Joe’s Stone Crab is one of the oldest and most beloved restaurants in Miami. That’s a little tidbit you should know even if Miami is some 1400 miles away. But we aren’t here to talk about Miami, a city we’d often rather be, drinking on the beach. Luckily, Richard Melman and the Lettuce Entertain You team decided Chicago needed a Joe’s of its own, and we think it’s one of the best decision they’ve ever made. So in conjunction with the original Miami joint, a beautiful collaboration for a Chicago Joe’s was born - like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.
New and exciting restaurants open up all the time, but the familiarity, high quality, and class of Joe’s is tough to beat. It’s consistently one of the best steakhouses in Chicago, and it’s not even the kind of steakhouse we would suggest ordering a steak. That’s because Joe’s built itself as a powerhouse off its stone crab, and stone crab is the type of shellfish that we consistently crave. If you’re unfamiliar with stone crab, the claw meat is succulent and sweet, and once you dip it in Joe’s signature mustard based sauce you’re ready to experience quite the party in your mouth. We wouldn’t complain if Joe’s served nothing but stone crab, but it offers so much more.
Joe’s also has great steaks and the usual sides, plus will carve a dover sole table-side with the type of surgical precision you’d expect from someone with an expensive MD. The menu is kind of like the ’92 Dream Team in the sense that everything is so good it seems a bit unfair to other restaurants. The kind of unfair that lets you win a gold medal game over Venezuela 127-80, which gives your own fans everything they want and more.
The dining room at Joe’s is formal and elegant, and the service always matches the vibes. It isn’t overly stuffy though, so while you can expect to have a refined and proper night, you’ll never feel uncomfortable like you can’t sit back, relax, and enjoy the meal. You’ll want to make reservations for a real table, but popping into the bar to steal a first-come first-serve seat is an option too. It’s a great way to experience the food without making a production of it all, particularly for lunch. We are into productions though, especially when an abundance of delicious stone crab is involved.
This is why we come to Joe’s. Stone crabs are best when in season, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good year round. We suggest ordering the select sized stone crabs. Bigger does not necessarily mean better in this instance, and we strongly feel the select size is often sweeter and better than the large ones.
You can’t go wrong with any of the steaks, but our order is the NY strip every time. That’s when we are pairing it with stone crab, of course.
Low-key Joe’s has some of the best fried chicken in town. Never a bad idea to consider popping into the bar and making a meal out of it. We don’t usually like to commit to the fried chicken in the dining room for a full dinner, but if you’re at Joe’s with a group consider getting an order of it to share.
We prefer the stone crab over the king crab, but to each his own. Can’t go wrong here.
These potatoes are dangerously good. You want a side order for sharing, just try not to eat too much.
It’s healthy because even though it’s doused in butter it’s still spinach. It’s also really good.
Another strong side that’s a bit on the lighter side if that’s what you want.
I’m not a big key lime pie fan, but you should know that Joe’s is well known for their version, so definitely give it a try.