Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicago | Lawry's The Prime Rib

As my spring getaway, I flew to Chicago to visit some of my best friends in the area. Although it seemed as if I was there to explore the windy city and catch up with friends, Jon and I, both know that it's for the tender and juicy cut of prime ribs at the Lawry's.

Lawry's The Prime Rib is my ultimate favorite steakhouse. Period. Writing this review even makes my mouth water and crave for a generous and thick slice of their famous roast beef. Unlike many chained steakhouses, such as Ruth's Chris, Outback, and Morton's, the classic and elegant restaurant operates in very few locations (only 4 in the US). As loyal as a customer can be, I have been to Lawry's in Beverley Hills (where it all started), Las Vegas, Chicago, and Taipei. Known for its top notch service, the restaurant prepares the prime ribs and side dishes to the highest quality across all locations.

Situated on the glamourous Magnificent Miles, the Chicago outpost occupies the historic light opera house, which made it the finest and most lavish branch of the Lawry's. When you enter this "magnificent" building, you will immediately be captured by the old English decor with beautiful chandeliers and aesthetic wood frames. Our host kindly led us to the dining room, which is further inside the building. Along with the shiny silverwares and antique high-back chairs, the high ceiling in the dining room elegantly established the superior and high class atmosphere at Lawry's.

Lawry's The Prime Rib

the dining room

The menu at Lawry's is simple. The only things I needed to decide were the portion of my steak and how I liked it prepared. There were also other options available. For example, a popular side order is two Australian lobster tails for just $21.

My meal started with the Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad, which was accompanied by an elaborate presentation. First, the server gave us icy "chilled forks", so that we could enjoy the salad at its cold temperature. Immediately, he brought out a cart filled with the freshest ingredients and tools to perform a salad mixing show! Most people found it amusing, but I felt really awkward when I saw the server "spin the bowl."

waiter preparing our spinning bowl salad

As seen from the picture, a big steel pot was placed on top of a bowl of ice. The server filled the silver bowl with chopped romaine, beets, hard boiled eggs, croutons, and other ingredients. Then, he gave a forceful spin to the pot. As the bowl furiously spun, he drizzled the pink house made dressing and mix it with a spatula. Voila! The famous spinning bowl salad was made! The salad was amazing and a great starter for my dinner. I really liked the beets and the lightly sour dressing. Remember to season the salad with Lawry's famous pepper!

Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad

Now came the moment I had been waiting for all night - The Prime Rib. The certified chef rolled out a spaceship looking "silver" cart, which is ridiculously expensive. The cart is used to not only preserve the temperature and juice of the meat but also allow the chef to hand carve the prime rib in front of us. The chef cordially greeted us and proceeded to prepare our prime ribs. It was really fun to interact with the chef and actually see the racks of prime ribs in the cart. I wished I could have a whole rack to myself...

"Silver" Cart

I ordered the thick 16 oz. bone-in Diamond Jim Brady Cut. I used to always get the largest Beef Bowl Cut (24 oz.), named in honor of Lawry's tradition to serve super thick slices of prime rib to the football players in the annual Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Sadly, I can't finish it anymore. I guess I'm getting old!

Seasoned with Lawry's famous pepper and other spices, the mouth watering prime rib was divinely roasted to perfection. The temperature was perfect, the texture was excellent, and the smell of the roast beef would make you go crazy. A bite of the tender and juicy steak with its natural beef au jus literally made me the happiest person on Earth. The prime rib at Lawry's was truly addicting.

The "Diamond Jim Brady" Cut
with mashed potatoes

In addition to the salad, the roast beef came with mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding. The Yorkshire pudding is a special savory dish at Lawry's. I didn't like it at first, but I actually quite enjoy it now. The soft and puffy pastry dipped in prime rib au jus brought out an interesting texture with the full flavor of the prime rib.

Yorkshire Pudding

Lawry's also have a selection of tasty sides, including creamed corn, creamed spinach, sauteed mushroom, and etc. Their creamed corn was absolutely to die for. I couldn't stop munching on the fragrant extra creamy and buttery sweat corn. I even tried to make it myself; everyone loved it! You can find the recipe here.

Creamed Corn

The Best!

Lawry's The Prime Rib in Chicago

I simply adore Lawry's The Prime Rib. The restaurant has elaborate presentations for its famous spinning bowl salad as well as the roast beef, which is hand-carved in front of you from an expensive silver cart. Without a doubt in my mind, Lawry's perfect roast beef is unquestionably the best I have ever tasted. The service was attentive and excellent. More importantly, the server always kept a smile on his face; it definitely added to the already awesome dining experience. To all the meat lovers, Lawry's is a must try!!

Lawry's The Prime Rib
100 East Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Price: $$$$
Recommendation: 4.5 Stars
The number one roast beef in the world.
The tender and juicy cut of prime rib will definitely keep you coming back for more!

also in various international locations: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, and Singapore
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