May 5, 2024 - Culture

What you can find at Chicago's newest steakhouses

Photo of a case of steaks
Aged steaks displayed in a window at Tre Dita, a new Tuscan steakhouse in the St. Regis Hotel. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The Union Stockyards closed 53 years ago, but Chicago's image as a steak town persists.

Why it matters: That reputation — perhaps along with a big political convention coming this summer — has driven a stampede of new steakhouses, offering prime cuts of beef and other intriguing dishes.

What they're saying: "We came here because Chicago invented the steakhouse," La Grande Boucherie owner Emil Stefkov told Axios at the restaurant's opening in February.

  • "This is one of the great steak cities in the world, but we bring our own vibe, so I feel like there's a place for us here," Will Beckett, CEO of Hawksmoor, a British steakhouse opening on LaSalle in June, tells Axios.

Between the lines: Though steak is ostensibly the big draw, we dug in to find out what sets seven of these new spots apart.

Photo of steak pieces on a plate
Tuscan steak with pesto at Tre Dita. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Tre Dita: Hot Tuscan steakhouse in the St. Regis hotel

Beyond steak: The menu includes West Coast chef Evan Funke's handmade fresh pastas, fluffy focaccia, and crisp, decadent, ricotta-stuffed fried squash blossoms. Plus, stunning river and lake views.

Photo of porkchops on a plate
The juicy Kurobuta pork chop with a head of roasted garlic and rosemary has become one of the signature items at Divan. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Divan: A Mediterranean-influenced steakhouse helmed by veteran Chicago chef Mike Sheerin in the old MK space.

Beyond steak: Try French- and Spanish-influenced cuisine, including jamón ibérico with caviar in a clever take on ham and eggs; Dover sole; fresh pasta, and a juicy Kurobuta pork chop.

Photo of steak on top of mash potatoes
Steak over mashed potatoes at La Grande Boucherie. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

La Grande Boucherie: This River North outpost of a New York-based French brasserie network transports you to Belle Époque Paris with black-vested servers and opulent décor.

Beyond steak: Consider the rich French onion soup, tart salade Lyonnaise, and a full raw bar.

Photo of a steak with sides on a plate
A smoked, sous vide cooked and seared steak from Smoque Steak. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Smoque Steak: Opened last year by the folks who brought you Smoque BBQ in Irving Park, this Avondale eatery introduced steaks that are smoked and cooked in sous vide baths before they're seared to order.

Beyond steak: Try smoked salmon, chicken and cauliflower steaks, plus rich brie fondue, biscuits with bisque, and killer brunches.

Photo of the exterior of a building
London-based Hawksmoor will open a steakhouse next month at 500 N. LaSalle. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Hawksmoor: This world-renowned London-based steakhouse is slated to make its Chicago debut next month in the LaSalle Street building that formerly housed Michael Jordan's and Lalo's.

Beyond steak: Hawksmoor serves classic British puddings, grilled and baked seafood and roast chicken.

  • The company touts its support of local sustainable farmers and a B-corp accreditation that requires it to meet several social and environmental standards.
Photo of steak pieces lined up on a plate
Slow-roasted Creekstone prime picanha from Brasero. Photo: Courtesy of Garrett Baumer

Brasero: This fire-centric South American restaurant in West Town was inspired by chef John Manion's childhood in Brazil.

Beyond steak: Find fried quail with yuca, pork ribs with guava barbecue sauce, black-eyed pea fritters, and lots of seafood, including moqueca stew full of shrimp, mussels, mahi-mahi and coconut broth.

Photo of a porkchop on a plate
Perry's famous pork chop. Photo: Courtesy of Perry's Steakhouse and Grille

Perry's Steakhouse and Grille in Vernon Hills: Our third local iteration of this Houston-based chain opened last month in Vernon Hills following locations in Oak Brook and Schaumburg.

Beyond steak: Perry's is most famous for its "seven-finger high" pork chop and a new roasted black cod with a chorizo crisp.

📬 These spots opened in the last year, but Chicago is full of longtime steakhouse favorites, and we want to hear about yours for an ultimate list.

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