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Chicago Had 2 Important New Restaurant Openings Last Week

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jul 18, 2017 8:48PM

Wagyu Tomahawk from Steak 48. Photo courtesy of Steak 48.

While 2017 has been a tiny bit slow for new openings (at least compared to the insanity that was the second half of 2016), there are still some big, important spots coming online this summer. Two of them got going last week.

First, City Mouse, the new restaurant in the Ace Hotel from Chefs Jason Vincent and Pat Sheerin, has been open for brunch for a little while but launched dinner service last week. I visited for brunch, and while they still had some lingering new-restaurant service issues, the food was outstanding, so I expect dinner to be just as good. Expect dishes like spaghetti with calabrian chili, bacon, feta and breadcrumbs; fried artichokes with pork ragu and taleggio cheese, and a great salad that's really similar to one on the brunch menu, combining peach, farro and ginger. The cocktail menu isn't out yet, but based on the drinks on the brunch menu (by mixologist Caitlan Laman, recently of Mezcaleria las Flores), I'd bet it's gonna be pretty impressive.

Just when you thought the steakhouse boom was over comes one of the biggest of them all: Steak 48, from the team that used to own Mastro’s Steakhouse, opened last week after several days of previews. This epic steakhouse boasts something like 500 seats spread over two floors, a huge bar, two open kitchens and a patio. The chef in charge is Brian Key, who previously worked at Gibson's and Weber Grill, so he knows his way around a hunk of beef. I can't quite believe I'm saying this, but steak prices at Steak 48 are not insane, at least when compared to some of the other options in town; diners can get a respectable New York strip for under $40. The complete menu, which has a large raw bar section, plenty of seafood and luxurious sides (king crab mac and cheese, anyone?) is here.