Chicago Eats: Steak 48 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Steak 48

Chicago has been known as a meat-and-potatoes kind of town since the days in which the stockyards made it the largest producer of meat. While the culinary scene definitely has evolved since those days, the city still loves (LOVES) its steak. By the last count, Chicago is home to over 50 steakhouses, at least half of which are in the downtown area (and several of which are considered amongst the best steakhouses in the country!). Really, steakhouses are a dime a dozen here, so as you can imagine, it's hard for newcomers to stand out amongst the crowd. However. Steak 48 manages to do just so.

Open since 2017, Steak 48 is part of the new breed of steakhouses in the city - it's glitzy, stylish, and packed with sparkly, glittery bits everywhere you turn. It has a modern feel that breaks away from the old boys' club stuffy steakhouse vibe and appeals to a younger crowd that cares as much about the aesthetic as the food. However, this isn't one of those restaurants that are all show; the food is as equally beautiful and fantastic as the gorgeous space. Started in Phoenix by the brothers behind Mastro's Steakhouse, the family's third location is a gigantic space with a massive menu to match. Usually, such a large menu would raise a red flag, but Steak 48 has all of their dishes down pat (and having sampled a good third of the menu, I can confidently say you really cannot go wrong with any of their offerings!).

Recently, Mario and I stopped by with a few friends for dinner on a Friday night. The restaurant is deceivingly huge with a variety of separated rooms spread out over two floors (including a patio). The dining spaces are all modern and elegant, but still cozy; there are also plenty of private alcoves and glassed-in booths, making it perfect for any size group. While the restaurant was packed the night we dined, it never felt like it was overcrowded or too loud (which is one of my biggest annoyances about downtown restaurants on the weekends).

Mario and I got there a little early, so we spent some time working our way through the cocktail menu while waiting for our friends. The restaurant boasts a drink menu that includes a variety of well-crafted specialty cocktails (the Walnut 46 Old Fashioned is definitely a standout!) as well as a wine program that includes 50 wines by the glass and over 150 wines by the bottle.

Just as our friends walked in, our server set down the most beautiful and aromatic Monkey Bread with sea salt, Parmesan, and garlic. Steak 48 is one of those places in which you do not want to skip the bread (especially if you're a carb whore like me!). The warm bread has a light crunch on the outside and a soft, fluffy inside. It's really some of the most flavorful and texturally pleasing steakhouse bread I've ever had.

We kicked off our round of appetizers with the King Crab and Avocado Stack with a layer of crispy wontons. While this is a fairly standard steakhouse dish, it's particularly well done at Steak 48, thanks to the generous amount of fresh crab meat and the addition of the wontons, which give it a nice crunch.

Crispy Shrimp Deviled Eggs with Parmesan. I am always down for a creamy deviled egg; the addition of the crispy and saucy shrimp really hit the mark for me!

Chef's PB&J with paté, fig jam, and bourbon. This fun play on peanut butter and jelly sandwich (and house favorite appetizer!) is a perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Rhode Island Calamari & Shrimp with cherry peppers and buttermilk seasoned flour. While I tend to prefer grilled shrimp and calamari to breaded, even I have to admit this version is nicely done, as the flavorful buttermilk batter is light enough to not overpower the seafood.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with champagne vinaigrette and feta crumbles. If you're looking for something to cut through all of the meat, this sweet and tangy tomato salad is a perfect choice.

Crispy Shrimp with sweet Thai chili peppers and garlic aioli. Of all the appetizers, this dish was my favorite (and there was some stiff competition!). The shrimp is super flavorful with a slow burn from the chili peppers - it also manages to stay crispy, as the aioli is on the lighter side.

After plowing our way through our appetizers, our server highly recommended sampling the Iced Alaskan King Crab Legs before moving on to our steaks. I'm so glad he did because these crab legs were some of the best I've had in Chicago! Even if you're not a steak eater, Steak 48 is worth checking out for its excellent raw bar options.

Hands down, this Domestic Waygu Filet with Black Truffle Sautéed Maine Lobster was one of the best steaks I've ever had! The perfectly cooked steak was super juicy and tender and the addition of the black truffle lobster took it to another flavor level. The team at Steak 48 takes their steaks very seriously - the butcher cuts the wet-aged steaks daily in the special master butcher's quarters, designed to ensure the utmost freshness. We all ordered variations of the same steak and everyone agreed that the flavors and presentations were perfectly executed.

Domestic Waygu Filet with Main Lobster tail

Domestic Waygu Filet Oscar style

Creamy Mac & Cheese with Provel, Parmesan, and Tillamook cheddar. Out of the entire menu, I think the side dishes are the hardest to whittle down, as there are 17 options and they all sound utterly delicious (you could easily make a meal out of the sides alone!). We ended up sampling 5 of their options; while we each had our favorites, we all agreed that each one was a winner. Out of the ones we tried, I highly recommend at least ordering the mac & cheese (it's so creamy and gooey) and the Corn Créme Brûlée (it's something you don't see on many menus).

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with a bourbon torched marshmallow topping

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with crispy bacon

Chef Brian's Au Gratin Potatoes with gouda and mozzarella

Corn Créme Brûlée

By the time we got to the desserts, we were ready to burst, but we just couldn't pass up a few more bites. The Beignet Tree with Nutella ganache and vanilla sauce is obviously the showstopper dessert in terms of presentation, but it's not just a pretty face. The fried dough is light and fluffy with enough powdered sugar to give it a nice amount of sweetness (and not leave you covered in it) - you can eat the beignets on their own, but I recommend not skipping over the rich and flavorful sauces.

Cookies & Cream Popcorn Sundae with hot fudge, vanilla gelato, and cookies & cream popcorn. I have to admit that I am a sucker for desserts that incorporate popcorn (especially when they also involve ice cream), so I immediately gravitated toward this. It's one luscious and indulgent sundae that is especially texturally pleasing, thanks to the rich and creamy gelato paired with the crunchy glazed popcorn.

Ultimate Warm Vanilla Carmel Cake with vanilla gelato and housemade praline pecans. Out of all of the desserts we tried (all of which were amazing!), this was my absolute favorite. The moist cake, the cool creamy gelato, the addictive crunchy pecans, the fresh whipped cream... it's truly a masterpiece. If you order no other desserts (and even if you think you don't have room), get this cake. You won't be disappointed!

Needless to say, we absolutely loved our meal at Steak 48. Entering the Chicago steakhouse scene is a bold move, as there is no shortage of excellent options, but this restaurant manages to stand out amongst the established favorites. Given the size of their menu, everyone in your party will find something they love (even the non-meat eater in our group raved about his meal). Highly, highly recommended!

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Steak 48: 615 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL. 

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