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Chicago steakhouses


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Might I would suggest trying the kobe beef at Yoshi's Cafe.

good suggestion for sure, I've been going to Yoshi's since the "old days" when it used to be ultra fine dining.

FYI, I undertand as there is no Kobe beef from Japan in the US due to import restrictions.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Way back in the late '60s - when I was abusing my McDonald's expense account - Eli's The Place For Steak was a poplular out-of-town franchisee entertainment destination. I recall a very good steak.

What's the story on the place now?

While I'm at it, whatever Happend to Don Roth's Blackhawk? I have fond memories of their famous "Spinning Salad Bowl" and of the bar, where I watched the US land on the moon.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Way back in the late '60s - when I was abusing my McDonald's expense account - Eli's The Place For Steak was a poplular out-of-town franchisee entertainment destination.  I recall a very good steak.

What's the story on the place now?

Eli's the Place for Steak is still plugging along in Chicago, although the "See-and-be-seen" crowd usually migrates to Gibson's on Rush Street.

Eli's traditionally served their homemade cheesecake for dessert, and eventually they spawned a new company to sell the cheesecake nationwide. The son of Eli's founder is Marc Shulman, who left his law practice to run Eli's Cheesecake; visit their site here: http://www.elischeesecake.com.

Can't wait to see you in Chicago, Holly! :smile:

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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While I'm at it, whatever Happend to Don Roth's Blackhawk? I have fond memories of their famous "Spinning Salad Bowl" and of the bar, where I watched the US land on the moon.

Don Roth's sold the Blackhawk property downtown about 20 years ago. There was a restaurant that operated there using the "Blackhawk Lodge" name...but it was lousy/run into the ground. Now something else entirely is there.

There is a Don Roth's Blackhawk now operating in Wheeling--that NW suburban crush of restaurants for all the people who think that going downtown is too intimidating. (Oh, now really, that wasn't an opinion, was it? :biggrin: )

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There is a Don Roth's Blackhawk now operating in Wheeling--that NW suburban crush of restaurants for all the people who think that going downtown is too intimidating.  (Oh, now really, that wasn't an opinion, was it?  :biggrin: )

Is that really why suburban restaurants exist? Thank you so much for enlightening me.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 1 year later...

Went to the Morton's last night, Excess! (but what did I expect? :wink: )

Morton’s 48oz Porterhouse Steak for $84,

The waiter’s quote “tonight our lobsters are averaging between 3 ½ to 4 ¼ pounds”

My “normal” size porterhouse was a very good steak, one of the best I’ve had lately. Sautéed mushrooms were terrific, full of flavor. Garlic mash potatoes were good as well.

Contrary to our table, I did not like the creamed spinach.

Desserts disappoint! Go elsewhere for your sweet nightcap.

Just this morning I sautéed and put the leftover steak and mushrooms along with some scrambled eggs on a burrito with some fresh home made guacamole. YES, so good.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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  • 2 months later...
I know we've covered the best steakhouses in the 'burbs, but what is the best steakhouse downtown right now?

For continuity's sake, I've merged Josh's new thread into this one. But, it would be very nice to get some new and more current thoughts here.

I will say that I was very skeptical when I was invited to a recent family dinner at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. But, it really was great. The steaks were outstanding, the sides were as good as I've ever had at a steakhouse and the service was memorably thorough and friendly.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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So my question isn't getting much play, so here's some background.

I'm putting together a guy's night out, with dinner at a steakhouse to play a prominent role. I tried (and failed) to get a reservation at the Chop House. I do have a reservation at The Saloon. This is the only steakhouse I've been to in town and I thought it was great.

My question is, should I try to get in somewhere else? I exclude Gibson's as I'm not really up for a "scene", I just want an excellent steakhouse experience.

Your thoughts?

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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You should try Capital Grill. They do a pretty good job there w/their steaks. It's easier to get a reservation. It's got that clubby/steakhouse feel. I've gone there with bigger groups before & it's worked out well. They make good cocktails & have a decent wine list. FYI: there's a second wine list that you have to ask for. Should work well for a guys night out.

edit to add:

I forgot about Erie Cafe. Also easier to get a reservation & good for a group.

Neither one of these places would I consider to be "The Best" but are very good, nonetheless.

Edited by viaChgo (log)
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I'd add Smith & Wollensky's, too. They have a good location (right on the river) and I've had good experiences there. I may like the steaks at Capital Grille slightly more, but I like the location/atmosphere at Smith & Wollensky's a bit better. They have a large downstairs area that looks on to the river and can seat some large parties...

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A client said that they had a great steak at Weber Grill.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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Just wanted to follow up and report that we wound up at Capital Grille.

