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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicago Restaurant Week - Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

Chicago’s 5th Annual Restaurant Week started last Friday and ends next Sunday February 26th. You get a three course prix fixe dinner for $33 (or $44) and lunch for $22. Last year I went to Zapatista, Terzo Piano and Perennial. This year, I only went to one – Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in the InterContinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue.

A few months ago, I’d been to MJ’s for lunch, and wasn’t impressed. Lobster roll with a sherry aioli, tarragon and parmesan crisp? Bleh! Yes yes, I shouldn’t get a lobster roll from a steak house. Despite my impression that MJ’s is a typical mediocre lunch spot that probably won’t last, I went again. Only because Doug idolizes the "Greatest of All Time." And I'm a good wife. Even though I didn't pay. J

We started our four course meal with garlic bread bathed in a buttermilk blue cheese fondue. It tastes just like it sounds. And it. is. good. Crispy and cheesy yum!

For the second course, Doug had the lobster chowder, and I had the arugula and shaved fennel salad  (with toasted pine nuts, shaved cheese and blood orange vinaigrette). Doug said the chowder was the worst he’s ever had!! I've never had lobster chowder, so I’m not sure what it should taste like. But even so, I didn’t think it was very pleasing to the palette. I did like my light and refreshing salad though.

For entrees, Doug had the Natural Angus Hanger Steak with black garlic bordelaise while I had twin petite filets with caramelized onions and gruyere. Doug thought his was fine. I liked the onions and little bit of cheese with my filets, although one seemed to be cooked more than the other. The ladies next to us sent their filets back to the kitchen since the steaks weren't cooked to their liking. Yikes! We also ordered a side of the mashed potatoe trio. My favorite was the horse radish cheddar. Doug's favorite was the lobster chive. And neither of us liked the sweet potato marshmallow - definitely too marshmallowy. We probably could've done without the sides.

In addition to our meal, Doug got the beer pairing (four 5 oz beers for $14) and I had the wine pairing (four half glasses for $25). We both enjoyed our first three drinks. I couldn’t even drink the dessert wine, it was too sweet and rubbing alcohol tasting. Maybe I don’t have a sophisticated enough palette to enjoy a dessert wine (other than Moscato), but still, it was undrinkable. Doug's last drink was a 9.8% stout, so he was happily buzzed to say the least.

To top off our already stuffed bellies, we had the Chocolate Tart with Black Dog malted vanilla gelato and Butterscotch Panna Cotta with Garrett’s Chicago mix popcorn and smoked sea salt. The chocolate tart was perfectly rich and creamy with a nice crumbly yet firm crust. The panna cotta with popcorn was different. We didn't care for it too much and didn't even finish it.

All in all, we won’t be going back. Apparently other people must feel the same considering the restaurant was not even close to being filled on a Monday night at 7pm. Doug was hoping to see memorabilia (like Ditka’s) and the meal was good, but not outstanding (and they charged the higher price of $44 vs $33). Despite our mediocre restaurant week experience, I do recommend you make your Restaurant Week reservation, there's a few more days! You're bound to find something among the 200 restaurants to choose from. I had my eye on Union Sushi (new to try), Joe's Stone Crab (solid menu for the price!), Perennial (our favorite by far), and Table Fifty-Two (who doesn't want to try this?).

I'd love to hear what you ate!


tmstout83 said...

Union Sushi is awesome!