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Review: Michael Jordan's Steak House

The Former NBA Superstar Drops a Slam Dunk on the Mag Mile

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Review: Michael Jordan's Steak House

A majority of the steaks at MJSH are dry aged 28 days to 45 days.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jordan Steak House
The Bottom Line

We'd expect no less from a man boasting six NBA World Championship rings. Michael Jordan's Steak House, with its main dining room overlooking the bustling Magnificent Mile shopping strip, gets it right from the chops right down to an insanely decadent 23-layer chocolate cake. It is the third location for the Cornerstone Group, which has also opened MJSH in New York and Connecticut.

Pros

• Celebrity sightings, especially around NBA season

• Helmed by veteran steakhouse chef James O'Donnell

• Generous portions from the dry-aged steaks to the 23-layer signature cake

• Located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile shopping district

Cons

You can order the full menu at the bar.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jordan Steak House
• Main dining room tends to be more subdued than at nearby steakhouses Gibsons or Smith & Wollensky

• The side dishes are more exciting than the steaks

• Not enough televisions in the sports lounge

Description

• Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

• 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-9 p.m. Sunday

• 500 N. Michigan Ave., 312-321-8823

• Accepts all major credit cards

The Food

Michael Jordan's signature dessert is a decadent, 23-layer chocolate cake that pays homage to His Airness' legendary NBA number.

Photo courtesy of Michael Jordan Steak House
Every meal at MJSH should start with an order of garlic bread ($8), which manages to put every Italian restaurant's to shame. It comes in a large bowl and is drizzled with a thick, rich blue cheese fondue. It's meant for sharing, as well as most appetizers like the "colossal" crab cake, smoked prime beef carpaccio, and double-smoked bacon layered in a tangy, maple-black pepper glaze.

A veteran steakhouse chef who previously worked at the Michael Jordan's restaurant in Connecticut, James O'Donnell is in his element at MJSH. He designed the menu that's comprised of steaks, chops and seafood entrées. Most steaks are dry aged 28 days to 45 days, which translates into maximum flavor and tenderness for the prime Delmonico, New York strip and Porterhouse for two. For non-steak eaters, a spit-roasted free-range chicken, butter-poached Maine lobster and maple-mustard glazed organic salmon are equally filling. The caramelized sea scallops are also a great non-meat option, but be aware that they arrive over a bed of beef-and-barley risotto.

As with most steakhouses, side dishes are ordered separately. Prices range $8-$14 and options are appropriately rich and over the top. The mashed potato trio is a decadent offering for those who cannot choose only one; there's blue crab-Old Bay butter, smoked onion Gruyere and Colcannon-bacon jam. The roasted mushrooms arrive heaving with creamy garden grits and black garlic truffle butter. And the caramelized Brussels sprouts are deeply flavored with smoky bacon and juicy, locally sourced apples. The portions are enough for four to share.

The 23-layer chocolate cake, of course, pays homage to Jordan's famed jersey number. Surprisingly it's not the richest dessert on the menu. While most of the sweets are seasonal, the key lime bombe with toasted meringue and milk chocolate peanut butter pie with a pretzel crust and malted vanilla gelato are mainstays. That is a very good thing.

A carefully curated beverage program includes impressive wines by the glass, 10 craft brews on tap, and seasonal cocktails with locally sourced and house-made ingredients. One of the stars of the fall cocktail menu, for example, is Walk in the Orchard, a Bulleit rye-infused concoction made with a local farmer's cider and house-made black pepper-thyme maple syrup. The prices reflect what you'll find in most upscale Chicago bars boasting hand-crafted cocktails: $13.

The Restaurant

Located on the first two levels of the InterContinental Hotel, the restaurant isn't showy as far as His Airness's persona. You won't find trophies and celebratory photos as part of the understated yet elegant décor (You'll have to go to Mike Ditka's steakhouse for that.). Instead, the emphasis is on offering guests a solid steakhouse experience with exceptional, fine-dining service. When Jordan's in town, he's known to frequent the restaurant, albeit in one of the private dining rooms.

Quantity and Price

Entrée prices range $26-$95 and portions are generous. An average check for two people will range $200 to $250.

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