Mike Sula of the Chicago Reader struggled to pen his review of Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf, but not for lack of nice things to say. Noting that he usually hands out leftovers to the homeless, this time the critic saved every morsel for himself, and struggled to type his rave review with one hand as he devoured his leftovers with the other. At this European-style steakhouse, the latest venture from celebrated restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, the prime ribeye, which is dry-aged in house, headlines a menu full of dishes such as braised beef tongue and a beef stroganoff that the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel simply dubbed, “terrific.” Craft cocktails that focus on brown spirits complement the speakeasy décor, where tufted leather booths, low-lit hanging lamps, and a jazz soundtrack complete the dining experience.
Celebrating more than 20 years, Kinzie Chophouse has the freedom to set itself apart from other steak houses in both food and ambiance. Owner Susan Frasca and her team serve up high-quality, hand-selected, local USDA Choice beef. Diners can customize their steaks with an array of crusts and toppings, and choose from more than 10 house-made sauces to accompany their cuts. Kinzie Chophouse honors the city's stockyards heritage with cuts ranging from an 8-ounce filet mignon to a massive 48-ounce porterhouse, in addition to a long menu of appetizers, pastas, and "unusually good side dishes and seafood" that, according to the Chicago Reader, stand up to their beefy counterparts. Chicago Magazine found something else to fall in love with: the menu's affordability. Kinzie graced its Best Restaurants in Chicago: 30 under $30 list in 2009, earning praise for its sensible portions and generous helpings of flavor.
In a sophisticated, ultra-authentic steakhouse atmosphere, diners sit in caramel-colored leather booths, enjoying the warmth and light of cozy fireplaces and designer chandeliers while sipping wine that continues to win the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
Food critic Phil Vettel of The Chicago Tribune recommends trying the oysters and calls the riverside patio “one of the most sought-after destinations in town.” Michigan Avenue Magazine savors the sleek eatery's prime bacon cheeseburger, blanketed by Wisconsin white cheddar, crispy onions, and a Boursin aioli sauce. Whether customers are in it for the surf, the turf, or the view, Fulton’s on the River caputures the attention of all with upscale seafood and steak enjoyed amid a downtown view. At lunch chefs plate grilled tenderloin sandwiches, buried beneath caramelized onions and horseradish cream, alongside jumbo lump crab cakes. But, as the sun sets over the river, they bring out the dinner menu, which exchanges the sandwiches for wild cold-water lobster tails, seared scallops, and 16-ounce New York strip steaks. Yet, the meal doesn’t end until after a dessert of house-made banana cream pie or fresh-fired crème brulee.
Gene & Georgetti’s is a place where patrons go to step back in time for a “taste and feel of Old Chicago,” according to the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise. Business partners Gene Michelotti and Alfredo “Georgetti” Federighi opened the Italian steakhouse in 1941, and Michelotti’s daughter now runs it. To preserve her father’s legacy, she hasn’t changed a thing—from the rich wood paneling to the juicy cuts of meat. The chefs carve thick slabs of strip loin steaks and filet mignon from wet-aged beef, which means the meat is first marinated in its own juices, then charbroil them at 1,300 degrees. Dishes such as veal scaloppine, chicken cacciatore, and linguini mussels marinara celebrate the owners’ Italian heritage.
Carmichael's Chicago Steak House pushes and pulls at its Chicago identity. The restaurant’s menu and décor pay homage to the classic Chicago steak house, an institution as iconic and as dear to the city as the skyscraper, the lakefront, or the rivalry between the North and South Side baseball teams’ mustaches. Twenty-four-ounce porterhouses and marbled and aged tenderloin hark back to the city's past as the country’s foremost meat producer.
Outside on the patio is another story. Mature trees, potted plants, and the occasional strain of live music push against the urban bustle of the West Loop. Carved out of reclaimed warehouses, this outdoor oasis transports diners from the traffic and road construction that descend on the city in summer. Under a red canopy or against the glow of lamplights, these alfresco meals add an air of tranquility and romance rarely experienced without having to stretch on a yoga mat scribbled with sonnets.
Patrick Anderson, who trained in New York and at the renowned Sassoon Academy in London, has revamped and beautified manes with cuts, color, and conditioning treatments for more than 20 years. The expert stylist also works to train trimming professionals across the country, and refreshes tresses by sprinkling them with professional products, such as Paul Mitchell and All-Nutrient. Patrick applies shears to hair of any length or type, and specializes in retaining blond hair and lengthy locks. A professional consultation makes clients? wildest hair dreams come true, beginning with a thorough discussion of ideas, desires, and the social significance of powdered wigs.