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Four to Dine Out on The Fourth

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 2, 2010 4:30PM

2010_07_lowcountry.jpg In just a few short hours the air in some parts of town will be thick with the smell of charcoal, as grilling and barbecue enthusiasts around the city fire up their grills and smokers for the weekend. Let's be honest: grilling is a fun, but dirty task. You wind up all sweaty and reeking of smoke. And some of our friends let us know it. For those of you who want a low-maintenance weekend of food, restaurants and bars are still open. We've got four recommendations for you to check out on the way to the fireworks or that party where someone else is manning the grill.

  • The roots of the Lowcountry boil go back 100 years, when a National Guardsman relied on a family recipe to feed his unit fast. This one-pot stew teeming with seafood and fresh vegetables was originally called Frogmore Stew after the Guardsman's hometown. the postal service later eliminated the name "Frogmore," hence the name of the stew was changed to Lowcountry boil. Chef Cary Taylor will be making his version the Lowcountry boil (shell-on shrimp, andouille sausage, new potatoes & corn on the cob boiled in water with Old Bay seasoning) Sunday at the Southern (1840 W. North Ave.; 773-342-1840).
  • Ryan Poli reminded us why he's one of the city's best under-the-radar chefs with an ingenious twist on the seafood taco: King Crab with avocado puree, tropical fruit salsa and a tortilla infusion. It went over so well that Poli is putting it on the appetizer menu all summer, although the seafood used in the dish will vary. check that and the rest of Poli's menu out at Perennial's brunch from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (1800 N. Lincoln Ave.; 312-981-7070)
  • Nacional 27 is throwing their own barbecue this weekend with a three course "Latin BBQ" menu for $27 per person. The menu features ahi tuna and watermelon ceviche with spicy rice wine vinaigrette and 30-inch skewers of chimichurri vegetables or skirt steak, served with coco rice, black beans and three salsas. Adam Seger has also crafted a "Red, White and Blue-berry Smash" cocktail with muddled blueberries, 10 Cane Rum, maple syrup and crushed ice, garnished with a blueberry and a raspberry skewered on a sprig of fresh rosemary for $11. (325 W. Huron; 312-664-2727)
  • Franks 'N Dawgs announced their latest celebrity chef's dog. the Schmearin' Sheerin after Blackbird's Mike Sheerin, is a hot dog featuring lamb-oyster-black garlic sausage. Yikes! (1863 N. Clybourn Ave.; 312-281-5187)