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May 28, 2009 03:35 PM

Please Help this LA Hound avoid a Chain Steak

I'm coming to Chicago for a biz dinner next week and I dread going to the default steakhouse. Don't get me wrong, I'm a full-fledged carnivore who loves a good steak, but I would like to find something equally fun but with more interesting food and wines. I've been to Chicago many times and have always taken advantage of your many topflight restaurants, though I haven't been in over 3 years. Ideally looking for a place that's new and still somewhat hip, not too serious and has a diverse and interesting wine list. Price isn't a major consideration. And I guess it would be helpful if the restaurant were somewhat proximate to the Loop.

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  1. Maybe David Burke's Primehouse? It's not a chain in the sense of Morton's, Smith and Wollensky, etc., and is definitely new and hip, with service and decor that you wouldn't expect from a "steakhouse". They have incredible dry aged steaks, and while I've never tried them, a number of the non-steak options do sound tempting. I also like their wine list, which you can peruse of their website. They definitely offer a lot of diverse alternatives to the standard overpriced big name cabs.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jeanpoutine

      I agree - David Burke's Primehouse is a no-brainer. Yes, they do have a number of non-steak options, but their dry aged beef is so good that it would be a shame to visit here and not order beef. Another pro is that it is not your run of the mill, tired looking steakhouse. It's a little more modern (as you'd expect being ground level at the hip James Hotel), particularly the adjoining bar.

      1. re: BRB

        Just checked out the website for Primehouse. Looks perfect! Has anyone had the 72 day aged ribeye?

        1. re: burglover

          On their current menu, I only see a 65-day ribeye . . . but I had a 75-day there and it was outstanding. Just be forewarned that they don't always have so many of the most aged steaks so if you're hell bent on the 65-day (or 72) aged steak, you might want to call in advance and set one aside.

          1. re: BRB

            We were in Chicago a couple weeks ago and had dinner at Primehouse and it was amazing. South-side filet was very good, but the 55-day aged ribeye was incredible. After hearing lots of raves about the crabcake appetizer, we tried that as well and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. Overall a great meal, and it was a busy friday night and they still offered a tour of the salt room.

          2. re: burglover

            Another 2 thumbs up for Primehouse. Beware, after 30 days, the steaks get more and more......interesting (gamey). 35 days is perfect for me. I've tried someone else's 55 day ribeye and it was too much for me.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I'll second Primehouse. Its truly wonderful. If they're not too busy, they may give you a tour of the meat aging "cellar" lined with pink salt. Its pretty cool.

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