Some very brief background—Sodikoff is one of Chicago’s most beloved chefs, and Au Cheval is one of its most beloved restaurants. If you believe in Chicago’s ability to create excellent beef dishes (and you should), know that. Now, on to the main event:
The Hype: They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, or the prime rib house.
The Reality: True, which isn’t to say they haven’t come close to perfecting the form with the requisite luscious banquettes and ornately framed artwork (look around).
The Hype: If the burger at Au Cheval is any indicator, you must get the one here.
The Reality: For sure, but this one’s a little different than at Au Cheval, in that you can get a fried egg or bacon on top, and it’s a strictly double-patty affair (here it is on the menu).
The Hype: The prime rib definitely is the focus, though.
The Reality: We’d have to agree. You’ve got a choice of English cut (thin), Chicago cut (not thin) and 4 Charles cut (bone-in). If we had to make up a German word for it, it’d be Übertenderwesen.
The Hype: Martinis and Old Fashioneds could figure heavily into your evening.
The Reality: There are four types of the former and five of the latter.
The Hype: “Save room for dessert” isn’t a hollow plea here.
The Reality: Only if you count the Sundae Royale—three scoops of ice cream flanked by a variety of candies, and with the literal cherry on top.