isn’t on the tourist track, nice as it is (4), but worth the venture if the Hook is your destination.
Here for your reference is their menu.
- Pescadaro Seafood and Oyster Bar. https://www.pescaderofish.com/
- Diamond Hook Restaurant. https://www.diamondhookrestaurant.com/
- Ike B. eat Harold’s. WordPress 5/23/21. https://theviewfromharbal.com/2021/05/23/eat-harolds/
- Trulia. Chicago IL. West DePaul. https://www.trulia.com/n/il/chicago/west-de-paul/83019/