Only 3 of us wound up going in the end, so we were able to get a reservation on short notice.

For appetizers, we had the shrimp cocktail, lobster and crab cakes, and Caesar salad. All very good.

2 out of 3 of us had the bone-in rib-eye. It was an excellent, thick cut with just the right amount of fat. I ordered mine medium-rare, but it was a bit overdone towards the outside of the steak. Not a big deal as the rest was cooked perfectly and the meat itself was quite flavorful and juicy. For sides we had mashed potatos and seasonal vegetables. Wine was a 98 Chateau Margeaux Bordeaux (I think, and please excuse the spelling). We skipped dessert and went on to the Ritz for cigars and after-dinner drinks.

The highlight of the meal was probably the service. Our waitress, Carolyn, was outstanding.

All in all very good. Not outstanding, but very good.

-Josh

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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Thanks, Josh, for the report. I've heard good things about Capital Grille, but I've never been there.

My big problem with steakhouses in general is what you mentioned -- that the experience is usually only very good. It's the one meal I can reproduce better than most other meals at home (I can source great beef and have some grilling skills).

I'm not sure what specific elements transform a very good steakhouse experience into a transcendant one. Side dishes, possibly? When you identify a few of them, please share, although, that may be fodder for another thread :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I'm not sure what specific elements transform a very good steakhouse experience into a transcendant one.  Side dishes, possibly?  When you identify a few of them, please share, although, that may be fodder for another thread :smile:

=R=

I'm a fan of wisenheimer waiters. Nothing enhances a crusty steak like a crusty waiter.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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  • 2 months later...

Chicago, on the whole, is a mediocre steak town at best. Morton's, Gibson's... Keefer's... Ruth's Chris... these are ALL wet aged and radiant broiled steaks. As are 437 Rush. It's jammed into a broiler that heats up at 1800f and is no good beyond Black and Blue.

Smith and Wolensky's offers Dry aging and grilled, but they can't seem to temp a steak much less get it to you hot. Last time I was there, I ordered a Steak au Poive, temped blue (filet mignon cut). The plate, sauce... EVERYTHING was cold! I expect the meat to be cool, but not served with congealed sauce. When I sent it back, I was given a nuclear plate with broken sauce and a medium steak. So, sent that back, demanded that it be taken off the bill, paid for the wine and left. Best bet are cocktails downstairs with the chilled lobster cocktail. Or, forgo the NY attitude and not go at all.

Honestly, one of the better steaks that I've had from all of the Steak Houses was at Harry Carry's. Properly temped, served hot and beautify marbled bone in rib eye. I believe it is dry aged, it is wood grilled.

Chicago Chop House is good. Nice wine list with a bit of depth, meaning that there are good bottles under $60.00 and fantastic bottles in the stratosphere. A bit more old fashioned with Bernaise sauce, etc.

Gene and Georgettti's is excellent, wood grilled steaks. Very old school.

Chicago seems to be finally embracing the Hanger Steak, being able to find one at N9NE, J.P. American, le Sardine and le Bouchon. The one at J.P. is very tasty, good frites. Ask for the Black Truffle Aioli with your frites. Lousy wine list though.

Tango Sur is VERY over rated. Been twice and felt that it was not worth the dime.

Do not ever go to Bijan on State. One of the worst restaurant experiences EVER! Ask for a rare temp and it will come out Med Well. Complain about it and you will be told that you do not know what you are talking about. I've been in the restaurant business for most of my adult life, I think I might know something about how to temp a steak. And, I've worked in two steak houses.

Capital Grille is pretty good, but they have lousy labor practices. Then again, so do most restaurants here in Chicago.

But, on the whole... I generally choose to NOT to go to a steak house. I've dry aged my own primal cuts at home and I can produce far better results than most of these places. They usually operate the wine list with an over three time mark-up and I'm rarely blown away by the piece of cow on my plate. As a steak town, NYC has it all over us. Hell, you can get dry aged steaks from local shops in NY far more often than here. Fox and Obel and Whole Foods are now offering them, but you REALLY pay for the dry aged stuff.

Not that it's an inexpensive option in NY, but it is priced better.

S. Cue

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  • 1 year later...

Just wanted to bump this thread back up to the top. I'll be in Chicago to catch the Phils play the Cubs in August and I'll be with a group of non-foodie carnivores, so a steakhouse will most likely be an ideal dining spot for us. I'm looking for a really good place that we don't have in Philly, so the chains (S&W, Palm, Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris, Morton's) are out. From what I've read above it might be narrowed down between the Chop House and Gene and Georgetti's. Anybody have any recent thoughts?

