Open Thread: What's the Best Steak in Chicago?

Smith and Wollensky's 32 Ounce Rib Steak [Photographs: Nick Solares]

Chicago is a steakhouse town. If don't believe us, just take a walk on N. Rush St. and see if you can go more than a block without running into an establishment with a massive charred ribeye on its menu. Yet, we've turned our back on this aspect of the dining scene. Sure, we've covered steak sandwiches, but we've mostly avoided pure, unadulterated slabs of aged beef served on a plate with little else in the way. We're hoping to change that soon, but first we wanted to get your opinion: what's the best steak in Chicago?

Though steak seems simple and straightforward, there are far more variables than you'd think. Let's start with that ribeye. Nearly every steakhouse has one on its menu, but where did the restaurant get its beef? Did it come from a cow that had been grass-fed or grain-fed? Once the restaurant got the meat was it dry-aged or wet-aged? How was it cooked? Five years ago, this conversation would probably have only included traditional steakhouses, but a number of newer restaurants are serving steaks that have been aged elsewhere. Do these steaks hold up to the ones you'll get from restaurant with a massive aging room?

So many questions. All we know is that we can't wait to grab our steak knives and dig in. What do you think? What's the best steak you've ever had in Chicago?

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