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Please pick just one restaurant of each for me!

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Hi Chicago Chowhounds -
Am planning two special dinners for our anniversary visit- I am looking for the best Italian and the best place to eat a fantastic steak. (in your opinion). My criteria would be fantastic food - within 5 miles of streeterville. I have read all of your fantastic posts but I need help distilling. Please Please!
Thank you!

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  1. Best Italian within 5 miles of Streeterville, price no limit, dressy okay: Spiaggia. www.spiaggiarestaurant.com

    Best Italian within 5 miles of Streeterville if you want to keep it affordable and/or you don't want to get all dressed up: Piccolo Sogno. www.piccolosognochicago.com

    Best Italian if you can stretch your limit to 7 miles, still keeping it affordable and not formal: Anteprima. www.anteprimachicago.net

    Best place for a fantastic steak: Oh wow, I think David Burke's ( www.davidburkesprimehouse.com ) and Chicago Cut ( www.chicagocutsteakhouse.com ) are both superb. If I absolutely *must* choose between the two, I'll give the nod to Burke's for its menu variety beyond the steaks.

    10 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      nsxtasy - You really are the rock star on this Board! My husband lives here for an assignment and I travel back and forth so I am guessing that we will try both steak houses! I do want to get a dressed up not crazy dressy but anniversary special dressy.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        >> Best place for a fantastic steak: Oh wow, I think David Burke's ( www.davidburkesprimehouse.com ) and Chicago Cut ( www.chicagocutsteakhouse.com ) are both superb. If I absolutely *must* choose between the two, I'll give the nod to Burke's for its menu variety beyond the steaks.

        After reading this article about the chef and menu changes at Chicago Cut, I think I may have spoken too soon. With their new menu, it seems like Chicago Cut has a lot of variety too. And I'm sure they're still dry-aging their great steaks as they have all along. So yeah, try them both! :) http://chicago.eater.com/archives/201...

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Even if price was no limit, I would skip Spiaggia. The best Italian should never be that over-the-top on any level; Cafe Spiaggia is as far as anyone should take it. Piccolo Sogno is a loud, lewd, crowded mess; food is good, but not good enough. Prosecco is a better option so long as they give you the complimentary prosecco.

          As for the steaks, neither David Burke's stinky meat nor Chicago Cut would make anyone's top five in Chicago. Chicago Cut does have a beautiful view, but that's about it. I won't give other suggestions since the OP seems to have made up their mind, but I would give middling grades to each, no more.

          1. re: grimaldi

            Oh no no no - please give suggestions. That's the point of posting - to get as many opinions as possible.

            1. re: Sarasml

              I haven't been to Spiaggia in a few years. That is because of price, especially the wine list, and not any "over-the-top" issues. I think Italian can be high end formal. I also had a few relatively minor service issues. My wife and are considering a return visit if we bring our own wine. The food is excellent.

              I, too, would recommend David Burke's Primehouse. I dont' get the stinky meat (been 5-6 times) but maybe because its aged? I've been to Gene & Georgetti, Chophouse and several more of the chain places in Chicag0. If Cut and Primhouse aren't in the top 5 I'd love to see the top 5. I also like Primehouse b/c of their corkage policy.

            2. re: grimaldi

              You're welcome to your opinion, whatever it is, but this part is absolutely not true:

              >> As for the steaks, neither David Burke's stinky meat nor Chicago Cut would make anyone's top five in Chicago.

              If you took a survey among steak aficionados familiar with Chicago steakhouses, David Burke's Primehouse and Chicago Cut Steakhouse would almost certainly be the top two favorites, with a smattering of votes for other places (Gibson's, Joe's, and maybe Gene and Georgetti rounding out the top five).

              Clearly you're not a fan of dry-aged beef, but it is not "stinky" any more than an aged cheese is "stinky". It has more flavor beyond the typical wet-aged (or not aged) beef. Both Chicago Cut and Burke's feature steaks which have been aged for varying durations, so those who want less of that flavor may wish to choose steaks that have not been aged as long as others they offer.

              Similarly, you're obviously not a fan of expensive high-end restaurants, and you're certainly entitled to that opinion. That is why I made it clear that Spiaggia belongs in that category. Anyone who feels similarly would be better off going elsewhere, such as the consistently excellent Piccolo Sogno (Café Spiaggia is also very good) or the sublime Anteprima.

              1. re: grimaldi

                Grimaldi -

                You are way off base here....

                David Burke's and Chicago Cut are both awesome and are always in most people's top 5.

                1. re: grimaldi

                  Burke's and Chicago Cut are by far the Chicago steakhouses most commonly mentioned as being the best. Sure it is not unanimous and you are welcome to your opinion but to suggest that they are not in anybody's top five is just silly and misleading.

                  1. re: grimaldi

                    So negative nancy (aka grimaldi) what are your suggestions?

                    1. re: grimaldi

                      David Burke's would definitely make it to my top 3 actually. The other two being Fleming's which is more of a national chain, and Harry Caray's. Speaking of Harry Caray's, if you want to combine italian and steak, this is THE place for me:).

                      Grimaldi, I also don't get your comment about the stinky meat. Are you referring to their 70+ day old steak? I hear it's not for everyone as the taste is more gamey than the ones that are aged less. I definitely would like to pick your brain and see what your palate likes in terms of food. Perhaps some recommendations beyond the negative comments would be helpful to all of us.

                      Also, Mastercard is running a promo with David Burke's. It's 25 dollars off a 50 dollar gift card. Not bad if you are willing to wait for the card to be mailed to you.

                      https://priceless.com/chicago/offer/D...

                      I personally haven't been to Chicago Cut so I can't comment on that place.

                2. I would offer another vote for Cafe Spiaggia. In addition to the delicious food, if there are two of you they have two-top window tables with a wonderful view of North Michigan Avenue that really added to our enjoyment of the meal.

                  It is also nice to get there a little early and start with a drink in the Spiaggia bar.