Chicago Cut Steakhouse - Chicago
One, Chicago Cut Steakhouse uses Colorado beef that’s been raised around 1,300 feet above sea level. David Flom, managing partner at Chicago Cut, and his team sampled beef from different elevations, going up in five-hundred-foot increments. They liked what they ate when the cattle was raised between 1,300-1,400 feet. At lower altitudes, less than 500 feet, the muscle was determined to be loose, the muscle didn’t seem strong enough, and the flavor was not as intense as the team wanted. When they went to beef raised at higher elevations, they found the muscle tissue to be denser, but going too high meant the muscle was too tough. Flom and team selected the steak that was raised at the sweet spot, and that’s what they serve to their guests at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.
Two, Chicago Cut Steakhouse dry ages their steak to minimize moisture and maximize flavor. Flom told us that about of third of a steer’s body weight is water. If the water is left in, the flavor of the meat is diluted. Flom and his team put the meat in a refrigerator that maintains the temperature at thirty-six degrees and humidity at sixty-five percent, which evaporates water from the tissue. You don’t want to make the meat dry, so you don’t want to get to a zero water factor, but the Chicago Cut Steakhouse team aims for ten to fifteen percent water, so there’s still moisture in the meat and the diner tastes more of the delicious muscle.
Three, Chicago Cut Steakhouse does all their butchering onsite so that the meat doesn’t oxidize and begin to get funky before it’s fired and served. At many steakhouses, even some of the big names, you’re eating steak that was butchered maybe a day or so ago; then it’s probably heat-sealed in a Cryovac bag (and the heat-sealing could even actually cook the meat a little: ugh). You won’t see that at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, where all the meat is hand-cut by an in-house crew of butchers, so although the steak is aged, the cut is fresh, which is about as good as it can get with red meat.
Featured on the Emmy Award-winning PBS show “Check, Please” in 2017, Flom explained that he and his team make a point of getting to know customers, explaining “we look at what they drink, learn that they like a certain bottle of wine…we want to make it special for them.”
On that show, Judge Terry Lavin said that “You know how when you go to some restaurants, you forget where you’re at. Not at The Cut. You’re right on the River, and you’re in Chicago…and they know how to do the meat.”
Chicago Cut does, indeed, have a wonderful location, there’s energy in the room, and you get a view of the River, the City, even the El train going by (the room is sound-proofed, and the only noise you’ll hear is the murmur of conversations around you).
But the meat, oh, the meat. The Chicago Tribune called Chicago Cut Steakhouse’s bone-in rib eye steak “the Holy Grail,” and if we didn’t want to risk blasphemy, we’d be tempted to agree. Like other steaks at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, this one is USDA Prime and dry-aged so that all the luscious fat and muscle flavors concentrate into the essence of steak, clean tasting carnivorousness at its most luxurious. You’ve had bone-in rib eye steaks elsewhere; you’ve never had one like the one you’ll have at Chicago Cut Steakhouse. It will set the bar for bone-in rib eyes to come.
The porterhouse, like the T-bone, is a cut from the short loin, with a t-shaped bone about half way through, but the porterhouse comes from the back end of the loin and so has more tenderloin. Because you get basically two different cuts of meat in one – the tenderloin and a strip steak – this is a good plate to share. You pretty much have to get a note from your doctor if you want to eat the double-cut porterhouse all by yourself, which is really too much meat for one man (we’re kidding, you can get it without a doctor’s okay, but to take this big boy down you better come hungry…very hungry).
Seafood is also absolutely superior, including Alaskan king crab, chilled baby lobster and a rotating selection of oysters that might have you wondering if you’re at a steakhouse or a seafood joint: Chicago Cut Steakhouse is really the best of both worlds, land and sea.
The wine list is at the very top of the heap: “Wine Spectator” called it a “don’t miss” stop for Chicago wine lovers, and you could do worse than defer to the sommelier to find a wine that maybe you’ve never heard of but that will mesh perfectly with your meal.
Everything about Chicago Cut Steakhouse is a cut above: the service impeccable, the room and views extraordinary, the seafood almost without parallel, and, of course, the steak, which you will remember long after you savor the last bite.