I can't believe I waited so long to try this wonderful restaurant. Even though Cravings in Oak Park is mere feet from my doorstep, I've somehow managed to avoid trying it out until tonight. What a fool I've been.
Even though I walked in only moments before closing time, I was pleasantly invited to choose a table and at no point in my meal was I made to feel rushed. As intriguing as the regular menu is, I decided upon one of the specials, which the waiter recommended. I'm glad he did. Fried Oysters served with a Chipotle Remoulade, Cole slaw and Shoestring Fries. Now granted, based solely upon this description the meal does not sound like anything exceptionally unusual. Let me tell you, I was astounded at how incredibly fantastic these fried oysters tasted. Firstly they were not deep fried, but rather pan fried, and the coating was light, crunchy and not greasy at all. It was panko based I think. The flavor of the fresh oysters inside were not at all masked by the coating as is often the cased with heavy batters and deep frying and the pan frying seemed to prevent the oysters from becoming over cooked. The coleslaw too was different than I expected. The crunchy, very fresh tasting cabbage was lightly laced with a dressing that was tart with vinegar and only slightly sweet. It was an excellent compliment to the oysters. the shoestring fries were delicious, but nothing very unusual.
The tab for this meal: $16 (includes an iced tea)
I feel I should also mention the incredibly gracious chef and owner Robert Grenner. I can't recall ever meeting a warmer more genuine person. He seems to love cooking and expresses his gratitude to every customer for their business.