We've finally made it. Summer took a while, but long days of sunshine and heat are finally here... at least for a couple months. So there's no better time like the present to take advantage of the season by rounding out your steakhouse experience with crisp seafood, vivifying salads, and bracing lemon meringue pie. Here are our picks for some of summer's top steakhouse dishes for summer.
Erie Cafe: The only thing that could make this venerable riverside respite even more inviting is a refreshing summery meal, ideally enjoyed on the restaurant's quaint patio. Start with fresh shrimp cocktail or mussels awash in tangy marinara. The Tuscan kale salad is a nice start option as well, followed by killer seafood plates like Australian lobster tail and whitefish fillet. Asparagus, green peas, and sauteed broccoli all make for apt summery sides.
Prime & Provisions: At the Loop's lustrous new gem of a steakhouse, seafood is as much of a spotlight stunner as the steaks. And rightfully so when the quality is as pristine as this. East Coast and West Coast oysters don't come any fresher than this, adjoined by stunning seafood towers served with ginger mignonette, cocktail sauce, and Meyer lemon mustard sauce. If you're feeling lavish, opt for caviar on ice, or order the exceedingly rich lobster and avocado dish with asparagus and sauce Louie. For salads, lump crab is a pleasant addition to Caesar salad.
Benny's Chop House: The kitchen thinks a bit outside the box at Benny's Chop House, with a heightened eye for seasonality and locality. Take the indulgent and intensely summery Burrata salad, for starters, served with heirloom cherry tomatoes and aromatic basil. Or the outre beet salad with ricotta salad, peach-saffron jam, thyme vinaigrette, and candied pecans. Creamed corn comes with summer truffles, white asparagus gets seasoned with shiso, and sugar snap peas are flecked with beech mushrooms. Entree-wise, yellowfin tuna comes with saffron-tomato coulis, grouper is bedecked with hearts of palm and avocado, and Alaskan halibut with fried green tomato.
Boeufhaus: This offbeat, chef-driven steakhouse in Ukrainian Village derives inspiration from both Germany and France for much of its menu fixtures. Additionally, seasonality and presentation are pivotal. All of this makes for a wholly unique steakhouse experience in an unassuming, cozy space along Western Avenue. Here you'll find standout starters like vegetable crudite with green goddess dressing, charred sourdough with spring onion pistou, citrusy salmon with pickled honjimeji and herb salad, polenta with escargot "tapenade," seared halibut with roasted fennel and cauliflower, and more.
Tavern on Rush: Go big at Tavern on Rush, an iconic Chicago staple situated at the nexus of State and Rush in the Gold Coast. The sprawling menus are as large as the restaurant space, filled with apropos summer fare like fried lobster skewers, crab cocktail, blackened Cajun shrimp, lemon-dill hummus, beef carpaccio, lobster Cobb salad, sesame-crusted Hawaiian tuna, and plenty more. The restaurant even has summer specials like lobster and corn bruschetta, tequila lime shrimp flambe, and a lush ceviche of scallop, conch, shrimp, and mahi mahi.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse: Across the street from Tavern on Rush is another steakhouse Mecca filled with summery sensations. Compliment the killer steaks at Gibsons with crabmeat avocado, Alaskan king crab claws, broiled Skuna Bay salmon, and loaded wedge salads. Gibsons also features some of the best, most jaw-dropping desserts of any steakhouse. Or any restaurant, period. Save room for herculean slices of lemon meringue pie, banana cream pie, macadamia turtle pie, and others.