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18. Fulton’s on the River (Closed)

Photo: Courtesy Fulton’s on the River

(Editor’s note: Since this story was first published, this restaurant has closed.) Unless they’re planning a reception or some similar event, Chicagoans rarely think about Fulton’s. Maybe it’s because the place resembles a conference room more than a steak house. But like the view from huge windows overlooking the river, the food here will impress you.

Playful servers provide honest crab cakes and banana cream pie, fresh oysters from both coasts, goofy stuff such as Chicago’s Largest Tater Tots, and a powerhouse 20-ounce bone-in rib eye ($55). Wet-aged for two weeks, glorious prime beef gets caramelized in an 800-degree oven and topped with nothing beyond a pat of garlic butter. You can almost taste the marrow oozing from the bone, declaring to anyone paying attention: Fulton’s is here, and it is good.

Perfect for: Those for whom a great view is the best sauce

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