BY SOPHIE BROSS
It’s no secret that we take our steakhouses pretty seriously here in Chicago. So, out of the multitude of steakhouses to choose from in nearly every part of the city, why select Steak 48?
When you walk through the doors, the first word that comes to mind is “sophistication.” The aesthetic at Steak 48, at 615 North Wabash, is classic meets contemporary with a palate of grays and browns, accented with wood, leather, bold art, tiles in a variety of texture and shape, and a sea of white linen-topped tables. There is a vibrant horseshoe shaped bar on the first floor that is so seductive you can almost imagine James Bond walking up and ordering a martini, shaken not stirred.
Although the restaurant is a massive 12,000 feet across two floors, its larger spaces, and matching energetic vibe, are dotted with multiple nooks designed for quiet dinners that add a sense of intimacy to the space. There is also a reservation-only dining bar on the second floor and an 800-square-foot outdoor patio with two fireplaces. The staff is very adept at providing their customers the experience they are seeking, whether it is a quiet table in a quiet room or, alternatively, the liveliness of a table near the open kitchen or bar. The all-glass booths near the open kitchen are a dining experience that can’t be matched at many other Chicago steakhouses.
One thing to note about Steak 48 is the servers are true professionals. The moment my party of four was seated, and Douglas came over to introduce himself, we knew we were in good hands. He knew every part of the menu and how the item was prepared, and was enthusiastic telling us about it. All his recommendations were excellent, including the wine. The pours were generous and the cocktails were perfection.
Every meal starts with their signature rolls brushed with butter and Parmesan. There are two kinds (one with garlic), and at our server’s suggestion, we ordered half-and-half, in order to sample both. From there, we opted for our own made-to-order fresh seafood tower. It was exceptional and the presentation was a work of art. Ours included lobster tail, crab claws, and gigantic tiger shrimp that were over 5 inches long. For our other appetizer, we chose the deviled eggs, one order topped with shrimp and the other fried. The fried deviled eggs were so addictive, they should have come with a warning label.
As for our main courses, we had the signature bone-in strip, bone-in filet mignon, and the Colorado milk-fed lamb chops. The meat is prime, aged 28 days, and all cut in-house. All steaks were cooked to perfection in a 1600-degree broiler oven. The lamb chops may have been the best lamb chops I have ever had in Chicago. We ordered an excessive number of side dishes to go along with our mains, including the au gratin potatoes, corn crème brûlée, Brussels sprouts with bacon, truffle fries, and the double baked potato topped with truffles. All side dishes were excellent, but the corn crème brûlée is a must-have.
At this point, you may be wondering how it would even be possible to have any room left to try the desserts, but we all mustered up the fortitude to continue on this path of decadence. We tried the caramel cake (yellow cake served warm with caramel sauce and vanilla gelato); the key lime pie; and the beignets, beautifully presented on a tree with chocolate sauce on the side. The beignets were definitely the crowd-pleaser, but the caramel cake was my personal favorite.
When you visit, I suggest dining with a group to maximize the number of dishes you can try—there are so many delicious options to choose from. Steak 48 is truly the perfect marriage of great food and drink, service, and ambiance This is not your ordinary steakhouse.