It may be run by Levy Restaurants, but Fulton’s on the River still tries to have an adventurous side. It used to be home to Mark “the Oyster Whisperer” Mavrontonis, who’s now based out at Mike Ditka’s Oakbrook Terrace and just last month took up Michael Ruhlman on his pork-belly Caesar challenge (I’m told the salad’s no longer on the menu, though you could always make a request). Now Fulton’s has sent new executive chef Rick DeLeon to the Florida Keys for the first day of stone crab season, which started yesterday. The Web site Flight of the Crab provides links to YouTube videos of DeLeon and his Orlando counterpart Ron Cope onboard the Key Limey, a fishing boat manned by a British expat and his crew. DeLeon’s the silent type, and Cope’s not exactly articulate (“Look at this big boy”), but who knew that pig’s feet were effective as crab bait?
Tomorrow at 6 PM Fulton’s hosts a four-course dinner featuring stone crab and wine pairings; a benefit for Chicago Parkways, it’s $95.