Best Chicago Steakhouses for Whiskey
As summer officially fades to fall, beverage cravings shift from bright and zesty spirits like tequila and rum to darker, deeper options like bourbon and whiskey. Fortunately, steakhouses are about as renowned for their whiskey programs as they are their wine lists, with Chicago restaurants offering deep drink lists to satisfy the seasonal itch. Here are several local steakhouses with incredible whiskey and bourbon programs.
Steak 48: One of the newest additions to Chicago’s thriving steak scene is coming in strong, with one of the most in-depth whiskey selections in the city. Options run the gamut from familiar Kentucky staples like Four Roses, Basil Hayden and Buffalo Trace, to more obscure regional gems like Garrison Brothers “Texas Straight,” Tennessee’s Gentleman Jack, High West “Campfire” from Park City and even some options from Japan, Ireland and Quebec. If you’re looking for a composed cocktail, try the 48 Rocks Manhattan with your choice of bourbon, Licor 43, cherry and sweet vermouth or the Rye Smash with Templeton Rye, water, fresh mint and lemon.
Prime & Provisions: You can’t talk about whiskey in Chicago without mentioning this Loop steakhouse. The restaurant’s whiskey and Scotch selection is astonishing, rivaling any other place in town. And since the focus is on Scotch whiskies, you can be sure to find some unique, rare varieties like Ardberg 10, Glenlivet XXV, Macallan M and Quinta Ruban. There’s also a good smattering of Japanese whiskies and Irish ones too. Looking for a mixed drink? Look no further than Prime & Provisions’ Old Fashioned, a perfect medley of Old Forrester 100 Proof Bourbon, Demerara, walnut liqueur, angostura and orange bitters.
STK: This sexy, scintillating steak spot may be better known for its martinis and Champagne, but you’d be remiss in passing over their darker spirits, because STK uses them to mix up some mighty fine libations. Like the Perfect Manhattan, a potent and well-balanced blend of Dickel Rye, sweet and dry vermouths and angostura bitters. Or the Not So Old Fashion, with Woodford Reserve, sugar in the raw and angostura bitters. The Not Your Daddy’s Manhattan is a great choice, too, with its Bulleit Bourbon, Zinfandel Port, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth and bitters.
III Forks Prime Steakhouse: Brown spirits are the stars of the cocktail program at III Forks Prime Steakhouse, featured in wholly original creations like the New Fashioned, a heady mix of Bastille hand-crafted French whiskey, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, orange bitters, cherry and orange bitters-infused ice. Or the fruity Fig Jam Old Fashioned with a base of Gentleman Jack. They even offer an Old Fashioned variation on tap, that’s how serious they are here about their whiskies.
Boeufhaus: Here’s a pro tip for a perfect night out in Ukrainian Village. Sidle up to the bar at Boeufhaus (partially because it’s cool and comfortable and partially because the dining room is crowded), order some apps and sip your way through a couple of the restaurant’s more bracing whiskey cocktails. Like the Irish Whisper, one that highlights Irish whiskey along with lemon, ginger and apricot. Or the Strasbourg, a combo of Wild Turkey 101, Genepy des Aples and Bitter Truth exr liqueur.