Feature

Chicago steakhouses: City of the big shoulder cut

Steakhouses are no longer all the same— “New American” steakhouses have been opening up with top chefs, more choices, and more interesting interiors. Here are five of Chicago's best.

Steakhouses used to all have the same menus, said Dennis Ray Wheaton in Chicago. Shrimp cocktail, wedge salad, and your choice of a filet mignon, porterhouse, T-bone, or New York strip. But in recent years, “New American” steakhouses have been “popping up from top chefs all over the country,” with glam interiors, creative extras, and more choices. In Chicago the rib eye and the bone-in Kansas City strip, “with their superior flavor, are king.” Here are five of the city’s best steakhouses:

David Burke’s Primehouse
Only 2 years old, this steakhouse has gained attention for its Himalayan-salt-tiled cellar and an aging process that “eclipses some military campaigns in length.” The magnificent 20-ounce bone-in rib-eye, aged 55 days, “is the best dry-aged steak in Chicago.” The James Chicago Hotel, 616 N. Rush St., (312) 660-6000

Chicago Firehouse
This handsome, 103-year-old landmark still has original fire poles. The prime beef is “exquisitely grilled and garnished with puffy onion rings.” Both the boneless rib eye and the 22-ounce, wet-aged porterhouse are “terrific.” 1401 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 786-1401

Gene & Georgetti
Steaks are aged in a vacuum-sealed bag for 28 days, then escorted to a 1,100-degree Vulcan broiler. Served unseasoned, these “magnificent” cuts have a “serious crust.” 500 N. Franklin St., (312) 527-3718

The Chicago Chop House
The New York strip still reigns supreme in this century-old brownstone—“no seasoning, light char, just a little jus.” The jumbo shrimp cocktail is among the city’s best. Service is superb, and walls are plastered with photos of major capitalists and Mafiosi. 60 W. Ontario St., (312) 787-7100

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