Don't expect the warmest welcome from the young lady behind the counter here. In fact, if friendly service is your top priority, you might want to avoid the semi-pretentious atmosphere at Lawry's like the plague. On the other hand, if you're looking for superbly succulent prime rib, you've come to the right place.
"We make prime rib a priority," says general manager Stefen Bosworth. "It's kind of our 'thing.'" That's an understatement. Ninety percent of Lawry's customers order the prime rib and love every bite, right down to the last hunk of gristle or chunk of fat. Prices range from $31-$44, cuts (there are five in all) range from the delicate California to the double-size Beef Bowl and descriptive words range from delicious to delectable (and, according to the two North Carolina gentlemen that came out before we went in, "too expensive"). Best of all, every prime rib dinner includes a salad, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and whipped cream horseradish, which is incredibly unusual for downtown Chicago (heck, the entire Chicagoland area, for that matter). There are also lobster tails and fresh fish options available for non-beef eaters.
Maybe most impressive, though, is the decor. Lawry's is located in the 200-year-old McCormick Mansion which housed the world-famous Kungsholm light opera theatre, and it looks like something out of Medieval times, only fancier. Frankly, it's doubtful anyone has ever seen so many chandeliers all at once, unless you own a few yourself-which may mean you're wealthy enough to afford regular trips here.
Average cost: $31+
Centerstage Reviewer: Benjamin Andrew Moore