Thursday, May 17

Steak 48 Chicago Review

Steak 48 Review
Photo Credit: Steak 48 Chicago

Let me just start off this post by saying my meal at Steak 48 was EPIC. From the atmosphere and service, to the food and wine, everything went off without a hitch.

Steak 48 is one of the newer steakhouses to enter the Chicago market, a bold move if you ask me. We take our steakhouses pretty seriously here in Chicago, and there is certainly no shortage of excellent options.

Steak 48 was started in Phoenix by the brother's behind Mastro's Steakhouse. The "48" represents Arizona as the 48th state in the union. The Chicago location is its third (there's also a Houston location).

One thing to know about Steak 48 is that the menu is gigantic. Usually that's a red flag, but after eating what seemed like 1/3 of the menu, I can assure you it's not. However, I would recommend dining with a group so you can maximize the number of dishes you can try.

The restaurant itself is also gigantic, but on the Saturday evening our party of four dined, the entire restaurant was packed. We were seated on the second floor which also houses a patio (it would be lovely if Chicago actually pretended it was spring). Both floors are made up of separated rooms, so even if it is a busy night, you never feel like it's too crowded. The dining spaces themselves are modern, clean, and add a touch of character with large pop art murals.

From the moment we were seated, we know we'd be well taken care of. Our server LaDarian was a true professional. He knew every single detail of the menu and repeated it with enthusiasm, not boredom. Every meal starts with Steak 48's signature rolls - brushed with butter and Parmesan and pillowy soft in the middle.

Steak 48 Review
Signature Rolls
A quick glance at the wine list or dinner menu may leave you dizzy; however, the servers are well-equipped to help with wine and food selections. I will say, the wine list offers a great variety of price points!

I recommend having a game plan as we were nearly stuffed after our appetizer course. Nevertheless, we started with a handful of appetizers that were either recommended by our server, or caught our eye. The fresh burrata was outstanding and I could not get over the portion size. You essentially get double the order as a normal restaurant. Each portion is served with pickled red onions, tomato jam, and grilled bread. The freshness and richness was incredible.

Steak 48 Review
Fresh Burrata
You can't begin a steakhouse experience without a little seafood. LaDarian recommended the dungeness crab cocktail, and the colossal shrimp cocktail was a must. Those shrimp were MASSIVE. I mean, just look at their size compared to the little bottles of Tabasco (and my finger)! At $8 a piece, they should be! The crab cocktail was wonderful too - it was nice to enjoy the succulent crab meat without breaking a single shell.

Super Colossal Shrimp Cocktail & Dungeness Crab Cocktail

Steak 48 Review
Colossal is Right
The night we dined, the kitchen was offering a special steak tartare made with domestic wagyu beef. I'd never tried wagyu beef tartare, let alone domestic wagyu, so it was a must order. We loved the richness of the tartare, combined with the creamy whipped egg on top.

Steak 48 Review
Wagyu Beef Tartare
A house favorite appetizer is the Chef's "PB&J" made with pate, bourbon, and fig jam. The spread was nicely balanced between savory and sweet.

Steak 48 Review
Chef's "PB&J"

OK, so we may have gone overboard with our appetizer course.

Apps Galore

We had to get some greens in before our meat-filled entrees, so we opted for the Heirloom Tomato Salad, Steak Knife BLT Wedge, and Superfood Salad. I kid you not, all three were delicious. My favorite was the wedge which is every bit of indulgence you'd expect from a salad loaded with blue cheese and bacon! I did really enjoy the champagne fig dressing on the superfood salad as well.

Steak 48 Review
Heirloom Tomato Salad

Steak 48 Review
Steak Knife BLT Wedge

Steak 48 Review
Superfood Salad
We were SO full already, but it was time for us to move on to the main attraction: STEAK! For the four of us, we split a 12 ounce filet mignon, 40 ounce tomahawk, and 18 ounce bone-in Kansas City Strip. Yea, it was a lot. I highly recommend the tomahawk if you dine with a group because it arrives nicely sliced and is easy to share. The steaks were all quite flavorful, if not on the salty side.

Steak 48 Review
40 oz. Tomahawk

Bone-In KC Strip
When it comes to side dishes, you're going to have a hard time deciding. There are 17 options(!). You could easily make a meal of the sides alone. We ordered a few and the kitchen sent out more, so bear in mind I would not recommend ordering this many! Some of our favorites were the Creamy Mac & Cheese, Au Gratin Potatoes, Double Baked Truffle Potato, and the Corn Creme Brulee (not pictured). We also tried Shishito Peppers and Asparagus Fries dipped in a vanilla tempura batter.