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

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If you like dry aged steaks (as I do) instead of the wet aging that is the norm around here, you might want to try David Burke's Primehouse (in The James Hotel). I've been twice in the last 6 mos. and liked my ribeyes more than just about any other place in town (Gibson's can be better, but it can also be worse).

I'm not the biggest Gene & Georghetti fan...the food was quite good, but to me there is definite favoritism in the service to "regulars" at the expense of everyone else.

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If you like dry aged steaks (as I do) instead of the wet aging that is the norm around here, you might want to try David Burke's Primehouse (in The James Hotel).  I've been twice in the last 6 mos. and liked my ribeyes more than just about any other place in town (Gibson's can be better, but it can also be worse).

I'm not the biggest Gene & Georghetti fan...the food was quite good, but to me there is definite favoritism in the service to "regulars" at the expense of everyone else.

I argee about Gibson's. When it's on, it's on. When it's not, it can be a very frustrating dining experience. I wasn't crazy about David Burke but that mostly came down to the side dishes and desserts, which dazzled visually and conceptually but disappointed me flavor-wise.

Smith & Wollensky also serves dry-aged steaks, even though it was ruled out by the person making the inquiry. Joe's Prime Steak and Crab (or whatever LEYE is calling it these days) is really nice from a side-dish and service perspective. But, while their steaks are very good (even excellent), they don't really stand out from most other prime steaks served around town.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Here is a list of the major Chicago-area steakhouses that most often get recommended, in this topic and in others. Also shown are links to their websites, where you can find location information, menus, hours, etc. I've indicated which ones are in the city, and which in the suburbs, by "C" or "S" after their names:

Gibson's (C,S) - www.gibsonssteakhouse.com

Carson's (C,S) - www.ribs.com

Joe's ( C) - www.icon.com/joes

Pete Miller's (S) - www.petemillers.com

Wildfire (C,S) - www.wildfirerestaurant.com

Keefer's ( C) - www.keefersrestaurant.com

The Capital Grille (C,S) - www.thecapitalgrille.com

Morton's (C,S) - www.mortons.com

Gene and Georgetti ( C) - www.geneandgeorgetti.com

Saloon ( C) - www.saloonsteakhouse.com

Smith and Wollensky ( C) - www.smithandwollensky.com

Chicago Chop House ( C) - www.chicagochophouse.com

David Burke's Primehouse ( C) - www.davidburke.com/primehouse.html

Tramonto's Steak and Seafood (S) - http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/prope...propertyID=1724

Ruth's Chris (C,S) - www.ruthschris.com

Sullivan's (C,S) - www.sullivansteakhouse.com

The Palm (C,S) - www.thepalm.com

Mike Ditka's ( C) - www.mikeditkaschicago.com

Don Roth's Blackhawk (S) - www.theblackhawk.com

Erie Cafe ( C) - www.eriecafe.com

Harry Caray's ( C) - www.harrycarays.com

Asking which one is the best is tough. Each of the above has plenty of fans who say it is the best, as well as a few detractors who disagree. You're not likely to reach anything approaching consensus on this topic (unlike, say, on a board for New York City, where 90+ percent of the respondents will nominate Peter Luger's). Your chances of finding a satisfactory steak at any of these is pretty darn good.

Also, someone in the above discussion (most of which is several years old) mentioned Eli's The Place for Steak; it closed in 2005.

Edited by nsxtasy (log)
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I should add that I had a fantastic dry-aged (28 days) rib-eye steak from Four Story Hills Farm in PA at Custom House -- a place I really love -- back in late December. But, it was a special that night, so I don't know if it's still being offered. At the time, it was the only item on the menu from Four Story Hills Farm. It may be worth a call over there.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Just wanted to bump this thread back up to the top.  I'll be in Chicago to catch the Phils play the Cubs in August and I'll be with a group of non-foodie carnivores, so a steakhouse will most likely be an ideal dining spot for us.  I'm looking for a really good place that we don't have in Philly, so the chains (S&W, Palm, Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris, Morton's) are out.  From what I've read above it might be narrowed down between the Chop House and Gene and Georgetti's.  Anybody have any recent thoughts?

TIM TIM TIM take my advice, I love food and am a Chicagoan from the age of 7....therefore I have been here for 18 years. I live right downtown, and have lived all over the city (from off of Michigan to Wrigleyville (GO CUBBIES), Lincoln Park and Old Town.

I vote for Chophouse. I love Gibsons too, but Chophouse is superior. Lawry's is also great (right off the Magnificant mile) - here is their site - http://www.lawrysonline.com/theprimerib_chicago_gen_info.asp

Good luck...and you MUST MUST MUST report back to us!

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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