III Forks - 111Forks- 3Forks - Chicago
In the lead of many of Chicago’s best steak restaurants that provide both unbelievably high-quality red meat in sleek, contemporary environments, III Forks balances between both worlds, the time-honored quality of the Chicago steak experience and the more modern, clubby feel of some of Chicago’s most popular, recently opened and stylish restaurants.
Taking a generous slice of Lakeshore East under its roof, III Forks is the Chicago outpost of a restaurant group that also has locations in several other steak-loving cities, including Houston and Dallas.
III Forks does not mince words: they are shooting to be the very best at what they do. As their site explains:
“III Forks Steakhouse embodies the Best of the American Steakhouse. The finest USDA Prime steak, mouthwatering, buttery lobster and ocean-fresh seafood are prepared to perfection, exact to order. We hand-select the finest USDA Prime and only deem the top .005% of beef acceptable. Our selection offers abundant marbling, juiciness, tenderness, and superior flavor. Experience the warm and intimate surroundings of a preferred fine dining restaurant.”
Going for more than just the best steak in Chicago, III Forks is taking a bigger picture view, aiming to provide a next level fine dining experience, and that means outstanding wine.
The III Forks Steakhouse wine cellar maintains a stock of 4,000 bottles of some of the finest wines you will find anywhere in the world. The cellar temperature is held at a precise 58 degrees red wines; in a separate cooler, white wines are held at 45 degrees. There are also 1,000 bottles throughout the restaurant.
Check out the III Forks’ glass-enclosed Wine Room, suitable for an intimate dinner or a group gathering, and providing just one of several dining environments. You can also opt to dine in a cool Poker Room tucked behind a fireplace of cutout stone, the Prime Roof Lounge that affords magnificent views of the city, or seven (count ‘em, seven!) modernistic fine dining rooms.
It may almost feel as though you were looking for food to pair with the wine, rather than the usual vice-versa way. III Forks provides a massive range of familiar steakhouse menu items, all of which offer the reassurance that though you may be sitting in a beautifully designed modern space, well-appointed and well-stocked with exactly what you want to drink and eat, III Forks is at its heart a classic Chicago steak house.
The starters include ahi tuna, crab cakes, onion rings: all the recognizable opening bites that you’d expect at any Chicago steak house. But III Forks throws in a few surprises, like the Hudson Valley Foie Gras, a meat once forbidden by Chicago City Council ordinance, now recognized as humanely raised and enjoyed throughout the city as an undeniably fancy but also perfectly accessible luxury. Or there’s Wagyu Beef Cheek and Roasted Bone Marrow, one of the more tender portions of the highest quality meat paired with the luxurious marrow that ups the flavor ante dramatically. There are also oysters and a classic shrimp cocktail because…steak house.
To match the appetite, or available belly real estate, there are several sizes available of filet mignon, bone-in rib eye, and New York strip. A less common steak choice is the flat iron steak (also called the oyster blade steak or butler’s steak) that usually has a lot of marbling and flavor. This cut, however, needs careful preparation to make it tender and delicious; of course, at III Forks, they know how to prepare meat like this and you can be sure, if you’ve never had a flat iron steak before, that you will have the best available introduction to this less-well-known cut of meat at III Forks.
Despite the modern space and the sometimes surprising menu items, III Forks is a steakhouse, and that means great service. As reported in “Crain’s Chicago Business,” service is “as polished as it is warm. A guest with gluten intolerance receives a tableside visit from the executive chef to review an alternate preparation of a side dish. Waiters answer questions patiently and chat amiably despite handling a section packed with diners.”
Let’s just say, hypothetically, that you want to have a dinner with some grownups and some Youngs (children, grandkids, you get the picture). III Forks will satisfy both groups, with food that reflects the traditional steak house and that will attract the young ones. Though it has something for everyone, III Forks is consistently uncompromising in its efforts to present the best steak, accompanied by excellent wine, and served by people who know how to make diners happy.