Boeufhaus can call itself a French-and-German-inspired brasserie all it wants. To Chicago, it’s still a thick hunk of Americana: a steakhouse. But a new kind of steakhouse, tiny and with a shrewd kitchen just as likely to serve delicate fluke crudo as flawless New York strips. Chef-partners Brian Ahern and Jamie Finnegan, and their pitch-perfect servers, have reimagined the neighborhood restaurant as a place that’s all killer and no filler. That means crisp short-rib beignets, 40-ounce landmasses of porchetta, and outstanding sides, such as gooey cauliflower gratin. It also means nonstop crowds and draconian reservation policies. But once you’re in, whether at the copper-topped bar or a cozy banquette, Boeufhaus is pure pleasure.
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