Grilled Seafood Tower

Seafood Tower, Grilling

Grilled Seafood Tower

Besides salt, you can use seaweed or sand to form a bed for any shellfish on the half shell. For a rustic, low-country feel, pile your fish into a multi-tiered galvanized metal server like this one by Benzara.Michael Turek

"Chilled seafood towers are boring," says chef David Ochs of Chicago's soon-to-open Maple & Ash. "I wanted to serve an exceptional marinated grilled seafood tower instead, with that smoky smell that turns heads." After briefly cooking the lobsters, langoustines, and scallops flesh-side down, Ochs finishes them on the shell, which allows the meat to poach gently in its own juices. "Because the shell is taking the brunt of the heat from the grill," says Ochs, "it will char, and that's a good thing. You'll really smell it and get a wonderful smoky flavor."

Pairing note: "The creamy texture of the 2012 Sandhi Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay ($49; empirewine.com), from the Santa Rita Hills of California, plays off the richness of this buttery seafood perfectly."—Vilma Mazaite, director of wine at laV; Austin, Texas