7 Chicago Steakhouses Reinventing Meat & Potatoes
The Midwest has long carried a meat and potatoes stigma, something that Chicago steakhouses often contend with. And while a classic preparation or combination of steaks and spuds are never a bad thing, it’s refreshing to see something different and innovative. From new steakhouses to old standbys, here are several ways that Chicago steakhouses are reinventing the meat and potatoes wheel.
Eddie Merlot’s: Spuds take many forms at Eddie Merlot’s, serving as the perfect anchor to any number of steaks and chops. The restaurant’s namesake, the “Eddie’s Potatoes” features diced potatoes with jalapeños and cheese, au gratin-style. There’s also a sour cream- and bacon-loaded baked potato, sweet potato casserole with spiced pecan-brown sugar topping, mashed potatoes with roasted garlic (and lobster, if you’re feeling saucy), Parmesan truffle fries and crispy hash browns. Seriously, this place is potato heaven. And they pair perfectly with everything from bone-in filet mignon to prime NY strips or even a bison filet.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse: One surefire way to spice up the meat and potatoes template is with a meal at legendary Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, where options include a marinated skirt steak with giardiniera and a side of roasted cauliflower Gruyere. Sure, the latter isn’t really potatoes, but therein lies the beauty, as the kitchen prepares a decadent rendition of the vegetable in a way that mimics a classic potato dish.
GT Prime: Leave it to dexterous chef Giuseppe Tentori to get crafty with meat and potatoes. At GT Prime, he’s augmenting beef tartare with malt vinegar chips and mustard seed, accompanying aged duck with pomme puree and duck jus, filling a pot pie with quail and marble potatoes and serving gnocchi with sweetbread croutons.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House: This massive Gold Coast steakhouse serves one of the most noteworthy potato-based side dishes with their king crab-infused gnocchi. It’s a huge step above the typical mashed potatoes or gratin, and it pairs wonderfully with any of the restaurant’s steaks and chops. Not only does it meet the meat and potatoes formula, but it doubles down as surf & turf in its own way too.
The Grillroom Chophouse & Wine Bar: A very special shoutout goes to this underrated restaurant for having the most epic, overtly indulgent potato dish in town. The giant baked potato, which in and of itself is a colossal beast, comes with not only sour cream but also cream cheese butter. That’s right, the spud is melting with what essentially amounts to savory frosting. Along with sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes and crispy baby marble potatoes, it’s an optional side for any steak, like the 22-oz. prime rib-eye, 10-oz. marinated flat iron or 14-oz. bone-in Kansas City strip.
Maple & Ash: Another fine example of surf & turf doubling as meat and potatoes is a particularly delicious combo at Maple & Ash. It’s a filet mignon served with half a lobster and truffled potatoes, upping the ante with a healthy amount of opulence.
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf: As classic and Americana as meatloaf is, it’s surprisingly rare to find it on menus in Chicago. It’s especially unusual to find it on the menu at a French-accented steakhouse. Which is what makes the high-class version at Bavette’s such a gem. One of the non-steak entrees is an elevated riff on a timeworn meat and potatoes fixture, a plate of meatloaf with mushroom jus and mashed potatoes.