Rosebud Steakhouse - Chicago
Rosebud Steakhouse, part of the iconic Rosebud Restaurants group, is legendary for excellence, serving some of the best steak in Chicago.
Alex Dana is the man behind the hugely successful Rosebud Restaurants. A little history is provided by the Rosebud Restaurant’s website: “Dana’s formative years as a youth were spent working at the restaurant his father ran. ‘That’s where I learned to work a kitchen, trimming meats, working prep, making steaks” he said, “it was a simple living.’ Then, Dana purchased and ran a downtown luncheonette for a few years, honing his business savvy and kitchen skills. After the success of that first venture, Dana opened The Rosebud, on Chicago’s Taylor Street in Little Italy. Slowly but surely, it became renowned for its delicious, authentic Italian cuisine made from fresh ingredients. Soon, it became a phenomenon—a hotspot for local and visiting celebrities.”
Steak was always part of what Dana offered to the world, and at Rosebud Steakhouse, that steady focus on red meat has been sharpened even more. Bone in filet, New York strip, Delmonico, all locally sourced, USDA Prime, representing the top 2% of all steaks available to the restaurant industry. At Rosebud Steakhouse, you can have your steak dressed with a number of toppings, including béarnaise sauce, king crab in an Oscar sauce, or bordelaise. This last sauce, the bordelaise, used to be quite common on steak house menus but as of late seems to have become relatively rare. It’s named after the Bordeaux region of France, and it’s traditionally made from that same dry red wine, butter, shallots and bone marrow in a demi-glace. If you’ve never had this sauce, or if you haven’t had it in a while, Rosebud Steakhouse is a good place to have your steak dressed with this classic.
A “new classic” sauce for your steak is salsa verde, a reflection of Chicago’s growing Hispanic population, though there is also a traditional Italian version, and it’s another worthy accompaniment to your steak. Herb-based and uncooked, salsa verde offers a pointed contrast to the richness of traditional sauces, like bordelaise.
If you have meat on the mind but prefer something other than red meat, there’s duck done two ways and slow cooked pork ribs…as well as brick roasted chicken. This chicken preparation involves cooking the bird under a brick or two; the added weight squeezes out some of the moisture while concentrating the flavor of the meat, rendering it denser and, bite for bite, tastier.
As Rosebud is, at heart, an Italian restaurant, there’s a good range of pasta offerings including rigatoni alla vodka, spaghetti and meatballs and linguini and clams. There’s also Rosebud eight finger cavatelli, which is a traditional Italian favorite that means “little hollows” (like little caves, get it?), and looks a lot like little hot dog buns. This cavatelli is folded with the fingers, of which we humans have eight (along with two thumbs) – thus the name.
At places like Rosebud Steakhouse that put a lot of emphasis on steaks, the humble hamburger is sometimes neglected, but at Rosebud Steakhouse in particular, neglecting the hamburger would be a mistake. Voted the best hamburger in Chicago by the “Chicago Tribune,” the hamburger at Rosebud Steakhouse is world-class. You can add cheese, bacon or egg, and at under $20, the hamburger at Rosebud Steakhouse gives you a lot of beefy pleasure for the money.
Because Rosebud Steakhouse is on Walton in a hard-working and hard-partying part of town, you would be right to expect that they have a righteous happy hour. During the happy hour at Rosebud Steakhouse, you can get a slider version of their classic hamburger as well as a very large hot dog, daily tacos and oyster shooters, all to help lend ballast to our belly as you set off on a sea of cocktails.
Rosebud is a Chicago staple, and Zagat has written that “In a city with great steaks” Rosebud Steakhouse may be “overshadowed by glitzier chophouses, but it still really produces with a wide selection of top-quality cuts set down by old-school staffers; an elegant setting and pleasant atmosphere lend business-hangout appeal…”
It’s true, there are fancier places, and there are definitely more humble places, to get a steak in Chicago. Rosebud Restaurants in general and Rosebud Steakhouse specifically set a standard of excellence for outstanding steak. At Rosebud Steakhouse, you know you’re going to get one of the best steaks in Chicago, served in a place that carries on a proud tradition. Of course, if you want a “fancier” experience, you can opt for the chef’s table at Rosebud Steakhouse, which includes explanations of dishes and pairings from the chef; it’s billed as “The Most Exclusive Dining Experience in Chicago.” This chef’s table meal is coursed out from amuse to dessert, and includes seafood and steak, and it will be memorable. Or, you could just walk into Rosebud Steakhouse any night of the week, grab yourself a solo table, and have one of the best steaks in Chicago.