A Cali entry into Chi's steakhouse scene

Published On 10/18/2010 Published On 10/18/2010

When a heavily hyped California import makes its way to Chicago the result is always a huge success, at least until it gets overworked and blows out its elbow. Betting they'll have tastier luck, Mastro's Steakhouse.

An opulent meatery that started out in Beverly Hills, MS is the newest entry into River North's bustling cow scene, a two-story temple of elegance centered around a piano-flanked bar backed by a towering reflective bottle display, and surrounded by touches like tufted leather banquettes and burgundy drapes, but thankfully not Burgundy Drapers, cause that guy's just looking to Beaune. Prime steaks are covered in a secret 15-ingredient dry rub and served sizzling on 400-degree plates, with signature cuts including an 18oz bone-in filet and 33oz chef's cut bone-in ribeye, while non-beef options including a 22oz rack of lamb and twin vanilla-battered lobster tails, who after getting beaten are really more crushedaceans. Supplementing the meats're apps of lump crab-stuffed mushrooms and three-level towers of fresh seafood, and of course sides like gorgonzola mac & cheese and 10 kinds of potatoes, from Lyonnaise, to lobster mashed, to shoestring, unironically a popular entree option for anyone who's on one.

For the thirsty there's a 500-strong wine list, while sweet teeth'll find rich chocolate pudding cake and their signature warm butter cake -- just pray the baker wasn't Dusty, as then he'd leave it in wayyyy to long.

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1. Mastro's Steakhouse 520 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

An outpost of an Arizona-based steakhouse chain, the swanky Mastro's is a major player in the Chicago steakhouse scene. The River North spot sprawls across two levels and features a menu of more than 15 steaks and chops, plus inventive martinis and a see-and-be-seen piano bar. The creamed spinach and baked potato sides are absolute classics.



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