Food & Drink

Steak tartare and Dover sole in River North

When you think of old Chicago, you either think about how much better they sounded before they went all easy listening, or The Tortoise Club, which recalls the private dining clubs of a bygone Windy City with brass rails, tufted red leather booths, and painted caricatures of noted Chicagoans (use a QR code to get a bio) from former mayor Big Bill Thompson to burlesque star Sally Rand.The menu (from a Spiaggia/BOKA vet) has an equally classic feel, whether you're starting with shallot- and caper-appointed steak tartare or some pan-roasted quail confit with red wine cherries and wild rice reminiscent of that time on the Raiders when Jerry tried cornrows. The old-school indulgences continue from there with the likes of lobster thermidor swimming in sauce Americain, or Dover sole that gets sauced (but in, like, a double entendre type way) with Champagne and truffles.They're maintaining a throwback vibe for the cocktail program as well, though there are some new tricks like the Tipsy Tortoise, a blended Scotch concoction with amaro, lemon, mint, and bitters, which'll only increase if they play anything from Peter Cetera.