Raising the Steaks

An introduction to 10 new school Chicago steakhouses

Chicago is known for its great steakhouses, and while icons like Chicago Cut, Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse and Mastro's are a great choice any night of the week and for special occassions, there's also plenty of modern and unique options throughout the city. Here's our top 10 picks for a new dining experience—come hungry.

MAGNIFICENT MILE: Lawry’s

A Chicago institution since the early ‘70s, Lawry's is a classic example of an old school steakhouse still thriving in a modern world. Inhabiting the former McCormick Mansion that dates back to the late 1800s, Lawry's can be found in the heart of the city near the Magnificent Mile where classically trained waiters serve guests their world famous staple, prime rib that has been aged and slow cooked to tender perfection. Cuts of beef are elegantly served old-world style from a silver roasting cart with au jus to maintain its natural tenderness. If you’re enjoying a prime rib dinner, you’ll also get to experience their famous spinning salad served tableside and Yorkshire pudding, which comes with each prime rib dinner. Reservations and attire that “is befitting a special occasion” are encouraged. 100 E. Ontario St, 312.787.500

RIVER NORTH: Travelle

Led by its innovative kitchen staff, Travelle elevates their menu while finding inspiration in classic and seasonal American cuisine. An excellent example of their cooking philosophy can be found in their 32 oz. prime bone-in tomahawk steak that has been classically cooked to perfection yet crusted with an array of artisanal herbs and salts. Another menu highlight that combines classic steakhouse fare with new preparations is their fresh lobster imported from Maine, which is butter poached and topped with steak sauce, shishito peppers, truffle hollandaise and bordelaise, elevating a seafood classic with a new twist on the original. Located inside The Langham, Chicago hotel. 330 N. Wabash Ave, 312.923.7705

RIVER NORTH: Fogo de Chao

Take a trip to South America at Chicago’s premiere Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chao, located in the River North neighborhood. Here, you can feast on a variety of delights from chefs that have been trained in the culinary art of churrasco: a centuries old slow cooking method found throughout Latin America. The restaurant gives you several choices of meat, from the beef ribs and beef tenderloin to ribeye and bacon-wrapped steak, as well as chicken, lamb and pork options. There’s also limited edition specials like Fogo de Chao’s recent addition of a

beautifully tender Tomahawk ribeye, including a 32 oz. portion has been cut to share and dry-aged for a minimum of 42 days to achieve a truly rich flavor. Also indulge in some of the best wines found in South America. 661 N. LaSalle Blvd, 312.932.9330

UKRAINIAN VILLAGE: Boeufhaus

Even if you aren’t downtown, you can still find an impressive steak dinner in Chicago. Escape the traditional and head to the northwest side to check out Boeufhaus. Located in the hip Ukrainian Village neighborhood, Boeufhaus is a steakhouse that finds its culinary inspiration at the intersection of old world European cooking techniques that date back hundreds of years and the modern popularity of farm-to-table dining. Thanks to that commitment, you can rest assured that the delicious ribeye you’re eating has not only been dry-aged for 55 days, but has been sustainably sourced from ethically raised animals that have been grass-fed. Wash it all down with a selection from their curated collection of craft beers. 1012 N. Western Ave, 773.661.2116

GOLD COAST: Truluck's

Intimate red leather seating and a delicious bottle of merlot await the dining experience at Trulucks. A more recent addition to the Chicago dining scene, this Texas-based chain offers the standard steakhouse staples such as an excellent hormone-free prime New York strip, but it's their roster of seafood that is especially exciting. Truluck’s is known for its love of crab, offering stone crab fresh from Florida during peak season and other fresh selections from across the globe the rest of the year. You’ll see the crustacean pop up all over the menu, from fresh claws to fried rice for two. Enjoy other ocean delights on the menu, with thick cuts of swordfish fresh from the Pacific, Ahi tuna from Hawaii, and pan-seared Japanese scallops. We’re also impressed with the surf and turf meal offering South African lobster tails paired with an antibiotic-free mid-sized filet of steak. Business casual attire is required. 41 E. Chestnut St, 312.982.0050

RIVER NORTH: STK

Nestled in the hip River North district, STK is a chain of internationally renowned modern reclamations of the classic steakhouse, with locations in cities that range from Miami to Milan. You won’t find white tablecloths and oldschool table service here. Instead, you’ll enjoy swanky decor, resident DJs and celebrity clientele. Quench your thirst with a selection from their adventurous cocktail menu, then start your meal off with some freshly seared scallops before diving in to a dry-aged bone-in strip steak. We love their selection of sauces, from Au Poivre to chimichurri as well as unique sides like sweet corn pudding and jalapeno cheddar grits. Save room for the Angel Cloud for dessert—a cotton candy cloud is caramelized to reveal tasty surprises inside. 9 W Kinzie St, 312.240.5636

RIVER NORTH: Steak 48

Elevate your next meal with a visit to Steak 48. Take a seat in luxurious leather chairs and admire the glass-walled architure of their open kitchen as you eat the best in American steaks paired with incredible seafood and curated picks from an impressive 3,000-bottle wine collection. Much of Steak 48’s beef is somewhat local, coming from farms in nearby Wisconsin and Michigan that have been wet-aged by hand for 28 days. Reservations are encouraged and “proper attire” is required. 615 N. Wabash Ave, 312.266.4848

MAGNIFICENT MILE: Michael Jordan's Steak House

Inspired by the six-time NBA champion, Michael Jordan’s Steak House aims to provide an elevated dining experience that is representative of the greatness we’ve witnessed from His Airness. Guided by a philosophy they call “steaksmanship,” Michael Jordan’s Steak House serves USDA Prime cuts of steak harvested from grass-fed cows that have been dry aged for 45 days. But make sure to save room for something sweet. Feel like a true champion with a slice of the fan favorite 23 layer chocolate cake that pays homage to Jordan’s iconic basketball career. 505 N. Michigan Ave, 312.321.8823

LAKEVIEW: Tango Sur

Argentina is known for its love of meat, which you can experience full force at Tango Sur. Tucked away in a Lakeview storefront, the cozy candlelit space with chandeliers hanging around the dining room offers an intimate and inviting feel, a perfect spot for date night. Decor aside, the real star of the evening is the food, which also is affordable compared to some steakhouse prices. The Parrillada Para Dos is a little bit of everything for two, from grilled short ribs to beef sweetbreads and black sausage served on a tabletop grill for a little over $20 per person. Not in the sharing mood? Order the Lomo, a filet mignon cut cooked on the grill and topped with a red onion Marsala sauce or the Costeleta, a bone-in rib eye topped with chimichurri sauce, a popular Argentinian condiment of herbs, garlic and vinegar. Tango Sur is also BYOB with no corkage fee. 3763 N. Southport Ave, 773.477.5466

RIVER NORTH: Mason

You don’t have to always break the bank to enjoy a world-class steak dinner. Stop by Mason inside Found Hotel in River North between 5 and 7 pm on weekdays for their excellent happy hour specials. Sip on hand crafted cocktails for only $10 or glasses of house red wine for only $6. Food options on the happy hour menu change periodically but feature a rotating selection from their chef, so call ahead or ask the host when you arrive. The regular menu is just as impressive. Start your meal with a savory caviar dip, then dig in to a 25 oz. ribeye steak that has been dry-aged for 30 days. Save time for a stop at the property’s Blind Dragon nightclub, with impressive drinks and karaoke rooms, after your meal. 613 N. Wells St, 312.643.0449, closed on Sundays

Selena Fragassi
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