After an exhaustive process of discussing and sampling the best steakhouses in Chicagoland, we rounded down our list to 4 great places. We asked you all to chime in on the blog, you did, and we have a Viewer's Choice. After the jump, you'll find the list of my favorite three places, and your pick. So get at it and remember to always eat responsibly!.......
Here are my top three picks and the viewer's choice:
3. Chicago Chop House
60 West Ontario Street
At 20 years old, the Chop House isn't THAT old, but it really feels like you're taking a step into Chicago history when you get to this place. Photos of Chicago luminaries past and present line the walls.
As for the food - their special Prime Rib is phenomenal. They slow roast it for about 6 hours, cut off a huge hunk, sear it up, and it comes right out to your table. It's $32 for the Bone-In 24 oz. Prime Rib, and that's the way to go. Well worth the money and one of the crown jewel's of Chicago steakhouses!
ADDED BONUS: Look for the portrait of founder Henry Norton who passed away years back. Current co-owner John Pontarelli can tell you some great stories about Henry, who no doubt infused his optimism and sense of humor into the Chop House's employees.
2. Rosebud Steakhouse
192 E. Walton
Many probably don't think of Rosebud Steakhouse right away when they think about steaks in town, but it came up on a lot of lists when I was browsing around. After diving into the steaks, I've gotta tell you I was in love! The atmosphere is a bit more modern, think Regina Spektor and Radiohead playing in the dining room as opposed to Frank and Tony. It's a nice touch.
As for the MEAT, they are very hands on with how their chops are chosen. They communicate directly with their ranches to ensure they get the perfect marbling on each slab. That adds to better flavor and moisture. Try the Bone-in Filet Mignon, it's cut right out of a porterhouse with the bone attached, and it melts in your mouth. Also, with certain steaks they serve bone marrow directly out of a Veal bone. It was my first experience with this and I really enjoyed it. Neat feature.
ADDED BONUS: They are consistently rated the Best Burger in Chicago as well. They've been featured in SO many publications that one day, general manager David Flom took a phone call from a man named Paul asking if he could bring his own bottle of wine into the restaurant. David told the man that Rosebud has an extensive wine selection, maybe he could choose something there. Paul insisted that he had a VERY valuable bottle to bring in, David confirmed that it was OK, so PAUL NEWMAN came to the restaurant and introduced himself! I guess Mr. Newman travels the country with great wine, eating the nation's best burgers. Mr. Flom is full of outstanding stories like this one, so be sure to say hello to him when you go in!
Morton's, The Steakhouse
1050 N. State St.
The Grand-Daddy of steak, Morton's has been wowing steak lovers since they opened their doors 30 years ago. Today they have 79 locations worldwide and are a publicly traded company. We visited the original location on State Street, but you can expect the same level of quality at all of their locations.
As for the BEEF, any chop is a good chop at Morton's. The double porterhouse is HUGE at 46 ounces and its not cheap at 95 smackers. But it carves neatly into enough meat for 2 people with good appetites.
ADDED BONUS: Celebrities pack this place on a weekly basis. Recently Jon Bon Jovi was into the restaurant to devour a Cajun Ribeye (another OUTSTANDING option by the way). The staff didn't even know Jon was in the restaurant until he approached them at the end to say how good the meal was. So if it's good enough for JBJ, it's good enough for me!
My favorite steakhouse in Chicago is.....
1. Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse
33 W. Kinzie
Again, not the place that ends up as everyone's #1, but I've been a fan of Harry's for years and years. I've never had a Ribeye I didn't love, and I always get the peppercorn treatment. It comes with a special dressing and a nice selection of spice added to the meat. They are also one of the few places to offer Bill Kurtis's award-winning Tall Grass Fed beef. Harry's partner Grant DePorter told me they've had vegetarians order the beef in the spot. It's gotta be good, then, right? But like I said, Harry's is a reliable favorite, and remains my favorite steakhouse in Chicagoland!
ADDED BONUS: Look for the photos of "Desperate Housewives" star James Denton. He actually worked as a bartender (maybe also a server) at the original location on Kinzie. James still pops in every now and again for the food. So a good warning, once you start Harry's, you can't stop! It's that good!