After last weekend's broadcast, my auntie treated me to a late night dinner at Cafe Maritime on Lombard. We were a little too early for the "industry hour" discounts. But no matter, she had recommended the New England seafood chowder to warm us up on this rainy night.
Assembled to order, the bowl of chowder had a creamy white, moderately thickened savory base with herbs, potatoes and smoky bacon. Thick chunks of very fresh fish (salmon and a white fleshed fish) were on point and blended in with whole clams and mussels. It was as good as auntie promised. I noticed that others were ordering a single bowl of this to split, and that would be plenty for two people as a starter.
A fan of Vietnamese roasted crab, she also wanted to try the garlic roasted crab offered as a seasonal special here. At first the butter and garlic treatment seemed too meager, but it turned out to be just right for a subtle and not overpowering note on the sweet and tender crustacean.
We also split two glasses of wine. The Bruno Hunold Alsatian Pinot Gris and the Storrs Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay were good examples of type.
We were comped the coconut cream pie dessert, which is a whole individual size pie. The crust was nice and flakey. The flavor of the filling was good, but the coconut shreds were too large and tough. Auntie thought they should have been chopped finer.
All in all, a nice first visit for me. I'll be back to try more.