Chain Restaurant Seafood Towers Ranked, Worst To Best, According To Customers

Ideal for seafood enthusiasts who find it hard to settle on a single dish, seafood towers offer an assortment of marine delicacies, beautifully presented across several tiers. Designed for sharing, these elegant appetizers typically feature cold sea bounty, including lobster, crab, shrimp, and oysters. They also sometimes come with fish and cooked seafood, such as fried calamari, as well as a variety of tangy sauces and lemon wedges. More than a feast for the taste buds, seafood towers are a visual spectacle, making them perfect for romantic dinners, birthday celebrations, and other special occasions.

Seafood towers aren't exclusive to restaurants that specialize in fish and shellfish. They are also a popular appetizer at a wide range of dining establishments, from upscale Italian restaurants to steakhouses. Ready to sample this delicious appetizer but not sure where to start? Check out our list of the best and worst seafood towers served at chain restaurants, as ranked by the only people who count — the customers!

7. Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse: Torre di Pesce

Torre di Pesce translates to Fish Tower in Italian. This being said, the Torri di Pesce at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouses is packed with more than just fish. Plus, it is available in three different sizes and come in two different types. The chain's Cold Tower features lump crab, Maine lobster, oysters, prawns, clams, salmon, and tuna. The Hot Tower comes with lump crab cakes with citrus aioli, crispy calamari, lobster in tarragon butter, oysters Rockefeller, octopus, crispy scallops, prawns in lemon butter, and spicy San Marzano tomatoes (note some menu items may vary by location). Diners can also order extra chilled oysters or clams or a prawn cocktail for an additional charge.

Davio's Torri di Pesce have elicited diverse reactions from diners, ranging from high praise to less favorable responses. On the upside, a couple of happy customers have called the tower "dazzling" and "wonderful." However, not everybody has been as enthusiastic about the menu offering. One reviewer complains that the chain's hot and cold towers were served on standard platters rather than towers and that the food was just okay. "The (hot) calamari was quite tasty, if over-breaded and slightly rubbery. The (hot) scallops were deep fried and MASSIVE, if limited in flavor. The (cold) lobster was lobstery if translucent in a few places. The (cold) shrimp were large if a bit pasty," they comment.

6. Fogo de Chão: Seafood Tower

If you didn't realize Fogo de Chão serves seafood, you aren't the only one. After all, the chain is a Brazilian steakhouse, primarily known for its churrasco grilling style. In reality, however, the restaurant also offers a variety of seafood options, catering to a broad range of tastes and dietary preferences. Some of Fogo de Chão's marine dishes include Chilean sea bass pan-seared with homemade papaya vinaigrette and pan-seared salmon topped with chimichurri. Those into shellfish may wish to try the Seafood Tower with jumbo shrimp, cold-water lobster tails and full claws, snow crab legs, and green-lipped mussels.

Fogo de Chão's Seafood Tower has received mixed feedback from customers, with some praising the menu option and others not quite as impressed with the offering. One satisfied diner says: "What I love sharing about this is that Fogo is a steakhouse. People never think steakhouses offer good seafood when their focus is on meat. But they definitely do." Several other reviewers agree with this sentiment, describing the chain's tower as yummy, amazing, and plentiful.

However, not everybody has been as enthusiastic about the dish, with some reviewers commenting that the tower actually came in the form of a platter. Another diner complains about the quality of the dish, saying, "[The] lobster fit inside my palm, shrimp was not jumbo, crab legs were hardly meaty. Kind of disappointing and skimpy. Price not worth it."

5. Smith & Wollensky: Shellfish Tower

While Smith & Wollensky is popular for its steaks, the chain also offers an impressive selection of seafood. Those who like a little variety in their sea bounty can choose among the restaurant's three different Shellfish Tower options, suitable for two, four, or six diners. Each multi-tiered dish comes with a Colossal crab cocktail, Maine lobster tail, oysters on half shells, jumbo shrimp, and an octopus cocktail. The larger renditions of the platter also feature scallop ceviche and tuna tartare. All versions of the tower come with an array of condiments including Cognac mustard, horseradish cocktail sauce, green apple mignonette, and ginger sauce.

Smith & Wollensky's Shellfish Tower has been a hit with diners, with one reviewer giving it 10 out of 10 for both food quality and presentation. Another customer on Tripadvisor calls the dish "incredible," adding, "The steak is divine, but I love the seafood tower with oysters, clams & many more delights." On a slightly less positive note, one Tripadvisor diner says that while the Shellfish Tower makes an enjoyable starter, it's not very large. "We were expecting it to be a little bigger as a dish for two. Half of the tray was occupied by sauces and the amount of food served was more appropriate for one person," they note.

