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Steak House Mania!

Where two new restaurants—Swift & Sons and Maple & Ash—fall in Chicago’s steakscape

This town needs more steak houses like the Republican Party needs more presidential candidates. And yet two meat palace openings are imminent: Swift & Sons in the West Loop (Boka Restaurant Group) and Maple & Ash in the Gold Coast (M&A Management).

“It’s the Chicago dream,” says Chris Pandel, executive chef of the Boka group. A steak house proves your mettle here, he explains, “so it’s time for us to do one.”

Every person opening a steak house says: This one will be fresh, new, different. But with so many contenders, how fresh, new, and different can a place really be? They all offer prime aged meat. The main differences are their prices and vibes. Here’s how Chicago’s best locals stack up. (National chain steak houses, such as the Capital Grille and the Palm, have been excluded because they would have made this chart far too—ahem—beefy.)

Swift & Sons (new!)

Masterminds a unique in-house service: a concierge desk

Benny’s Chop House

Offers all-natural hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from a private farm in Arizona

Tavern on Rush

Sits in the heart of the Viagra Triangle, to the never-ending delight of its devotees

Chicago Cut Steakhouse

Originated the iPad wine list

David Burke’s Primehouse

Ages its beef in a cellar room tiled with Himalayan rock salt

Prime & Provisions

Sells custom-blended cigars and has a separate patio just for smokers (see review)

 

Boeufhaus

Converted from a 1920s butcher shop

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

Has the coolest corkage in town—share one glass with another table

Morton’s The Steakhouse

Thrives in the Gold Coast on its original and oh-so-hokey show-me-the-meat show

RPM Steak

Leads the league in celeb sightings

Maple & Ash (new!)

Hired an in-house butcher for custom cuts

Chicago Chop House

Boasts the American version of Japanese Mishima beef

Michael Jordan’s Steak House

Bakes up a 23-layer chocolate cake to celebrate His Airness

Mike Ditka’s

Sports (sports, get it?) a Smithsonian-worthy collection of football photos

Gene & Georgetti

Parks your car for free!

Community Tavern

Feels exactly like its name

Erie Cafe

Includes a salad and cottage fries with any steak

 

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Sings “Happy Birthday” louder, longer, and more often than any spot on Rush Street

Wildfire

Pays attention to kid customers, too—booster seats and child-size filets

Very expensive

Old-school

Sceney

Benny’s Chop House

Offers all-natural hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from a private farm in Arizona

David Burke’s Primehouse

Ages its beef in a cellar room tiled with Himalayan rock salt

Boeufhaus

Converted from a 1920s butcher shop

Morton’s The Steakhouse

Thrives in the Gold Coast on its original and oh-so-hokey show-me-the-meat show

Chicago Chop House

Boasts the American version of Japanese Mishima beef

Tavern on Rush

Sits in the heart of the Viagra Triangle, to the never-ending delight of its devotees

Swift & Sons (new!)

Masterminds a unique in-house service: a concierge desk

Chicago Cut Steakhouse

Originated the iPad wine list

Prime & Provisions

Sells custom-blended cigars and has a separate patio just for smokers (see review)

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf

Has the coolest corkage in town—share one glass with another table

Maple & Ash (new!)

Hired an in-house butcher for custom cuts

RPM Steak

Leads the league in celeb sightings

Expensive

Old-school

Sceney

Michael Jordan’s Steak House

Bakes up a 23-layer chocolate cake to celebrate His Airness

Gene & Georgetti

Parks your car for free!

Erie Cafe

Includes a salad and cottage fries with any steak

Wildfire

Pays attention to kid customers, too—booster seats and child-size filets

Mike Ditka’s

Sports (sports, get it?) a Smithsonian-worthy collection of football photos

Community Tavern

Feels exactly like its name

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Sings “Happy Birthday” louder, longer, and more often than any spot on Rush Street

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