Many steakhouses feel as though you've entered a portal to your grandpa's life in the 1950's and that's pretty cool. However, if you're in the mood for a higher energy dining experience, consider STK Steakhouse Chicago. You will experience a buzzing Happy Hour, lively weekend brunch, an in-house DJ and stylish, modern décor among the spirited characteristics. Salads and starters include little Wagyu burgers and Baby Gem Caesar salad or select items from the raw bar like the chef's daily ceviche. Most of the high-quality marbled, Linz Heritage Certified Black Angus beef hails from Iowa and Nebraska farms. It's nice that there are small, medium and large cuts from which to choose as well as a dozen toppings and sauces to zhuzh up your steak. A small filet or Wagyu Flat Iron steak might love an escort of a mac 'n' cheese trio (traditional, bacon and lobster). Winning entrees include Maine lobster linguini, miso-glazed Chilean Sea Bass, roasted rack of lamb and free-range chicken. Expect time-honored steakhouse sides as well as a nod to the midwest with sweet corn pudding. Who wouldn't want to end with a bag of warm donuts?
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Who needs vowels when the scent of flame-kissed beef and a young, sophisticated vibe wafts through STK Chicago?
Jacky's expert tip: Happy Hour here is good deal (weekdays 3-5pm) with half-priced specialty cocktails and $2-$8 bites like $1 oysters and $5 short rib croquettes.
A steakhouse with plenty of buzz, this stylish restaurant serves dry-aged steaks prepared over a wood fire and served with "arm candy" like roasted bone marrow or Penta Creme blue cheese. The seafood is equally outstanding, some of which is served in roasted towers and finished with garlic butter and chili oil. If you're not feeling steak, there's also fire-roasted chicken, whole roasted Branzino and pillowy agnolotti. Brunch brings Mimosa service by cart. A 5,000 bottle wine program makes complementing every dish rather easy (the list was named "one of the most outstanding in the world" by Wine Spectator). Make reservations - Maple & Ash is the 2nd top grossing restaurant in Chicago proving its popularity (Gibson's is number one). For a more casual experience, dine on the patio that features some Maple & Ash classics, salads, sushi and cheeky cocktails.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Maple & Ash, a lighthearted member of Chicago's serious steakhouse scene, is the 2nd top grossing restaurant in Chicago and 8th in the US.
Jacky's expert tip: Undecided and monied? Order the popular menu item, "I Don't Give a F*@K", and let the chef decide.
When shopping for a car, furniture at IKEA or the 220 stores in Woodfield Mall, point your vehicle toward Schaumburg. Then, head to Perry's Steakhouse & Grille for an exceptional and entertaining round of cocktails, wine, steaks, seafood and flaming desserts. Open Oct. 2020 (there's also an Oakbrook Center location), Perry's features modern decor and a bustling open kitchen. The restaurant that started as a small butcher shop in Texas offers plenty of singular steakhouse amenities: signature dishes carved tableside; flaming desserts; and an appealing menu of bar bites that are beyond typical steakhouse offerings - lobster tempura or fried asparagus scattered with with blue lump crab, anyone? Perry's Famous Pork Chop, a seven-finger high piece of primal pleasure that is cured and roasted on a rotisserie with pecan wood, is spectacular. You can build-your-own seafood tower, sauce your steak and, thankfully, choose a portion size of 20 different sides. Signature entrees include a hanging kabob presentation; Chateaubriand carved tableside; and brick chicken served on a sizzling cast iron plate. Flaming desserts are festive and there's balletic precision to service.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Sophisticated and offering a full roster of steakhouse options not found elsewhere, Perry's menu balances tradition with adventure.
Jacky's expert tip: There's a $17 Pork Chop Friday Lunch and a "3 for $45" dinner special Sunday- Thursday.