Steak 48 Review
Creamy Mac & Cheese

Steak 48 Review
Shishito Peppers

Steak 48 Review
Au Gratin Potatoes

Steak 48 Review
Asparagus Fries

Steak 48 Review
Double Baked Truffle Potato

At this point in the meal, my pants literally unzipped. Yes, that actually happened. But we came to enjoy our meal from start to finish, and that meant ending on a sweet note. We tried the Brioche Chocolate Chip Pudding with vanilla gelato, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake since we are all suckers for anything chocolate and peanut butter. The bread pudding was okay - not amazing, not terrible - but the milkshake was irresistible (and not pictured because we demolished it)!

Steak 48 Review
Brioche Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
Just when we thought we might burst, a magical Beignet Tree appeared at our table. Each fried pocket of dough was piping hot and paired with vanilla and chocolate dipping sauces. They were the perfect sweet indulgence to end our meal.

Steak 48 Review
Beignet Tree
Our meal at Steak 48 was a fantastic and filling dining experience and we found the staff to be hospitable and knowledgeable. Given the sheer size of Steak 48's menu, everyone in your party is bound to find something they like, meat eater or not. I think that's one of the things Steak 48 does so well - they are able to satisfy traditionalists and modern eaters alike. If you're looking for a relaxed yet modern steakhouse experience, I highly recommend an evening at Steak 48. 

Note: my meal at Steak 48 was complimentary; however, all opinions expressed are my own.

Steak 48
615 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Steak 48 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Sunday, December 31

Topper's Top List: The Best Things I Ate In 2017

Hey everyone! I know it's been A LONG TIME. But I'm back to close out the year with my annual list of the best things I ate! It was a busy year filled with buying our first home and getting married (the fiancĂ© is now officially an Instagram husband), to job promotions and exciting travels. There were some lows (getting robbed while away on our honeymoon tops the list!), but definitely plenty of culinary highs.

In no particular order, here's my list of the best things I ate in 2017:

1) Wedge Salad at Entente

That dressing is unreal, and the plating? The prettiest salad I ever did see.

2) Jalapeno Mac and Cheese at Baptiste & Bottle

Cheesy, gooey goodness.

3) Thin Crust Pizza at Side Street Saloon

This Lakeview dive bar makes some of my favorite thin crust 'za in Chicago. It's my hidden secret.

4) Avocado Toast with Burrata at Forno Rosso

I love Forno Rosso's neapolitan-style pies, but their brunch is also delicious. Creamy burrata on top of creamy avocado toast is pure genius.

5) Wood Roasted Octopus at Coco Pazzo

The most tender octopus I've had.

6) Monkey Bread and Raviolo at The Bristol

These two go together. Pillowy soft bread dunked in the brown butter raviolo sauce is sheer perfection.

7) Funghi Pizza at Pizzeria Bebu

Any pizza at Bebu is amazing but the flavor bomb that's the funghi pizza tops my list. Plus, you can add an everything bagel style crust to any pie (trust me, you should).

8) Strangolapreti at Income Tax

I'm a fan of several dishes at Income Tax in my Edgewater 'hood. These fried spinach dumplings are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and stuffed with ricotta. Get two orders.

9) Ube Cookie from Warm Belly Bakery

My first time trying ube (purple yam) was at Chicago Gourmet in this cookie. It was so good I went back for seconds (and thirds).

10) The Cheeseburger (AKA The Dirty Burg) at The Loyalist

I went to The Loyalist four days before Bon Appetit named it one of their top burgers of the year. It's a hearty blend of chuck, bacon, and short rib and it's messy AF. The real star is the crack sauce on the side, a garlic aioli that will have you wondering how you cleaned your plate so quickly.

11) Burrata e Ham at Monteverde

Grab a tigelle (little lard breads with rosemary), stuff it with burrata and ham, and top it with seasonal ingredients like apple mostarda, or roasted beets.

Photo via Chicago Tribune

12) Fried Chicken at 1959 Kitchen & Bar

This is probably the biggest sleeper hit on this list. Who knew the restaurant at The Second City churns out fantastic fried chicken?!

Photo via 1959 Kitchen & Bar
13) Cauliflower Hummus at Shaya (New Orleans, LA)

Probably the least surprising on this list is the hummus at Shaya. I celebrated my birthday here this year in New Orleans (I will never forget the terrible flooding!) and never wanted the meal to end. The pita and hummus are the best I've had (I do love my husband's homemade varieties though).

Photo via Spoon University
Cheers to happiness, good health, and delicious eats in 2018! What were some of the best things you ate or drank this year?
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