Free Rein

This Brasserie From a Michelin-Starred Chef Has a Thing for "Big"

Big Steaks. Big Seafood Towers. You Know, Big.

By Christine Pundavela ·
None 8 Photos Free Rein

Here comes the chef. 

And... wait. Is that—yes, he's got a 40-ounce ribeye with him. A giant, dry-aged slab charred on the outside and juicy on the inside.

In front of you: a fork, a knife and a few lovely companions. Off to the side: a bottle of Champagne on ice.

You want this scenario to be real.

And thus you find yourself surrounded by good company and very large food at Free Rein. It's a new French-inspired brasserie that's open as of today at the new hotel St. Jane Chicago. It's also a complete transformation from the former Chuck's and Hard Rock Hotel. Have a look around.

The dining room is a calming change of pace from Michigan Avenue. Rich wood finishes. Soothing shades of gray. That type of thing. And again, bring friends. The aforementioned ribeye comes out in monumental style, as does the whole roasted chicken, feet and all. 

They'll both arrive pre-carved for your dinner party to share. Enjoy that. Enjoy it good. And while you're at it, maybe go all in on the "large elevation" seafood tower.

Michelin-starred chef Aaron Lirette of GreenRiver fame will be putting on a show each night through the glass of the kitchen. If it's a celebratory dinner, linger in a cozy booth. Otherwise, sit at the bar where they're mixing cocktails like the What Would Jane Do? with vodka, St-Germain, OJ, berry syrup and a splash of prosecco.

You don't have to share that.

Christine Pundavela

Christine Pundavela takes pride in a perfect parallel parking job and has a habit of planning her next vacation while she’s on vacation. She also fancies herself a good cook despite the fact that she only does it twice a year.

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