4. Ruth's Chris Steak House: Chilled Seafood Tower

Just as its name suggests, Ruth's Chris Steak House is better known for its cuts of beef than seafood. This, however, doesn't mean that the chain neglects its marine fare. In fact, Ruth's Chris Steak House offers a variety of high-quality seafood dishes such as Seared Ahi Tuna, Barbecued Shrimp, and Salmon Fillet. One of the chain's more elaborate aquatic offerings is the Chilled Seafood Tower, which comes with jumbo shrimp, Colossal lump crab, Maine Lobster, and other fresh seafood. The tower is available in two sizes: small for two people, and large for four people.

While Ruth's Chris Steak House's Chilled Seafood Tower has received mostly favorable feedback from diners, one reviewer complains that the menu item was a bowl on a stand rather than a tower, adding that the dish wasn't worth the price tag. On a more positive note, one diner calls the seafood tower a must, describing it as incredible and saying, "It was to die for."

3. The Palm: Seafood Torre (Tower)

The Palm only serves the larger version of its two seafood selection platters as a tower, so you will have to bring at least five other diners in your group to enjoy your oceanic treats on a multi-tiered display. If you opt for the smaller piatto (platter), you will be served tuna, seafood salad, a shrimp cocktail, and oysters on the half shell. The larger torre (tower), comes with everything that's on the platter as well as lobster and jumbo lump crab. Of course, if you'd rather order your own aquatic delicacy, the chain offers plenty of Italian-inspired options, such as Tuscan Chargrilled Octopus, Sicilian Salmon, and Seared Tuna Caponata.

The Palm's Seafood Torre has been lauded by the chain's patrons, with some online Facebook reviewers describing it as "fresh and delectable," "amazing," and "beautiful." While one customer comments on Facebook that the nautical feast is "worth every penny," another diner says that it's not an everyday indulgence. "Excellent food and service, but you pay for it ... (The) Seafood tower app was amazing. ... It's definitely not inexpensive, but worth it for a special occasion," they explain.

2. Eddie V's Prime Seafood: Shellfish Tower

Eddie V's sources its seafood from various locations around the world to ensure a diverse and high-quality selection of delicious morsels. While we know that the chain's scallops come from George Banks, swordfish from Block Island, and yellowfin tuna from the Caribbean, we know less about the origins of some of its shellfish. Nevertheless, the chain receives consistently positive reviews for its maritime bounty.

Eddie V's Prime Seafood's Shellfish Tower is a case in point. The dish consists of Maine lobster, six Wild Gulf shrimp, six oysters, and a Colossal crab. The restaurant serves both East Coast and West Coast oysters, however, it's not specified which type makes an appearance in the seafood tower. One satisfied diner praises the appetizer, saying, "The seafood tower was spectacular and fresh and ice cold from the oysters to the lobster and crab and shrimp. Thus could have been a meal in itself!" Some other adjectives used to describe the offering have included "best in town," an all-time favorite, and impressive.

1. Ocean Prime: Smoking Shellfish Tower

There's nothing quite like a gastronomic spectacle that leaves diners at adjacent tables awash with envy. Not just delicious, but also visually impressive, Ocean Prime's "Smoking" Shellfish Tower definitely has the wow factor. The bespoke tower is assembled with your selection of fresh shellfish including sweet shrimp, plump East and West Coast oysters, flaky crab, and succulent Maine lobster. The showpiece of the display is the dramatic effect created by the dry ice fog that cascades down the tower from the top tier. The multi-tiered gem can be complemented with the chain's Berries & Bubbles cocktail concocted with Belvedere Organic Lemon & Basil Vodka, Domaine Chandon Brut, marinated blackberries, and lemon juice, served with a dry ice effect.

Ocean Prime's "Smoking" Shellfish Tower has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from diners. One reviewer calls the tower "over the top," adding, "The Seafood tower was so great. It made a great presentation billowing with dried ice smoke as it arrived to the table. We had king crab legs, shrimp, oysters and stone crabs. It was fresh and good sized portions." Several other diners agree, describing the dish as delicious and superb.


Our ranking of the best and worst seafood towers at chain restaurants has been created using customer feedback on prominent platforms such as TripAdvisor, Facebook, OpenTable, and Yelp.