Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House - Chicago
According to Jeff Ruby in Chicago Magazine, “at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, hostesses clad in miniskirts shorter than a tween’s attention span welcome diners to the celebrated Texas-based steak chain’s multimillion-dollar roll of the dice in Oak Street’s revamped Esquire ¬Theater. Their bosses have flooded three stories with Gold Coast excess: an atrium skylight, a fearsome shimmering chandelier, an 85-inch flat screen in the bar. A 47-foot suspended wine tower is so enormous it has multiple entrances, a spiral staircase, and its own system of governmental law.”
That’s a lot to take in before you even get to your seat and take a peek at the menu.
The appetizers do not fail to disappoint and feature many steak house must-haves like chilled shrimp cocktail and jumbo lump crab cake, but where the starter menu exceeds expectations is in the meat-based category. There’s seared rare wagyu beef carpaccio, accompanied by baby arugula/shaved artichoke salad with capers, parmesan and creole mustard aioli; and you may want to take a swing at prime steak tartare, which can be about as good as a steakhouse app can be expected to be.
The well-acknowledged secret of many steak houses is that the fish selections are usually as good as the meat selections – but fish and seafood are just usually not what many people go to a steakhouse to enjoy. But maybe they should. You can start with a seafood plateau big enough for four, overflowing with pristine fruit de mer. There’s salmon from the Bay of Fundy (the cold north Atlantic waters between Maine and Canada’s Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) with crab hash and lobster tomato jus; if you have a craving for crustacean, however, you may not be satisfied with simply jus, so opt in for the whole broiled lobster tail, which the server will be glad to portion out for you and your guests tableside. Get a side of lobster mac and cheese, and you’ve got yourself an epic lobster feast.
Red meat, of course, is what you probably came to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House to chow down upon. There are three sizes of filet mignon and three sizes of ribeye steak, including the wagyu tomahawk chop, with has a very long rib bone that looks a little like a native American weapon and that can, in fact, be a very useful handle to grip in one hand as you gnaw, Fred Flintstone style, this magnificent piece of meat. There’s also a prime Porterhouse and a plate of double cut-lamb chops, and, and…oh, just suffice it to say, if your meat cravings are not satisfied here, they likely will not be satisfied anywhere.
Red meat needs red wine, so in addition to the expected Manhattans and Dirty Martinis, there’s a truly excessive wine list ensuring that, throughout the meal, you’ll stay pleasantly, um, hydrated (we think that’s the word for it). With a jaw-dropping 1,500 wines to choose from, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House has some lower priced bottles and several extraordinary selections that may actually motivate you to earn more money next year so that you can afford them regularly. Wine Director Michael Taylor has over a decade of experience in the restaurant and wine business, and he comes to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House with a Level II certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. If you see some wines on the menu that you’re not familiar with, Taylor will professionally guide you to a thoughtful selection that’s just right for you.
At steakhouses, as wretched as the excess must be (by statute, we believe), things usually go completely out of control when desserts are served. The chocolate mousse, a classic meal finale, is not going against convention with silky texture, whipped cream and fresh raspberries, and it might be the best thing you’ve eaten for dessert in like maybe ever. If you want something a little lighter, try the lemon cake, which although it may lack density, comes as a huge slab (of course!) and may make you swoon, as will the cheese cake…and a lot of other of the sweet selections you could choose to end your meal.
Del Frisco’s offers a happy hour on Wednesday from 5 until 9 pm, when you can get half-price menu items and specially priced cocktails, beer and, yes, even wine. There’s also a Prime Pair Tuesday special when you can make selections from a prix fixe menu for a reasonable $59 or so.
To sweeten the deal, grab a handful of free jelly beans from the bowl on the way out. Actually, grab two handfuls, because nothing succeeds like excess.