Celebrate Mardi Gras…at a Chicago Steakhouse?
Mardi Gras – which as you probably now is French for “Fat Tuesday” – is usually a day associated with the foods of America’s most French-influenced city: New Orleans. On this day of parades and noisemakers, coming this year on February 25, many will be enjoying fine dishes like shrimp jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and king cake.
Mardi Gras is a time of carnival, a festival of meat and overindulgence before the dietary restrictions of Lent.
What better place to be a carnivore during carnival than a steakhouse in Chicago, where you’ll find the best steak in the world? Leave it to the French, of course, to name the holiday and bring forth some of the very finest dishes to enjoy during this season of celebration.
Here are five of Chicago’s best steakhouses where it’s carnivale every day of the year, and where you should go to celebrate Mardi Gras with dishes inspired by the French culinary tradition.
Boeufhaus. As the name implies, Boeufhaus is a blend of French and German culinary traditions, with a focus on the meat. Because we’re celebrating Mardi Gras here, it might make the most sense to start with Short Rib Beignets, the rich meat accompanied by the fried pastries made famous at New Orleans’ Café du Monde. When it’s time for the entrée, we suggest going big with a 55-day dry-aged ribeye: beautiful.
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf. Another French-inspired house of meat. Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf is at the same time all-American with some of the finest red meat you will find in the city…and some damn good seafood, too. The crab cake in remoulade is a good way to start, and then you can pull through the French theming with the Lyonnaise salad before you tuck into Prime Beef French Dip.
Cochon Volant. French meets American Contemporary at Cochon Volant, with a number of indulgent dishes suitable for the Fat Tuesday celebration, prepared in a kitchen inaugurated by Roland Liccioni of the legendary Le Francais restaurant. Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousse, with over-the-top luxuriousness and deliciousness, is the right way to start. There’s a large section of the menu devoted to Fruits de Mer, and Fine French Specialties including Poulet Roti avec Frites and Braised Beef Short Rib. Viva la cuisine de France!
Eddie Merlot’s. Though you may not guess it, Eddie Merlot’s in Lincolnshire has some of the very finest French-influenced cuts of meat in the Chicago area. There’s a New Orleans Mixed Grill with filet mignon (French!), Blackened Grilled Shrimp (Cajun!), as well as andouille sausage and roasted garlic potatoes. Feeling romantic? Consider a dish for two, the Chateaubriand, a dish developed by the classic French chef, Auguste Escoffier. To pair, select one of the beautiful French wines from Eddie Merlot’s wine list.
Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House. At Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House, you usually kick off the meal as they do in France, with oysters – and at Hugo’s, they have a lot of them: Blue Points, Great Whites, Alaskan Gold, beautifully shucked and there to get you ready for the main course, which will be of meat, of course! As this is a day of indulgence before the long fast leading up to Easter, you might go for one of the bigger cuts, like the nineteen-ounce New York strip or the twenty-six-ounce porterhouse. And oh yeah, you definitely want to get French fries with that. Laissez les bon temps rouler