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9. The Palm

Photo: Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune

By the time this iconic throwback (founded in 1926 in New York City) opened in Chicago in 1980, its wet-aged prime steaks were legendary. And with good reason. Rich marbling, the hallmark of a great rib eye, juices up the Palm’s 24-ounce bone-in. The distinctive flavor of its New York strip must be where umami was first discovered.

Nobody in town makes a better retro wedge salad, and there’s plenty here for younger palates (witness the mountain of irresistible fried onions and potato-chip-thin cottage fries). The caricatures that cover the walls, from Irv Kupcinet to Arnold Schwarzenegger, separate the adults from the kids. A slice of Key lime pie covered with blueberry compote, however, brings everyone back together.

Perfect for: Baby boomers who want to give their offspring a night to remember

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