Keep Cool With These Refreshing Steakhouse Dishes for Summer

Summer has already begun to heat up, which means it's time to cool down with dishes and drinks that are refreshing and comforting at the same time. From colossal shrimp cocktail to a killer tequila icebox cake, check out these summery dishes at Chicago steakhouses. 


Tavern on Rush
Tavern on Rush

Swift & Sons: The menu at Swift & Sons is basically tailor-made for summer dining. From savories to sweets, refreshing dishes are featured throughout the menu. Start with chilled salmon tartare made with cucumber, creme fraiche, and charred onion, along with a cold shellfish platter brimming with shrimp, mussels, bay scallop leche de tigre, king crab, and oysters. There’s also shrimp cocktail, a chilled artichoke dish with herb pistou, and a chilled spring vegetable tart with pistachio crust, and French feta. For dessert, Swift & Sons boasts an impressive ice cream and sorbet program, available as a single scoop, a sundae, or on a cookie. Flavors include coffee, brandied butterscotch, strawberry rhubarb, passion fruit mango, and coconut lime. 

Tavern on Rush: When you’re lounging on the Gold Coast’s hottest patio, it’s paramount to stay cool and refreshed. You can do so by starting your dinner at Tavern on Rush with some snow crab claw cocktail, some tuna avocado tartare, some Kobe beef carpaccio, and a bracing Azteca salad made with crispy tortillas, corn salsa, avocado, black beans, tomato, Chihuahua cheese, and avocado vinaigrette. Since you’ve been eaten clean for the meal, feel free to splurge on the mocha mud pie, a cooling smorgasbord of mocha mud ice cream loaded with pecans, Oreos, and Snickers bars. 

Prime & Provisions: The sprawling menu at Prime & Provisions is filled to the brim with dishes that provide customers the opportunity to eat as light (or as heavy) as they please without sacrificing quality. Case in point: the tuna tartare, crab Caesar salad, Colossal shrimp cocktail, and Alaskan king crab legs with Meyer lemon mustard sauce are all just as addictive as the thick-cut bacon, the fried chicken, and the steaks. For dessert, the chilled tequila lime icebox cake is a fitting finale for those with a sweet tooth who are also looking for a nightcap. 

Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: Many of the hors d’oeuvres on the menu at this French-accented steakhouse are prime for summer dining. Like the salmon tartare with creme fraiche and house crackers, or the peppered duck and goat cheese terrine with apricot mustard. Bavette’s also served some stellar oysters and seafood towers. This all makes for a nice pre-cursor to lemon meringue pie and mixed berry sorbet for dessert. 

Chop Shop: At this hybrid restaurant/bar/event space/deli counter/butcher shop, they do a lot of things well. This is definitely true of their cocktail program, which features some of the best mixed drinks found at steak spots in Chicago. For one, there’s boozy slushies, which is basically the drink of the summer. Then there’s shareable punch bowls laden with vodka, peach liqueur, peach puree, mint syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters, and soda. And that’s not even mentioning any of the killer cocktails, like the Lady Hibiscus with tequila, blood orange liqueur, hibiscus syrup, San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa, and lime juice. The Grape Escape is another standout, featuring gin, muddled black grapes, basil, Pavan liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For summery supremacy, head to the second-floor patio and drink in the sunshine as you drink in your beverage.

Fleming’s: The housemade Burrata is a nice way to kick off a meal here, served with charred grape tomatoes, wild arugula, and toasted garlic crostini. Especially when you pair it with tenderloin carpaccio and caper-Creole mustard sauce. From there, head into the entree section with Alaskan king crab legs and drawn butter, before finishing on a light note with ice cream, sorbet, and fresh berries with Chantilly cream. 

Rosebud Prime: There’s a lot of fish in the sea, and a lot of fish at the seafood bar at Rosebud Prime. So make a beeline to this seasoned steakhouse to stock up on lobster cocktail, chilled shrimp, oysters, and king crab bites. The roasted jalapeño corn chowder sings of summer as well, as do sides like fresh shucked corn and English peas with truffle butter.  

- Matt Kirouac