Just when you thought Chicago had maxed out on steakhouse supremacy, along comes a new year filled with all sorts of fresh protein promise. On the heels of 2014, which brought us the likes of RPM Steak and Grillhouse by David Burke, the steakhouse forecast for 2015 looks stronger than ever. Here are some of the steakhouses opening this year that we’ve got our eyes on:
STK: Chicago is about to get a steakhouse with a bit more femininity. The One Group’s STK chain is set to take shape in River North this year, peddling its infamous “female-friendly” menu and marketing. This can largely be chocked up to its club-like vibe and the options to order steaks in small, medium, and large sizes. The bold new endeavor definitely sets itself apart from the local steakhouse fray, due to open on two floors across 13,000 square feet of the Museum of Broadcast Communications building.
Prime & Provisions: DineAmic Group, the folks behind Bull & Bear and Public House, are next focusing on steak for Prime & Provisions. Coming this year to the northern fringes of the Loop, Prime & Provisions boasts two floors, 12,000 square feet, and seating for 300, plus more outside when the weather allows. Oh yeah, and a whole lot of beef. While many new restaurants these days scramble to chase trends, Prime & Provisions promises to adhere to steakhouse traditions for its meaty menu, featuring Caesar salads, shellfish towers, and Heritage Black Angus beef aplenty, stowed in the restaurant’s dry-aging room immersed in Himalayan salt. Inspired by Chicago lore and supper clubs of the 1920’s, the design of the restaurant will skew just as classic as the cuisine, outfitted with leather booths, wrought iron, Carrera marble, walnut lighting, and chandeliers. Look for Prime & Provisions to premier in the spring.
Gene & Georgetti: Operating for the better part of a century as one of Chicago’s oldest and most revered restaurants, Gene & Georgetti is finally about ready to expand with a second location, this time in the suburbs. Coming later spring to Rosemont, the restaurant will have seating for up to 300, promising all the classics of the original with potential for additional menu items exclusive to Rosemont.
GT Prime: Giuseppe Tentori already struck gold with GT Fish & Oyster, now it’s time to expand his talents in a meatier direction. GT Prime looks to be the next project from Tentori and red-hot Boka Restaurant Group, tentatively opening somewhere near GT Fish this year in River North. Somewhat similar to the menu format at GT Fish, diners can expect a more share plate-focused interpretation of steakhouse fare, with housemade steak sauces, and a casual, hip atmosphere.
Chop: Porkchop is the little engine that could. When it opened its first location a few years ago on Randolph Street, it seemed destined to flounder in the shadows of its heavy-hitting neighbors. But the bold little barbecue restaurant has managed to stick in there and beget a veritable empire of spin-offs throughout the city. Next up, the Porkchop brand goes bigger and better than ever before this year with Chop, a full-fledged steakhouse coming to the South Loop’s Roosevelt Collection. The 2,300-square foot restaurant will focus on heftier, higher end dishes than its Porkchop kin, and if its predecessors have the formula down pat like they seem to, this bodes well for the steakhouse-deprived South Loop.
Regulars don’t need a menu at the numerous Chicago steakhouses that we feature and recommend. For the most part, little changes from day to day or year to year. Why mess with success? These fine Chicago steakhouses, for the most part, have been around a long time, catered to many of the same patrons for a long time, and created an enjoyable steak meal in a convivial atmosphere for that length of time.
The constancy of that dry-aged porterhouse and old-school vibe realized at a Chicago steakhouse is comforting. During the past ten year, a number of new, equally worthy breed of Chicago steakhouses has appeared that are more stylish in the dining room and more inventive in the kitchen. These newer Chicago steakhouses have their proponents, but have not dislodged the old-time favorites.
In these newer Chicago steakhouses, the towering seafood platters, wedge salads, and creamed spinach favored at the older establishments still appear; but, you are likely to also see appetizing non-steak special like roasted kabocha squash, pimento cheese–stuffed bacon puffs, and even lobster corn dogs, far from the more typical Chicago steakhouse fare.
Clientele at the Chicago steakhouses is changing more slowly. The martini-swilling power brokers in suits are still the norm in many steakhouses; and, men still far outnumber women taking advantage of the food and atmosphere.
Ultimately, the Chicago steakhouses are about the beef. If you want to get technical, there is wide breath of information about cuts, aging techniques, and grading that is staggering (click here for The Sirloin Report that gives a lot of this information). If you ask a died-in-the-wool, consistent steak diner, they’ll tell you it’s all about the taste.
Take your pick among these favorite Chicago steakhouses, from old-school institutions like Gino & Georgetti’s to the newer establishment like Chicago Cut Steakhouse, they’re all good and they all serve sumptuous steaks in a pleasant atmosphere, well worth the cost.
Chicago Best Steaks uses a number of measures to define the restaurant that offer the best steaks. First, the steak house must feature USDA Prime Beef on its menu; the steak house must also offer world-class service; and, stock an extensive supply of wines and spirits, in keeping with the enjoyment and atmosphere that are part and parcel of a great steak house.
Each of the steakhouse included on this site and in our guide is highly regarded by local and national media outlets such as Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times DiRoNA, Wine Spectator and Zagat. So, you as a diner, will know that the quality of the meal and the ambiance of the restaurant will meet your strictest requirements and afford you a relaxing,