You love a good chophouse as much as the next Chicagoan.
But let’s put your interests aside for a moment and consider what’s most important — or should we say who: your client.
Because if anything will button up a deal, it’s a vaunted wine-’em-and-dine-’em steakhouse experience. And Chicago’s got plenty.
Herein: five over-the-top steak meals for your client-wooing pleasure, from chef-guided dry-aging tours to the most impressive Beef Wellington they’ll ever lay eyes, hands or maws on.
Art of Aging at Primehouse
Celebrity steakmonger David Burke may have left this steakhouse — now simply called Primehouse — earlier this year, but if its new Art of Aging experience is any indication, the old standby is making up for its losses. Led by Executive Chef Dino Tsaknis, the transportive experience gives diners an exclusive walkthrough of Primehouse’s illustrious Himalayan salt-tiled dry-aging room (Chicago’s first when it opened in 2005), where hunks of ribeye, sirloin and chuck age to meaty perfection anywhere from 28 to 75 days. A “greatest hits” dinner follows, where guests can sample a bit of everything from 40-Day Dry-aged Ribeye to a 30-Day Dry-aged Porterhouse. A safer, guaranteed-to-impress steak experience in Chicago you will not find.
Photo: Jeff Marini
Wagyu Beef at RPM Steak
While RPM Steak offers plenty of highlights if you’re looking to blow it out (see: the Allen Brothers’ 90-Day Dry-Aged Ribeye), Chef Doug Psaltis has managed to outdo himself by adding a choice selection of Wagyu beef. And there’s nothing that opens more doors than fatty, melt-in-your-mouth Japanese Wagyu. Do ‘em a favor and order up some Hokkaido Snow Beef — a beef so rare that RPM is one of only five restaurants in the world certified to sell it. Other cuts include the Ohmi Wagyu: the oldest brand of Wagyu dating as far back as the late 15th century and once reserved for the emperor of Japan. You don’t have to end the meal with RPM’s signature 14K Chocolate Cake, but how can you not?
The Beef Wellington at Swift & Sons
Your best alternative to the traditional steakhouse without staying too far, Swift & Sons lends the perfect atmosphere for signing on the dotted line: classy digs, exceptional service and quiet enough to carry a conversation. It also has the Beef Wellington that serves two — a medium-rare 12-ounce filet mignon topped with mushroom, spinach and foie gras, wrapped in a flaky golden puff pastry. It’s basically the platonic ideal of the classic steakhouse meal. And damn delicious, too. Don’t act too surprised when it’s carted out and sliced tableside. Do, however, let the surprise butter the conversation. Clients love surprises.
Photo: GT Prime/Facebook
The Carnivore Platter at GT Prime
As sexy as steakhouses come these days, GT Prime — the turf to chef Giuseppe’s Tentori’s surf (GT Fish & Oyster) — is the choice for clients who are anything but traditional. And because one cut is never enough, there’s Prime’s Carnivore Platter. It’s a red meat flight, basically, and perfect for sharing, especially when significant others are present. You’ve got two ways of going here: an assortment of either four or eight four-oz. cuts of beef filet, beef strip loin, vension and American Wagyu.
I Don’t Give a F*#k at Maple and Ash
Some clients want to be seen and heard. Others just want to be seen. And for that, you’ll wanna hit Maple & Ash. And when you do, you can do no wrong with the chef’s tasting menu, cheekily read on the menu as I Don’t Give a F*#k. It’s a four-course tasting menu that begins with a seafood tower and ends with a two-tiered ice cream sundae. They’ll have their choice of meat, but we recommend the 30 oz. dry-aged tomahawk that’s finished with homemade beef butter once it comes off the 12-foot hearth grill.
Nota bene: If you love a good steakhouse, but are looking for the complete antithetical, look no further than our ranking of Chicago's most delicious steakhouse burgers.
Main Photo: Jeff Marini for RPM Steak