Best Chicago Steakhouses for Spectacular Salads
Not many people go to a steakhouse for a salad. If you’re in Chicago, however, and you’re aiming to have a classic steak dinner, a salad is a very worthy accompaniment: it’s a healthy choice and a salad tastes great with a steak, balancing with fresh vegetable flavors the earthy proteins on the plate. A salad is also good to have with a steak because it provides the roughage you want if you’re going to be downing a lot of rich red meat.
And may we suggest, if you’re going to have a salad with your steak dinner, that you have it WITH your steak rather than before your steak (as is traditional, at least in the United States). This way, you can cleanse the palate with greenery between bites of meat, and it’s better for your digestion to mix it up rather than eating a big salad and then having a big steak on top of that. Also, if you have your salad with your steak, you won’t make the tragic mistake of filling up on salad and having no room left for steak!
When you’re having a big beautiful steak for dinner, you want more than just a side salad or some sad collection of leaves; you want a salad that can hold its own with the steak. Here are four of Chicago’s best steakhouses that serve spectacular salads, worthy accompaniments to some of the best meat in the world.
STK. STK seems to attract more than its share of people who look like models; you know who we’re talking about, fit, handsome and pretty, well-dressed. You better believe that people like that eat their fair share of salads, and so STK goes out of its way to serve some good ones. The Shaved Brussels Sprouts salad, for instance, is a beautiful composition of colors and tastes: the lightly bitter leaves are tossed with apple and cranberry (for tartness) and goat cheese for a touch of rich flavor, the better to balance and complement the incredible steak.
III Forks. A premier steakhouse should have a premier salad to go along with the meal, and III Forks does not disappoint. The III Forks Salad is a palate-perking collection of flavors, carefully designed to complement the tastes and textures of the steak. Toasted pecans and Granny Smith apple slices provide rich crunch and slightly sweet-sour notes that balance the richness of the meat, and a sprinkling of blue cheese adds variety and, for some reason, no cheese complements meat more than blue cheese. This is a killer salad.
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse nods to the Mediterranean roots of its namesake (yes, Harry was Italian-America) with a simple Caesar Salad, just the romaine leaves, Parmigiano-Reggiano and garlic croutons with the traditional dressing. You could go with the Chicken Chopped or Seafood Cobb salads, but when you know that you’re going to be served one of the best steaks you’ve ever had, maybe it would be best to keep it simple, right?
About Last Knife. You may come to About Last Knife for the well-regarded Beef Wellington, or one of the other magnificent meats they serve, but you’d be making a mistake to miss the Chopped Salad. We admit, Chopped Salad doesn’t sound that compelling, but About Last Knife makes it so with bitter lettuce leaves, blue cheese, apples, currants, pickled shallots, fried chickpeas, all mixed together with a Dijon balsamic dressing. This is just the kind of salad you want to eat with your steak, because it balances and complements the rich meat and, a bonus, gives you the self-satisfied feeling that you’re doing something good for your body.