With Chicago’s ever-booming restaurant scene, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the new restaurants opening. While it is always exciting for new, unique, chef-driven and culinary focused restaurants to open, sometimes it is nice to have a great, simple yet exquisite spot to enter the scene.
Chicago is known for its fabulous chophouses and wonderful seafood restaurants, but with so many fun occasions to celebrate during the year, and always a reason for a nice steak dinner, a new seafood and steakhouse is certainly welcome.
Enter Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House, the newest spot in the Gold Coats, replacing the space occupied by McCormick and Schmick’s. McCormick and Shmick’s has been a longtime favorite of my family’s, being our go to spot for special family dinners. While sad to see it go, Truluck’s is a breath of fresh air, being a more modern restaurant that offers upscale menu items, the same as the former spot.
I was delighted to be invited to dine at Truluck’s. The restaurant has yet to debut brunch (coming soon!) but as a spot on a lot of Chicago food ‘grammers radars, dinner is equally as essential to try here. Specializing in Florida stone crabs, something Chicagoans go nuts for, I knew dining here would be not only a treat, but a meal worth writing about.
I invited our new Social Bitch, Brittani, to join me for dinner. Two Bitches is always better than one! Brittani and I arrived to Truluck’s at the same time, and as we entered we were greeted by the numerous staff members at the front host stand, a great first impression of the restaurant’s attention to the guest.
The grandeur of the restaurant is apparent the moment you walk in. While not ostentatious, as many of the newer, upscale restaurants in the area that have attempted to became established are, the decor at Truluck’s is classic, classy, and inviting. Our table was candlelit, and while the dim lighting provided for pictures that might not have done the food justice, we were loving the intimate setting, especially on this cold and snowy Chicago eve.
A pianist was playing classic tunes in the main bar to the left, and we were escorted to our table in the main dining area to the right. Tables are nicely spaced out, which offers intimate meals with friends, but large tables also encourage lively dinners for larger pafrties. The restaurant was bustling with patrons by the time our drinks arrived and the ambiance was warm, jovial, and pleasant.
Our stellar service began with our wonderful server Justin, who provided attentive detail (and some major water spillage recovery) throughout our meal. We began with two of his wine recommendations; a glass of bubbly for me and red wine for Brittani.
I will spare you the manner in which Justin guided us through the extensive menu; while a seafood and steak place, menu items are still thoughtful and exciting; in short, hardly basic. Part of the dining experience is being walked through the menu, so I will leave that for your own visit to Truluck’s.
As for what to order off of the menu, we again went with many of Justin’s suggestions. It would be remiss of us to not partake in eating stone crabs, though the entire raw bar and fresh seafood offerings were tempting; among them huge lobster tails, Dungeness and Alaskan king crab legs.
We both ordered a cup of soup; the clam chowder for Brittani, and the lobster bisque for me. The bisque came with a horseradish cream sauce, and while interesting and yummy, I personally think the bisque could have done without it. It was creamy and perfect on its own.
I am admittedly a stone crab virgin, but if you don’t know, I am a die-hard crab lover as a Maryland native, so of course these were delicious to me. Our stone crab claws were large, meaty, and creamy almost. Also, they were not much work to get to the meat.
We decided that since we were primarily having seafood items, to order the meatball appetizer for some beef to our meal. They were delicious and the three meatball option was perfect to share between two people.
For entrees, I was back and forth between many of the mains, but ultimately decided on the jumbo sea scallops. They were seared perfectly, albeit a little salty for my taste, but nonetheless delicious. Also, while you can expect high prices for entrees at Trulucks, considering most, if not all, of the seafood and beef are flown in daily, I must say that this portion is well worth the price. I almost could not finish my dish. Rest assured, I did.
Brittani decided on the miso-glazed sea bass, with crab fried rice. Winner, winner, not chicken dinner— this dish was incredible. The miso glaze added umami to the already delicious components of the dish, and the crab fried rice was stellar.
Throughout the meal we continued to go with Justin’s recommended wine pairings for our respective dishes, to which we were never disappointed.
As our meal came to an end, Justin could not help but tempt us with the presentation of the dessert tray. Of course we were never going to say “no” to dessert. While all of the dessert offerings (yes, all of them—there are many!) looked amazing, we decided to go with a smaller portioned option and went with the Key lime pie.
The Key lime did not disappoint. Always conscious of how Key lime pies outside of Florida can be hit or miss, this one was a hit. Tangy and tart-y, the restaurant’s original Florida recipe is a definite “yes” for any Key lime lover.
Dinner at Trulucks was awesome; from stellar, exceptional service, to delicious seafood and steak offerings, you cannot go wrong with this classic spot. Although a chain restaurant from Houston, Truluck’s is a wonderful new addition to Chicago, and the fact that the restaurant has many locations only implies that they have had time to perfect their service and craft. We are looking forward to brunching here once the restaurant debuts it!
Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House
41 E. Chestnut St.