Housed in a century-old barn with soaring ceilings and an outdoor garden, The Barn Steakhouse makes a visit to the North Shore a delcious investment in the valuable real estate in your belly. Proprietor Amy Morton knows steak - she worked alongside her dad, Arnold "Arnie" Morton, founder of Morton's of Chicago Steakhouse. Take a drive or the train to Evanston's leafy streets and the rustic Barn Steakhouse housed in a former stable, circa 1883. Start with an Evanston beer, glass of wine from a global list or an Hemingway Daiquiri or Black Manhattan. Then consider appetizers (classic Steak Tartare with capers, cornichon, pickled onion, and egg yolk, served with house made potato chips for crunch or the Grand Central Caviar Sandwich stuns with wild American bowfin caviar, farm egg and creme fraiche. Expect 100% Midwestern Heritage Angus Beef like a dry aged Ribeye and a center strip Manhattan cut. Chose a topper to enhance the dance in your mouth - truffle butter or lump crab, perhaps? Za'atar Roasted Half Chicken; Shrimp Spaghetti; and Pan-Seared Halibut with sugar snap peas, charred radicchio, balsamic, and heirloom tomatoes are winning non-beef options. Wrap it up with a dessert cocktail, a cordial, Arnie's Chocolate Velvet Cake or a selection of artisanal cheese.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: The independent,female-owned steakhouse is known for luscious Heritage Angus beef and a tempting menu which righteously represents the whole barnyard and some of the sea.
Jacky's expert tip: Read about the historic building on the meat-centric hide-a-way's web page to further fascinate.
The beef program stars 100% All Natural Linz Heritage U.S.D.A Prime Black Angus Beef (humanely raised, with no hormones or antibiotics). That robust flavor you're sensing is due to dry-aging in-house in a Himalayan rock salt lined room. Beef is seared in a 1,200 degree broiler, presented on a sizzling plate and simply capped with sea salt and Wisconsin grassfed butter. Try some of the most interesting steakhouse starters in the city: Fried Chicken for the Table (with bits of orange peel in the breading); thick-cut bacon with maple syrup and dark chocolate; Lump Blue crab and lobster cake; and what may be the best clam chowder in Chicago. The Kansas City Strip with a side of Asparagus Milanese and Properly Whipped Mashed Potatoes makes a smashing steakhouse meal. Options for non-meat eaters include Yellowfin Tuna Au Poivre, daily seasonal Provisional Fish and vegan friendly Blackened Cauliflower "Steak."
Recommended for Steakhouses because: The provisions maybe just a little better, service just a little crisper and the surroundings just a smidge comfier than other city steakhouses.
Jacky's expert tip: Travel up the staircase to the second floor and you'll spy a two-story wine tower cascading through the bar.
An independent restaurant worthy of your tastebuds, El Che Steakhouse & Bar is inspired by Chef John Manion's love affair with South America and specifically Argentina's renowned Asado-style eateries. Executive Chef and Owner, John Manion, cooks 90 percent of the menu on the open fire, (a 12-foot custom-built wood burning hearth) furnishing that undeniable smoky flavor to Hangar steaks, beef short ribs, NY Strips, bone-in Ribeyes, and head-on shrimp, among others. El Che's Parrillada, meant to be shared, features a variety of traditional meats, including morcilla, chorizo, tira de asado and sweetbreads. "It's a representation of a Sunday afternoon in Argentina," says Manion. Non-steak possibilities include Pork Milanesa and Spaghetti Rosso, a staple across Argentina. For starters, don't miss award-winning empanadas; grilled Delaware oysters with smoked onion aioli and bacon; or Provoleta cheese to jacket fry bread. Happy Hour takes place from 5 pm - 6 pm and Wednesdays it's half-off all bottles of wine.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: For flame-licked steaks and South American dishes from a Midwest perspective, El Che will make you say, "ole."
Jacky's expert tip: The wine list is 95% South American (the other 5% is Champagne) so do peruse the exciting roster of grapes.
Celebrating 30 years in 2021, Kinzie Chophouse is a Chicago steakhouse that tourists and locals love for its neighborhood hospitality, steaks, seafood, pasta and Mediterranean-influenced sides and entrées. Launch with a shrimp cocktail shot, house-smoked salmon or bone marrow to slather onto toasty bread. Salads, including a shrimp salad from Crete, are outstanding. Seafood comes in fresh every day so it may be Pacific Halibut or linguini teeming with shrimp and mussels in a saffron-tinged sauce. Hefty dry-aged lamb chops are Kinzie's 30th anniversary special (exclusive to the River North spot) promising additional tenderness and savor. Choose among filet, Ribeye and Porterhouse cuts that can be enhanced with everything from a zippy horseradish crust to bacon-maple demi-glacé. Sides are naturally substantial with some interesting riffs and there are 25 wines by the glass. Kinzie Cucina Italiana, for carryout and delivery, has a tempting list of Mediterranean apps, pasta and entrees.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: In an era of chain steakhouses, it's nice to know that restaurants with meaty Chicago DNA like Kinzie forge onward with impressive steakhouse fare.
