After spending 18 months and $100 million, the Ritz-Carlton has completed a suite of upgrades that includes (drumroll, please) a new restaurant.
Torali Italian-Steak (160 E. Pearson St., Streeterville) is the brainchild of Sage Restaurant Group, the Denver-based crew behind swanky Catalan spot Mercat a la Planxa. The eponymous steaks and Italian cuisine will come with the seasonal, ingredient-driven approach of chef Gregory Elliott (Remington’s). “It’s a natural fit,” says Elliott. “Plus, I love fresh pasta.”
Elliott’s proud of the pasta program he’s developed for Torali: two fresh and two extruded varieties, all made in-house. Expect classics with a twist, like spaghetti with one gigantic, seven-ounce meatball made with lamb, pork, veal, mortadella, and smoked pancetta. “With Italian food, it’s all about respect for tradition,” says Elliott. “Of course, I’m going to have my own interpretation of that, but I think it’s in keeping with those traditions.”
Despite the presence of “steak” in the restaurant’s name, Elliott insists the menu is “not a steakhouse menu.” There are also, he says, plenty of fish (big-eye tuna crudo, a shellfish tower), antipasti (baked oysters, fava bean bruschetta), and ensalata (including a house salad with a pancetta-fat balsamic vinaigrette). That said, large cuts of meat feature prominently. Torali offers a wet-aged New York strip as well as dry-aged rib-eye and porterhouse steaks, all broiled and finished with olive oil and sale: a traditional Italian seasoning of salt, rosemary, garlic, thyme, and lemon zest.
As of this week, Torali’s full menu is available in the 70-seat dining room and in the adjacent Torali Bar (with its Euro-leaning selection of wines, cocktails, and spirits). It’s also offered at Rooftop Torali, the restaurant’s outdoor lounge—perfect for those who prefer their Italian food al fresco.