Dining Chicago

Steak News: Morton's The Steakhouse and David Burke's Primehouse

Steak and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or macaroni and cheese. Or surf and turf. This week's steak report is all about steak synergy and the food and drink that accentuate some of Chicago's finest steakhouses. Morton's The Steakhouse is currently conducting a "Prime & Wine" special in the bar area, while David Burke's Primehouse shines the light on steak's nautical best friend, lobster. 


Morton's The Steakhouse
Million Dollar Burger, Morton's The Steakhouse

Now through April 12, one of Chicago's most seasoned steakhouse vets is offering a bargain on beef. For $39 per person, guests in the bar area can partake in the Prime & Wine special, a limited-time combo that features Morton's Million Dollar Burger with a glass of prestigious Stag's Leap Winery "The Investor." Fun little fact: although today Morton's is renowned for its fine steaks, the restaurant empire first broke ground for its crowd-pleasing burgers, the more casual, handheld alternative to steak. The Million Dollar Burger got its name during Morton's co-founders Arnie Morton and Klaus Fritsch's tenure at Montreal's Playboy Club. During that stint, Fritsch cooked a new burger for Arnie, and upon first he declared it the greatest burger he had ever tasted. Henceforth, Morton's Prime Burger donned the name of the Million Dollar Hamburger. For this Prime & Wine special, Morton's has upped the ante substantially by adding foie gras, black truffle butter, and braised short ribs atop the brioche bun. Hit up one of Morton's bars to dine like a millionaire. 

While Morton's looks to burgers and the vineyards of Napa Valley for inspiration, David Burke's Primehouse is getting a little more oceanic. Prime Spot at Primehouse is a new nautically minded lunch program curated by chef Dino Tsaknis. For the New England-inspired spread, the chef has created three new seafood dishes using classic recipes. The perfect option for those saving their steak appetites until dinner, guests get the opportunity to indulge in the "surf" portion of the classic surf & turf combo. Adhering to steakhouse seafood classics, Tsaknis is serving up lobster rolls, crab cake fish and chips, and fresh fish sandwiches. The lobster roll, something that has never been featured on the Primehouse bar menu, is dressed with light aioli and served on a New England roll with celery, pickled tomatoes, and housemade kewpie mayo. Unlike the standard fish & chips, which favors fillets like cod and haddock, Tsaknis raises the bar by serving crab cakes as the "fish," and elevates the chips by subbing in black pepper fries. Then there's the seasonally rotating fresh fish sandwich, which currently is a breaded cod fillet on ciabatta with aioli for spring. It's bedecked with a slaw made of cabbage, pickled shiitake mushrooms, kimchi, and smoked salmon. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: River North

The modern River North steakhouse has made a name for itself based on the popularity of its 55-day, dry-aged steaks considered by some to be the best steak in Chicago....

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