Wellfleet Occasional Restaurant at The Fish Guy Market
4423 N. Elston Ave.; 773-283-7400, www.fishguy.com
What they are: Friday night (7:30 p.m.) seafood dinners for 12 in the aisles of a Northwest Side fish shop.
How to get in: Reservations only.
The crowd: Professionals, fish fans and longtime patrons. Diners are almost always couples -- as all the tables are two-tops.
Cost: $100 per person.
The event: Seafood purveyor Bill Dugan has been wholesaling fish for 30 years and his Northwest Side shop enjoys a solid rep among foodies. Long known for killer lunchtime lobster rolls, Dugan expanded his kitchen offerings last fall to weekly reservation-only seafood dinners in the aisles of his store. Having his own restaurant has long been a dream, but "I knew I would never find the time," he said. This "was the only way I could do it."
Guests arrive at the store about 7:15 p.m., check in, uncork their wines and nibble on crackers with fish spread. Around 7:30 p.m., Dugan announces the evening's menu, introduces his chefs (staffers David Radom and sushi master Leo Bariso) and answers any questions about the five-course meal. The kitchen is right behind the counter, so diners can watch the meal prep from their seats before the beautifully prepared plates arrive at the tables. Others choose to chat quietly with their dates. The whole meal lasts about 21/2 hours, finishing up with coffee and desserts by Patisserie P owner Peter Yuen.
Menu highlights: Native shrimp with asparagus salad; snapper with mango and papaya pico de gallo; native lobster with orzo and lobster essence.