Jacky's expert tip: Look for daily lunch and dinner specials as well as a sunny BOGO appetizer deal during Happy Hour Monday-Thursday on the patio or in the bar.
Gene & Georgetti's, serving steaks and Italian specialties in the shadow of Chicago's El tracks since 1941, is still lovingly owned and operated by the original family. Imagine nearly eight decades of tradition and you'll appreciate the clubby atmosphere steeped in Chicago history. Clams and mussels in red or white sauce with toasted bread for dunking set you afloat. The T-Bone Steak is a G & G classic, but plenty of other beefy options are served nicely crusted with minimal seasoning allowing the meat's flavor to star. You can't go wrong with lamb chops, original garbage salad, spicy Chicken alla Joe or any Italian-American dish like Chicken Vesuvio or Eggplant Parmigiana. Portions are unsurprisingly generous and there's enough variety to please pasta, seafood and chicken fans. In addition to the expected steakhouse veg and sides, G & G offers mounds of Vesuvio potatoes as well as Italian sausage and meatballs.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Waitstaff hearken back to the days when servicing guests was a profession as opposed to a necessary gig between semesters or auditions.
Jacky's expert tip: Unlike many other steakhouses, the River North eatery is open for lunch and there's a coffee window (open at 9am) for Italian coffee, breakfast pastries and sandwiches.
Your senses will, indeed, be spinning when dining at RPM Steak - an understated, elegant dining space with butter-soft leather seating, dim lighting and heavenly scents. RPM features nearly two dozen different cuts of beef including exclusive Japanese wagyu –" Hokkaido Snow Beef and Kobe among the lot, plus American bison, prime dry-aged and natural steaks. Seriously consider experiencing melt-in-your-mouth Hokkaido Snow Beef - it's unlike anything you've ever tasted. Elevate with a special sauce or butter (but honestly, the meat here stars and doesn't need any back-up dancers). Start with icy oysters, nuclear-sized prawns or Coal-Roasted King Crab - a perfect, warm bite for two but you'll want it all to yourself. Pescatarians will go for broiled Black Cod, spicy lobster or Ora King salmon. Among sides, the Millionaire's Potato, twice-baked, cheese- and truffle-infused, is bliss in every bite. The dessert list seduces with Baked Alaska and 14K Chocolate Cake.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: This carnivore's carnival features an excellent wine roster, crisp service, memorable meat and top-notch chilled shellfish.
Jacky's expert tip: The highest-quality beef is prepared on specialized equipment like a Jade high-speed broiler, Josper Charcoal Oven, Staub Cast-Iron and a J&R custom wood fire grill.
A classic Chicago restaurant, open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, Gibson's shines with its convivial bar, bustling patio, clubby dining room and its own USDA prime label. Portions are generous and staff expects sharing so there aren't any unfriendly extra plate charges. Unlike other steakhouses that charge for a "bread program," warm-from-the-oven crusty bread arrives shortly after you're seated. The signature steak is W.R's Chicago Cut, a 22-ounce bone-in rib-eye named for Bill Rice, former food and wine columnist for the Chicago Tribune and there are plenty of takers for Gibsons Grassfed Australian steaks (sourced from the top 5% of all grass-fed cattle produced in Australia). There's a different house-made soup every day and the menu lists plenty of seafood and sandwich options - you'll "OMG" the Prime Rib French Dip and award-winning burger. Dessert? The Carrot Cake is a gargantuan favorite.
Recommended for Steakhouses because: Gibsons was the first restaurant group in the country to have its own USDA Certified Angus Beef Program. It's definitely your happy place for steak.
Jacky's expert tip: Share! The portions are generously sized so diners can try a number of items.