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SAVOR Chicago Chop House; Taste of Andersonville
DISH Weekly Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-08-13

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Chicago Chop House ( 60 W.Ontario St.; chicagochophouse.com/ )—which has been around for more than three decades—is currently about the past, present and future.

Looking at the walls reflects local history, including a montage of past business titans, the obligatory photo of Al Capone ( this one with his family ) and even an homage to fashion via a display of shirt collars. The future involves ongoing renovations—during which the restaurant has remained open—down to an impending third-floor speakeasy that will have the kitchen as its entrance.

On Aug. 8, there was a media event in which patrons were treated to varieties and preparations of the filet ( from dry-aged bone-in filet, to wet-aged Mishima American Waygu filet ) paired with a variety of wines, along with signature Chop House sides and accoutrements. ( The sides included truffled mac 'n cheese, four-cheese au gratin potatoes, ahi tuna, potato pancakes and others—and they all tasted divine. ) Attendees also received engraved knives and tins of cowboy rub, which traditionally contains ingredients such as coffee, spices and peppers. Managing Partner Matthew J. McCahill and Executive Chef Hector Villegas led the event, which, in part, served as a measuring stick regarding what items should be added to the Irish steakhouse's current menu.

Villegas started at the Chop House in 1989 as a sous chef, and has tales that will stun any patron—including that a man once ate a 102-ounce steak in one sitting ( along with some bread and two beers ). He has been instrumental in maintaining the spot's true "chop house" status by continuing to butcher all of the restaurant's meat in-house.

As for the Chop House's offerings, they are many and varied, but be forewarned: The items are not cheap. ( Appetizers start at $13, and a 42-ounce grand porterhouse is $119. ) However, also know that patrons get a LOT of food for their money.

Taste of Andersonville' set for Aug. 15

The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce will welcome guests on a dining tour of Andersonville's robust restaurant district during the annual Taste of Andersonville on Wed., Aug. 15, 6-9 p.m. ( Check-in starts at 4 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St. )

The event has expanded this year to three routes in order to accommodate increased participation from area restaurants and businesses, as well as diversified menu offerings, with each route highlighting dinner, dessert, and drink options. Tickets are available online now for three curated routes—FORK, KNIFE and SPOON—each featuring 12 small plate stops. Guests can also select THE WORKS ticket, allowing dining access to two routes of their choice.

Just a few of this year's participating spots include FORK's Candyality, FRIO Gelato, Lady Gregory's and Simon's Tavern; KNIFE's Bar Roma, The Wooden Spoon and Reza's; and SPOON's Octavio Cantina and Kitchen, Appellation and First Slice Pie Cafe.

All routes will feature vegetarian-friendly options. Routes, participating restaurants and menu items are subject to change.

Tickets can be purchased online at andersonville.org until Aug, 15 at noon. If available, additional day-of tickets will be sold starting at 4 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


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