When it comes to summer dining, standout dishes include barbecue, hot dogs, and ice cream. Of course, we can’t overlook the patriotic omnipresence of grilled meats either. Chief among them, the great steak. Cooking out at home is all well and good, but if you’re hankering for a summery steak experience in Chicago, here’s where to go:
Swift & Sons: Leave it to this powerhouse restaurant group to work wonders with seasonal ingredients. Along with superlative steaks, the menu features vivid, fresh items like a vegetable tart with market produce, pistachio crust, and French feta; foie gras with rhubarb and strawberry; and English pea cappalletti with country ham broth and Grana Padano. For a more substantive plate, try the grilled ocean trout with ramps, spring onions, and hazelnut crumble.
Maple & Ash: Think spring with this Gold Coast steakhouse’s market salad made with spring greens, snap peas, goat cheese, and sherry vinaigrette. Or grilled Skuna Bay salmon with asparagus, charred tomatoes, and white wine Sabayon. Some seasonal sides also include asparagus with orange, almond, and mint, and creamed wild ramps with bacon and tarragon.
Rural Society: There’s never a bad time for housemade sausages and grilled Argentine steaks, but make sure and save room for Sardo gnocchi with smoked pine nut escabeche, pea tendrils, and wood-grilled mushrooms. Vegetable sides like summer squash with opal basil chimichurri and charred asparagus with bagna cauda are good additions as well.
Benny’s Chop House: Start with the beet salad with peach-saffron jam, ricotta salata, and thyme vinaigrette, follow it up with a nice filet mignon or sea scallops with summer greens. Apt side dishes at Benny’s include crisped kale with garlic vinaigrette, asparagus with hollandaise, seasonal mushrooms, and sauteed garlic spinach.
RPM Steak: There’s always lots of to love at RPM Steak, which routinely outfits its menu with seasonally inspired accents. Like Burrata with ramp pesto and roasted tomato, or yellowtail crudo with English peas and green almonds. The roasted wild king salmon with tarragon aioli is a nice and light entree options, while hen of the woods mushrooms and jumbo asparagus are apt supplements.
- Matt Kirouac