Since the days of the South Side stockyards, Chicago has been known for its steak — and, in more modern times, its steakhouses. To stand out in a city like ours, any new contender must have something extra to offer. Prime & Provisions, opening Saturday, has three standouts: an untapped location, straddling the business district and River North; a more-than-just-meat menu (the jumbo lump crab-topped Caesar, $16, is a must); and the proven mettle of DineAmic Group — known for such hot spots as Siena Tavern — behind it.
Chef stats: Executive Chef Anthony Fraske earned his chops — quite literally — as executive chef for Lettuce Entertain You and Levy Restaurants; Executive Sous Chef Joseph Rizza is the former executive chef at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.
Old school: “We always choose our concepts based on location, not the other way around,” says David Rekhson, DineAmic Group partner along with Lucas Stoioff. In this case, that was the nearly 100-year-old Builders Building, whose lobby — which serves as private event space — features original marble and ornate detailing. “You can’t have a building that’s this old and then force a modern concept into it,” Stoioff says. Instead, Prime’s interior has an updated 1900s-era vibe — think barrel-vaulted ceilings and intimate dim lighting.
Must try: The porterhouse for two — or three or four ($60/person) — is served on such a searing hot dish that, if you prefer your steak more well-done than your dinner date does, you can actually still cook the meat against the plate’s edges. The restaurant is the first in Chicago to offer exclusively all-natural USDA prime black angus beef, which they dry age in-house for more than 30 days.
Final sip: Helmed by DineAmic Corporate Mixologist Adolfo Calderon and sommelier Adam Sweders, the beverage program takes imbibers back to the basics: classic cocktails served in their original preparations, with no detail spared. “We even have an ice program here,” Stoioff says. “Custom-sized cubes go with different drinks.” To finish, try a signature cigar in the restaurant’s designated patio-adjacent smoking area.
222 N. Lasalle, (312) 726-7777; Primeandprovisions.com