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SAVOR River Roast
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2019-12-11

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At River Roast ( 315 N. LaSalle St.; RiverRoastChicago.com ), the centerpiece menu item is its Beef Tomahawk—an almost three-pound, wet-aged steak attached to a bone that's reminiscent of the Brontosaurus ribs seen on the opening credits of old Flintstones cartoon. It comes with shoestring fries and herb butter. ( It also costs $105, so it's definitely more of a "special occasion" item. )

That's the type of item guests can expect at this River North restaurant that's situated on the Chicago River ( hence its name ). In the summer, people can sit outside and enjoy incredible views while eating.

But going from the view back to the menu items, let's continue with beverages. While I went with hot tea, my friend/dining companion had Old Fashioneds ( yes, plural )—meaning he definitely enjoyed this spot's version of the cocktail. However, River Roast also has cocktails such as Whiskey Smash and mulled wine in addition to a variety of cocktails and mocktails ( the latter listed under "Temperance" ).

Appetizers and sides provided a delightful culinary start ( although the sourdough bread, accompanied by spreadable Gruyere, was tasty as well ). The Golden Gobbits ( seasoned fried chicken nuggets, with honey ) were practically addictive, the macaroni and cheese were solidly done and the Carrots & Dirt ( carrots with pumpernickel crumbs, goat cheese and balsamic ) were great. ( Despite the spot's name, River Roast has a variety of wonderful vegetarian/vegan dishes, including quinoa salad and roasted acorn squash. ) Other apps sound scrumptious, including shrimp-and-crab toast, blistered shishito peppers and burrata.

So, let's go back to the Tomahawk. It's presented tableside, with the server carefully removing the bone from the meat, and then slicing the steak. It's certainly one of the best steaks I've had recently ( although Tao Chicago's Wagyu is up there as well )—and, if only two people are eating, you're almost certain to have delicious leftovers. However, if steak isn't your thing, River Roast offers its famous roast chicken ( half of whole ), pork shank and whole fish as well.

And don't go without sampling dessert. The slices of chocolate ( silky ) and carrot cake ( hearty and not too sweet ) we ordered are seemingly each almost as big as your head—and they taste as great as you'd expect.

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


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