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Chicago steakhouses


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nsxtasy made a very nice list. Here's a bit of categorization, with a few additions:

Dry aged (at least one steak)

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

Custom House ( C) - www.customhouse.cc

David Burke's Primehouse ( C) - www.brguestrestaurants.com/restaurants/primehouse

Drake Bros.' Steakhouse ( C)-www.drakebros.com

Jury's Food & Drink ( C) - www.jurysrestaurant.com (choice grade)

Kinzie Chophouse ( C) - www.kinziechophouse.com

Krapil's the Great Steak (S) - 708/448-2012, 6600 W. 111th St., Worth

Saloon ( C) - www.saloonsteakhouse.com

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

Stetson's Steak & Chop House ( C) - www.stetsonschophouse.com

Tramonto's Steak and Seafood (S) - www.cenitare.com

Weber Grill Restaurant (C,S) - www.webergrillrestaurant.com (choice grade)

Prime beef (mostly)

Avenue M ( C)- avenue-m.com

Charcoal Oven (S), 847/675-8062, 4400 Golf Road, Skokie

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

Erie Cafe ( C) - www.eriecafe.com

Fulton's on the River ( C) - www.fultonsontheriver.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choice beef (might have one or two prime cuts)

Carmichael's Chicago Steak House ( C) - 312/433-0025, 1052 W. Monroe St., Chicago

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

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

Jack Gibbons Garden (S) - 708/687-2331, 14700 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Forest

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

Myron & Phil's (S) - www.myronandphils.com

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

Tango Sur ( C) - 773/477-5466, 3766 N. Southport Ave., Chicago

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

I'm fond of dry-aged beef, but as others have said elsewhere, other factors play a role, such as how the meat is cooked and seasoned. I have had steaks I really enjoyed at Carmichael's, for example, where the meat isn't even prime grade but Certified Angus choice. (Full disclosure, I love steak in any form, so while I can appreciate differences in style and quality, I can also love the Grecian skirt steak at a diner.)

If I were picking a place to take a beef connoisseur, I'd likely take them to Primehouse, but if I wanted also to give them a real Chicago experience, I'd probably choose the Chicago Chop House or Harry Caray's. Other variables include how much planning time I had and the night of the week and the time of year. Carmichael's and Fulton's, for example, have glorious outdoor dining areas. Gene & Georgetti can be fun, but it's best if you go with a regular.

I'll agree with LindsayAnn that Lawry's is a great place ... but they don't serve steaks.

LAZ

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Thanks, nsxtasy and LAZ for taking the time to compile and post these useful lists. And as LAZ indicates on her list, not all places which offer dry-aged beef offer it across the board. So, if you have any questions about a particular cut, definitely contact the restaurant in advance of your visit.

=R=

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

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I'll agree with LindsayAnn that Lawry's is a great place ... but they don't serve steaks.

Yup. Lawry's serves prime rib, but not steaks. Now, if we wanted to come up with a list of the best prime rib in Chicago, we could. There would be some overlap between the two lists, but many steakhouses don't serve prime rib, just like Lawry's and other places don't serve steaks.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for all the suggestions, it looks like the Chop House and Harry Caray's are going to be the winners. I do have a few more questions however and none of them have to do with food, so please PM me your suggestions (if you have any) so I don't completely hijack this thread.

Ok, from years of seeing Wrigley on tv it looks like the outfield bleacher seats are easily the most fun, so that's probably where we'll want to be. Am I correct in assuming this? Also, our hotel is a block or two off of the Magnificent Mile, so what bars should we hit? Any Night at the Roxbury-type clubs need not apply. And do you Chicagoans really call it the "Magnificent Mile"? Once I read about that I immediately thought "tourist-trap". Our group will consist of six (cough, cough)handsome 24-27 year olds, just to give you an idea of our crowd. Again thanks for your great suggestions!

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

Homer Simpson

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do you Chicagoans really call it the "Magnificent Mile"?

No. Most of us call it "Michigan Avenue".

Once I read about that I immediately thought "tourist-trap".

While this is the area that is most popular for tourists to stay in, I wouldn't call it a "tourist trap", because what it has to offer - upscale shopping and dining - is generally of a very high quality (not just high price), making it (a) not just for tourists, and (b) not a "trap" in any sense. In addition to many of the steakhouses listed above, the area also includes some of the very finest restaurants in Chicago (Avenues, Tru, NoMi, Spiaggia). Of course, this is what it does well, just as there are other neighborhoods around the city (and suburbs) specializing in other offerings in the way of shopping and dining, including food and shopping in all price ranges and of all ethnic and other variations.

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Well, I don't know if Michigan Avenue is a "tourist trap", but if you go you'll probably be surrounded by lots of tourists (people lined up for Garrett's popcorn, people staring open-mouthed at window displays, that sort of thing). It's probably not the ideal location for hanging out for a bunch of 24-27 year old guys. If you're looking to go out, you'll need to get out of that area.

The Gold Coast, right off Michigan Ave., can be fun but does have a lot of "Night at the Roxbury" type places. Do a search for "Viagra Triangle" and you'll figure out why. If you're into sports bars and/or "Irish pubs", you should probably head up to Lincoln Park/Lakeview. Bucktown also has quite a few fun bars, but I don't spend much time there so I'll leave recommendations to others.

