The Best of Chicago's Steakhouse Bar Menus
Dining in a lavish steakhouse is all well and good, but sometimes you just want the steakhouse experience in a more casual format. That’s where bar menus come in. The perfect way to indulge your steak cravings without breaking the bank, steakhouses across Chicago offer a variety of interesting, affordable bar menus with snackable dishes and drinks not offered on the regular dinner menu. Here are some of the best bar menus in town.
Eddie Merlot’s: There’s plenty to pour over on Eddie Merlot’s lounge menu, home to an assortment of small plates, sliders, burgers, snacks and other casual bites. These include filet mignon potstickers, tempura shrimp tacos, beef tenderloin tacos, tuna wontons, filet mignon sliders and blue cheese potato chips.
Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House: Some of the best steakhouse bar menu items in Chicago can be savored during “social hour” at Truluck’s, which runs from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. Here you’ll find unique bar menu options like boneless braised short ribs, escargots, blue cheese waffle fries and salt and pepper calamari, in addition to some well-made staples like ceviche, oysters Rockefeller, tuna tartare and shrimp cocktails. The cocktail options are particularly impressive too, running the gamut from martinis and Cosmos to margaritas, caipirinhas, sidecars, sangria and fizzy French 75s.
The Grill on the Alley: Available in the lounge, bar or on the patio, there’s plenty to pour over on the bar menu at this Magnificent Mile gem. Drawing inspiration from all over the globe, snacks go well beyond the standards with options like hummus, seared ahi sashimi, spinach artichoke dip, steak tartare, garlic cheese bread and charcuterie boards. Salads are solid, too, especially the skirt steak version of the Caesar topped with blackened salmon. For heartier options, there’s chicken Piccata, crab cake sliders, ahi tuna tacos, mini chicken pot pie and beer battered fish and chips with peanut cole slaw.
Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse: From empanadas to spring rolls, the bar menu at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse proves itself to be one of the most individualistic, inspired menus in Chicago. It’s also loaded with options, both for grazing and for heartier appetites. Those empanadas come filled with dry-aged beef and a side of heady habanero cream, while the spring rolls are filled with chicken and accented with Indonesian sweet soy and cucumber yogurt. Other snacks include beef fat fries with green onion “ranch,” and the ever-popular garlic bread with Wisconsin blue cheese fondue. Larger portions include n’duja flatbreads with oven-roasted peppers and mozzarella, spicy steak sandwiches with provolone and giardiniera aïoli and a 10-oz. filet mignon with bay leaf butter.
III Forks Prime Steakhouse: For those occasions when eating a tomahawk steak on the rooftop deck at III Forks Prime Steakhouse just isn’t in your wheelhouse, there’s a particularly bountiful bar bites menu at the ready. This thing is seriously impressive and deep, running the gamut from cheese and charcuterie platters and patty melts to steak tartare, short rib sliders, smoked Gouda grilled cheese and beef croustades.
Tavern on Rush: Considering the ambience at this sceney Gold Coast hot spot, it makes perfect sense that Tavern on Rush would boast an impressive (and exceedingly popular) bar menu. Indeed, the restaurant rises to the occasion with oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, seared tuna, blackened Cajun shrimp, pork potstickers, calamari, lemon-dill hummus, artichoke-crap dip, chicken teriyaki, burgers, corned beef sandwiches and lots more.
Prime & Provisions: From prime beef chili to dry-aged cheeseburgers and caramelized Vidalia onion fonduta, there’s a lot to love about the bar menu at Prime & Provisions. This is one of the most impressive in Chicago, with palpable care and diligence poured into each and every item. The blackened fish sandwich and lobster rolls with Louie dressing are a couple other hearty highlights.
The Palm: One of the biggest dining surprises out of Chicago’s steakhouse scene is the “prime bites” menu at The Palm. This legendary spot uses this menu as its bar menu, changing things up and adding new dishes with much more regularity than its main menu. New items at The Palm currently include cornmeal fried oysters with roasted corn maque choux and honey-horseradish; cheeseburgers with gremolata seasoning; maple-glazed grilled slab bacon; ahi tuna sashimi; and a grilled short rib and Irish cheddar sandwich.