Adorned with 1,400 photographs provided by the Chicago Historical Society, the walls really do talk at Chicago Chop House, the award-winning steakhouse located in one of the first buildings restored after the Great Chicago Fire.
Given its convenient River North location, the restaurant is often the dining destination of choice for tourists, but you won't feel out of place if you're a local; no matter where the patrons come from, the Chop House is Midwestern through and through.
Three floors await groups of friends and business associates. While definitely a fine-dining establishment, thanks to white tablecloths routinely brushed of crumbs by knowledgeable servers, this bustling steakhouse doesn't appear to be a romantic destination for couples. Children are also noticeably absent, though I did see a sleeping one-year-old whose mother lugged him and his stroller up three flights of stairs. Overall, the restaurant's tagline sums up the restaurant as the place where the city that works, eats.
Each floor mimics the next: pine-green walls, wood basing and a preservation of black-and-whites. However on the first floor, a live piano plays daily and one wall holds a clutch of photos showcasing each Chicago mayor, a stock not even City Hall can claim.
While steaks are the specialty, the menu lists a number of seafood items as well. Broiled Alaskan king crab legs, for example, come without shells, as does the broiled lobster tail. Arturo, a server, recommends the bone-in filet mignon ($48) or the Chop House prime rib ($33). I went for the 10-ounce filet mignon with the five-ounce lobster tail ($46). Wines by the glass start at $6 and desserts are $5.50. Valet parking available.
Average cost: $31+
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez