America’s Classics Award–winning restaurants have timeless appeal and are beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting the eateries that earned this prestigious distinction in 2010.
Chicago’s 95th Street Bridge, which spans the Calumet River on the city’s South Side, is known for two things. One, in the movie The Blues Brothers, Elwood demonstrated the capabilities of his new car by jumping the bridge. Two, it’s the home of Calumet Fisheries, a stand-alone hutch that has been frying and smoking seafood since 1948, when brothers-in-law Sid Kotlick and Len Toll opened the place.
To this day, the Kotlick and Toll families run the joint. It’s strictly carryout. No seating, no bathroom, no credit cards. And, if you believe the ominous street sign, no parking.
The place draws a working-class, melting-pot crowd, and a fair number of amateur fishermen. (The murky Calumet is a good place to find bluegill.) Fried perch, smelts, and frogs’ legs are big here, but they also bring in scallops, crab, catfish, and oysters.
The fried stuff is very good, but what you really
The James Beard Foundation America's Classics Awards recognize restaurants with timeless appeal, beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Calumet Fisheries, a stand-alone hutch located on the Calumet River in Chicago, has been frying and smoking seafood since 1948. Its smoked salmon, shrimp, chubs and trout have been drawing crowds since it opened 62 years ago.
Rising Star Chef of the Year: Timothy Hollingsworth, The French Laundry, Yountville, CA
America’s Classics: Calumet Fisheries, Chicago
Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional: John Shafer and Doug Shafer, Shafer Vineyards, Napa, CA
Outstanding Wine Service: Jean Georges, NYC, Wine Director: Bernard Sun