Certain things are just best when left to their natural state. Take steak, for instance. Free of steroids, chemicals, and hormones, beef is at its utmost when it hails from pristine sources. It takes a special restaurant to go the extra mile to source such delicacies though, an art form found at a handful of spots in this steakhouse Mecca we call Chicago. Here are some of our favorite steakhouses going "au naturel" with their meticulous sourcing and masterful cooking.
One of the sizzling new kids on the block, Prime & Provisions has quickly emerged as a standout icon of the new guard of Chicago steakhouses. This opulent new hot spot from DineAmic Group is filled with lavish, upscale accents, chief among them being the restaurant's ardent commitment to all-natural beef. USDA Prime Black Angus Beef is all well and good, but they're going above and beyond with their all-natural USDA Premium Black Angus Beef. Sourced from Kansas' Creekstone Farms, one of the preeminent purveyors of fine protein in the country, the beef at Prime & Provisions is the first in town to feature beef from the farm's "Never-Ever" program. What is that, you ask? It's an impassioned mantra that the farm practices, in which a healthier and more natural lifestyle for their animals ensures that cows are never ever vaccinated or injected with steroids, hormones, or unnatural chemicals. In order to attain that rich, deep all-natural flavor, the steakhouse actually went to great lengths to guarantee greatness. In lieu of chemical supplements, the restaurant team went the natural route, opting to experiment for months with different dry-aging processes. The result? A 500 square-foot dry-aging room lined with Himalayan rock salt, followed by a 1,200-degree broiler, a piping hot plate, a smattering of sea salt, and a dollop of all-natural grass-fed Wisconsin butter. The proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, the superb steak.
Prime & Provisions is a glistening new example of steakhouses going the extra mile(s), but other venerable spots around town are proudly showcasing all-natural beef in their own ways as well. River North's classic Erie Cafe is a prime (pun intended) example. The restaurant butchers their own all-natural beef in-house, begetting wholesome cuts like filet mignon, strip loin, bone-in rib-eye, T-bone steak, and petite filet.
At Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse, the fine meats live up to the enduring legacy of this classic downtown steakhouse. Patrons come back time and again for the signature steaks, which are sourced from some of the finest farms in the Midwest, then either wet-aged for up to 28 days or dry-aged for upwards of 45. This ensures maximum flavor, texture, and all-natural tenderness. Varieties include NY strip, filet mignon, bone-in rib-eye, and a grass-fed NY strip.
At Tavern on Rush, the seasoned formula is simple: a contemporary American steakhouse specializing in classic American fare with an upscale twist. In this case, there's a lot to be said for simplicity, which parlays to the all-natural USDA prime steaks, grilled to order in cuts like filet mignon, dry-aged rib-eye, tomahawk Wagyu rib-eye chop, porterhouse, Kansas City strip, skirt steak, rib-eye chop, and chateaubriand for two.
Along with classic haunts like these, other new spots are opening up and showcasing all-natural beef in all its glory. Swift & Sons is a new hot ticket in Fulton Market, peddling a menu packed with protein perfection. Of the impressive prime steaks, cuts include NY strip, bone-in filet, boot steak, bone-in rib-eye, porterhouse, Chilean Wagyu rib chop, Australian Wagyu strip loin, A5 Japanese Wagyu strip loin, and more. And considering the esteemed pedigree of the names behind this steakhouse, a collaboration between Boka Restaurant Group and B. Hospitality Co., you know your steak is in the best of hands.