ETA - If this will be your first Cubs game, you definitely want to be in the bleachers. Assuming you're all single guys, you'll have a great time regardless of how the Cubs play that day.

Edited by jesteinf (log)

-Josh

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

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No.  Most of us call it "Michigan Avenue".

:laugh: When I read that back to myself I realized that I sounded like a schmuck, so thanks for putting it in perspective for me.

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

Homer Simpson

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The Gold Coast, right off Michigan Ave., can be fun but does have a lot of "Night at the Roxbury" type places.  Do a search for "Viagra Triangle" and you'll figure out why.  If you're into sports bars and/or "Irish pubs", you should probably head up to Lincoln Park/Lakeview.  Bucktown also has quite a few fun bars, but I don't spend much time there so I'll leave recommendations to others.

ETA - If this will be your first Cubs game, you definitely want to be in the bleachers.  Assuming you're all single guys, you'll have a great time regardless of how the Cubs play that day.

I just read a few things on the Viagra Triangle. That's hysterical. We're definitely not part of that crowd. We're more of the type who would go to a bar with good beer and live music instead of going to a club with a DJ spinning head-thumping techno music. And bleacher seats it is!

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

Homer Simpson

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  • 1 month later...
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=

Curious how it was cooked at Custom House, as most Chicago being wet aged lends itself well to over flame prep.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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Just thought I'd throw in a quick update, as this is the most current Chicago steakhouse thread. Went to Avenue M tonight with a group of about twelve. There's not a lot to redeem this restaurant. Appetizers (the lamb "lollipops" were probably the dumbest named dish of all time; they're just lamb rib chops) were generally not good, sushi absolutely abysmal. No wine steward on hand to work through the list and a very limited scotch and after-dinner drinks selection. Lots of girly drinks though.

The steaks, surprisingly, just weren't very good. I grilled my server as to whether they actually serve Prime beef and she assured me they did. I had to 22 oz bone-in ribeye and it bordered on tough. Not bad tasting, but not all that tender. And they trim off most of the deckle, so my favorite part was mainly absent.

Desserts looked amateurish, though I didn't try one for myself.

All in all, nothing special at all. There was a Ferrari 360 and an Aston Martin DB9 parked out front so I guess it's attracting that type of clientele.

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  • 1 month later...

I was only able to fit in a trip to Harry Caray's during my trip. Besides, two steakhouses probably would've been a waste of a great restuarant city. I guess that doesn't matter however since my only other true Chicago eating experiences was some deep dish.

Anyway, Harry Caray's has to be classified as a true, old-school steakhouse. Fans of avant garde cuisine might dismiss the steakhouse as uninteresting. Well, you don't go to steakhouses for interesting cuisine, you go for the classics. And that is what Harry Caray's delivers.

Between three of us, we ordered the 23oz porterhouse, the 18oz dry aged ribeye, and the 13oz filet. All came out med rare as ordered, and all were very high-quality steaks. I had the ribeye and I thought it was about as good as it could be. It wasn't the best steak I ever had, but it reached my expectations. My friends, who aren't really into food that much, were definitely impressed. It was definitely a nice, laid back place where you can get a great steak with zero pretention.

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

Homer Simpson

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I was at Smith and Wollensky earlier this week for lunch. S&W serves Prime dry-aged steaks, making it relatively unique for Chicago. All in all S&W isn't a bad experience but not somewhere I'd seek out on my own dime.

The River North location is nicely situated right on the river, but the room itself is rather staid and lacks any defining character. Our server was barely competent and immediately tried to upsell us on the seafood platters and bone-in fillet specials. My dining companion ordered the special without asking its price and was somewhat perturbed to find that it was a $55 steak. With the next most expensive steak on the lunch menu coming in at ~$32, this was a significant premium.

I ordered the NY strip, a decent value at $29. The steak itself was quite good but severely underseasoned. I'm not one for ruining a good piece of meat with aggressive rubs or marinades, but this had barely any salt or pepper. I've heard this complaint from others who've eaten at this S&W location.

The sides were entirely forgettable. The mushrooms were barely cooked through and sitting in an unappetizing pool of cooking liquid. The creamed spinach had neither a distinct mineral, leafy tang nor the unctuousness of butter and cream. I also had a crabcake to start. It was fine, but no better than what you could pick up from the prepared food case of a decent fishmarket or gourmet grocer.

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  • 2 years 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 have loved Gene & Georgetti's since I was a little pisher and my grandfather took me there. You really can't go wrong there. I am also a fan of Chicago Chop House, but I think G&G has better atmosphere (read: martinis). On the other hand, I'm going to dinner tonight with a group from out of town and they picked the Chop House. I'll report back in the morning.

Yeah, yeah, I know...Tim's come and gone. I just like talking about meat.

Edited by mark922 (log)
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I've enjoyed the Chop House, Morton's and Gibson's (Ruth's Chris and the Palm not so much), but my favorite these days is Keefer's. It's a far more complete restaurant than any other Chicago steakhouse. The soups and specials are almost always phenomenal, and any of the 4+ potato presentations will top what you'd receive elsewhere. Meanwhile, the steaks themselves are the peer of any I've had in the city.

Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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