Monday, April 14, 2014

Kinzie Chophouse

Location: 400 N Wells
Cost: Probably around $75 per person

I realized the other day that I'd skipped over a meal I meant to post about a few months ago. It was actually a restaurant week outing that my buddy Geoff and I went on. We were in the mood for steak and went scouring through the deals each restaurant was posting. We pushed aside all of the places offering pettite filets and finally decided on Kinzie Chophouse.
Logistics
We made a reservation which wasn't all that difficult in the middle of the week. After work we swapped out the scrubs for some button downs and drove over. There's a good amount of pay for parking on the street, and it's near the Merchandise Mart stop too if you want to take public transportation. I thought our waiter was trying to sell the specials a bit hard especially when we made it clear we wanted the restaurant week deal. Our food came out in a timely fashion though, and despite the crowded dining room, I didn't feel overly claustraphobic or rushed. We went with the $44 deal, but the typical steak runs in the $40 range if that gives you any better idea on pricing.
The Food
We both started off with the Chopped Brussel Sprout Salad. It was simple and crisp. This was one of the few times I had hoped for more dressing on my salad though.
The Brussel Sprout Salad
Next we went with the Mushroom Soup. It was heavy cream based and very rich. The bigger chunks of mushroom were a nice touch, and there was a bit of a peppery kick at the end to round things out.
The Mushroom Soup
The steak on the pre fixe was a Del Monico and came with a side of fingerling potatoes and green beans. Mine was prepared on the rarer side of medium rare (just how I like it). It was well seasoned, and the cut wasn't too fatty. The sides were simple but let the steak stand out well.
The Del Monico

For dessert they this Pecan Pie of sorts. It was gooey and delicious with plenty of ice cream on top.
The Pecan Pie

Overall
It's hard to judge a restaurant on its restaurant week menu, but I thought Kinzie Chophouse held up nicely. My steak was prepared well, and there were no big or flashy gimmicks that many steakhouses seem to be pushing heavily these days. I'm giving them 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.


Kinzie Chophouse on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 7, 2014

Range

Location: 1119 W Webster
Cost: About $15 per person (for brunch at least)

After we finished our residency program's in service examination there was an after party of sorts. One of my friends from the urology department, Laurie, happened to be there to join in on the fun. We got to talking about dead restaurant locations. You know that place that no matter what moves in seems to go out of business in a few months. I think 1119 W Webster is a great example. Laurie pointed out that current tenant, Range, happens to be very good and that she hopes it stays for a while. So the other weekend Jenny and I decided to trek over there and check it out.

Logistics
Range is a restaurant split in two by a divider. To the right is a bar area with some high tops and booths. To the left is a more causal sit down area. They also have some back of the restaurant party areas that we didn't venture into. Our service was quick and friendly. The cost for brunch was to be expected. Each dish was around $10.


The Food
Our order was simple. Jenny got the Chicken Sandwich and I got the Hangover Sandwich. Her chicken came with an aioli and orange pepper glaze with some cheddar over a ciabatta roll. She loved it though I fear Jenny would love any chicken sandwich without bias. The hangover sandwich was pretty good too. It was two eggs over hard with pulled pork, peppers, and a cranberry shallot jam. The cranberries gave it this whole thanksgiving feel. The bread was soft and soaked up all of the flavors well.

The Chicken Sandwich

The Hangover Sandwich

Overall
I'm with Laurie in that I hope Range stays around a bit (at least until I leave town in a few months). We didn't begin to break down the menu, but our sandwiches were solid. If you're looking for a good savory brunch, Range is not a bad choice. I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.


Range on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Eddie V's

Location: 521 N Rush
Cost: Probably around $50 per person


I've always been prone to ordering fish at a steakhouse. I'm a big fan of the steakhouse atmosphere but the guilt from my dietician/mom pushes me one way. Eddie V's is a new spot in town that does a nice job with both fish and steak with a menu that weighs heavier to the former. They're a chain that started in the South and has put their first midwest location in River North. They keep a policy that anything they serve was swimming within 72 hours which helps quell any concerns over the freshness of seafood in Chicago too. The other night, they invited Jenny and I out.

Logistics
Eddie V's welcomes you in with a lively bar. They had a jazz combo in the corner, a bunch of bar seats, and a few comfy booths. Further back they have a more formal dining room setting. We took a bar top, the courses were well timed, and the service was friendly. They treated us to dinner, but normally an entree runs around $30.

The Food
We started with their selection of Raw Oysters and the Lobster Tacos. The oysters had great variability in brine and salt. It was Jenny's first oyster, and she was a big fan. The lobster tacos had a smooth aioli and came on a homemade tortilla. As if that wasn't enough to start with, we also split a bowl of the lobster and shrimp bisque. The lobster to bisque ratio was very favorable.

The Oysters

 The Lobster Tacos

The Shrimp and Lobster Bisque

From there Jenny got the Sea Bass, and I got the Grouper. We also had a bunch of sides including the Brussel Sprouts, the Au Gratin Potatoes, the Crab Fried Rice, and the Beets with Walnuts. The bass came in a light soy broth with pickled ginger. It was steamed and very delicate. The Grouper was sauteed in a buttery sauce with a light base. Jenny's favorite side was the fried rice, and mine was the brussel sprouts.

 The Crab Fried Rice

 The Roasted Beets and Candied Walnuts

 The Au Gratin Potatoes

 The Chilean Sea Bass

 The Grouper

The Brussel Sprouts

To finish the meal we got the Banana's Foster Butter Cake with Butter Pecan Ice Cream served flambe style. It was rich and dense with just the right amount of sweetness. We didn't think we'd have room, but it ended up being one of our favorite parts of the meal.

The Banana's Foster Butter Cake

Overall
Eddie V's has a large variety of seafood options with a great atmosphere. I'd come back for the music alone, but the food was spot on as well. I'm excited to go back and get through some of the rest of the menu. There won't be a Pearl rating as is my way with the complimentary dinners, but I highly advise you to try out Eddie V's.

Eddie V's Prime Seafood on Urbanspoon