Celebrate National Noodle Month at Chicago's Best Steakhouses
March being National Noodle Month, you might think the best means of celebration is with dinner at an Asian restaurant or an Italian red sauce joint. Well, you'd be wrong. While steakhouses are mostly known for their cuts of beef, many of them actually serve up some incredible pasta creations as well. Here’s where to dine around town to satisfy your Noodle Month cravings:
Mirabella Italian Cuisine: Naturally, an Italian-accented steakhouse like Mirabella is a prime destination for noodles of all sorts. Indeed, the menu is brimming with options, from appetizers like fried ravioli to a full-blown pasta entree section featuring the likes of fettuccine primavera, linguini with clams, black tagliolini with shrimp and scallops, spaghetti diavolo, four-cheese tortellini and much more.
Tavern on Rush: Steaks, seafood, burgers, and brick-oven pizzas may get top billing at this Gold Coast favorite, but don’t overlook the pastas. Available in appetizer or entree portions, the pasta dishes offer a little bit of something for everyone. A proper veal-pork-beef bolognese is served with pappardella, while a stellar seafood medley of mussels, calamari, shrimp, and anchovy-tomato sauce gets tossed with linguini. There’s also cavatappi with buffalo mozzarella and tomato cream vodka sauce, and rigatoni flecked with spicy Italian sausage.
Erie Cafe: This River North standby keeps things simple, classic, and deeply comforting with its concise selection of pasta dishes. To start, there’s an appetizer option of fried ravioli with blue cheese, and a decadent lasagna is available as a weekend special. For entrees, options range from spaghetti with meatballs and linguini in white clam sauce to cheese ravioli with cream vodka sauce and basil-flecked spaghetti with fresh tomatoes.
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse: The name pretty much says it all. This is the rare restaurant that simultaneously prioritizes and proclaims its penchant for both steaks and pastas. One of the best and most iconic Italian destinations downtown, long before most of this newbie Italian spots started popping up like Whack-a-Moles, Harry Caray’s boasts an enviable and enduring selection of pasta creations. These include rigatoni alla vodka with mascarpone and Parmigiano-Reggiano, fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken, bucatini pomodoro with crushed plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, red onions, and basil, seafood fettuccine, and cavatelli with crab and fresh artichoke hearts.
III Forks Prime Steakhouse: It’s a matter of quality over quantity at III Forks Prime Steakhouse, where the abbreviated selection of pasta speaks for itself. An exquisite plate of shrimp and pasta contains a white wine-garlic herb butter, spinach, and bacon lardons, while a simple and fresh plate of vegetable ravioli features roasted mushrooms, fontina, Parmesan, marinara, and walnut pesto. Then there’s the indulgent lobster mac & cheese, one of the most important side dishes on the menu.
Tavern at the Park: In addition to a particularly irresistible mac & cheese, which is in a pasta category all its own, a noodle highlight here is the chicken scaloppini with rosemary linguini. The chicken is sauteed until crispy and buttery, then served over a swirl of fresh, fragrant linguini with oyster mushrooms, Marsala wine and bacon lardons.