Chicago, and especially River North, may have more steak houses than you can shake a cattle prod at, but in the north suburbs, there are entire towns without steak houses, if you can believe such a thing.
PM Prime (310 N. Green Bay Rd., Highwood, 847-433-0600) looks to put down stakes in a not-fully-steak-saturated zone on July 11, when it fills the downtown Highwood space long occupied by the venerable Gabriel’s.
“[Steve Platcow, a partner,] felt the North Shore doesn't have a really great steak house,” says Dominic Zumpano, the chef and a partner at PM Prime. Formerly of Lake Forest’s Market House on the Square, Zumpano says many of the steaks come from Niman Ranch and will be dry-aged for 35 days. Cheaper cuts such as sirloin and hanger steak will be available as well.
In a pleasant surprise, Bob Bansberg will serve as sommelier at PM Prime. One of the nicest guys in Chicago dining, Bansberg has a history running back to 1976 at the Pump Room. “I’m a hospitality guy,” he says. “I just like making people happy.” He says he plans to forge through the 36,000 wines available in the Chicago market in search of values, as he hopes he was known for in his days at Ambria. Customers over snobbery was his credo: “If you liked white zinfandel, I wanted to make you happy,” he says.
In case you were wondering about the name, the PM can stand for, among other things, post meridiem, signifying that the restaurant is open only at night. Bold choice, ruling out the steak-for-breakfast crowd.