It’s that time of year again, when resolutions mean people start flocking to gyms and replace their eggnog with salad. But resolving to eat healthier doesn’t automatically mean bland flavor and depressing food. Chicago’s dynamic steakhouse scene, as indulgent and hearty as it may seem, is actually filled with delicious options for healthy alternatives.
Salads at Maple & Ash: This Gold Coast stunner really has a knack for packing flavors into things, and their salads are among the best in town. Even classics like wedge salads and beet salads get punched up with the likes of glazed bacon and rosemary-roasted almonds, respectively. Then there’s the king crab and butter lettuce salad, which is so rich and meaty you won’t even notice you’re eating clean.
Seafood at Chicago Chop House: The steaks and potatoes may take top billing at this River North oldie, but with fish and seafood as fresh and vibrant as this stuff, you’d be remiss in skipping the broiled salmon or the Chilean sea bass, especially in light of New Year’s resolutions. The former is cooked on a cedar plank, imbuing aroma and flavor while keeping things light, while the sea bass layers on the textures with tropical salsa, mixed greens and sweet potato fries. There’s also sushi-grade yellowfin tuna, which comes with kiwi wasabi.
Small plates at STK: With a menu specifically designed to offer smaller portion sizes and more wholesome options, STK is your destination number one come January 1. Here, you can still enjoy delicious entrees like filet medallions, skirt steak and loin strips, albeit in smaller, more reasonable and responsible portions like 6 ounces and 8 ounces. The restaurant’s famous Lil’ Brgs are another good example, packing beefy flavor into tiny slider-sized morsels.
Starters at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse: If you’re the type of person who likes to hobble together a bunch of appetizer plates as an entree, you’ve come to the right place. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse offers a wide range of options as starter plates, with numerous dishes skewing lighter and more healthful. Like grilled octopus with fresno chilies, watercress and olive oil; or tomato bruschetta; or Italian wedding soup adorned with Tuscan kale; or plump shrimp cocktail with heady horseradish sauce. You get the gist.
Sorbet at Mastro’s Steakhouse: While it’s certainly easy to feast at Mastro’s, the dessert menu (like the rest of the savory offerings) is well-rounded enough to provide plenty of options for those adhering to New Year’s diets. This includes sorbets in flavors like mango, raspberry and limoncello, all of which are fresh and fruity enough to provide more than enough satisfying sweetness. There’s also fresh seasonal berries, chocolate-covered strawberries and cherry crisp.