Last night’s feed

(Trigger warning: MEAT)

My old friend Ivan from Berkeley came to Chicago for a meeting yesterday, and I offered to take him to a Chicago steak restaurant (he took me to many great places when I visited him two years ago during the Great Cross-Country Trip). My first choice, which was a BYOB (I prefer to bring a really good bottle and pay corkage than buy from an always-overpriced wine list), was full, so we went to a place I’ve been before: the Chicago Cut Steakhouse.

The restaurant is on the north side of the Chicago River, and is right along that river, so you can have your meat outside with a great view of the water and the center city. Walking from the train station to the restaurant, and over the LaSalle Street Bridge, you get a great view of Chicago and its splendid architecture:

Ivan cabbed in from O’Hare, and I met him at the place. Here he is:

And here he is in 1972 when we first met—as graduate students at Rockefeller University. This is my group of pals among the first-years.  I’m in the center and he’s on the right holding the guitar. 45 years have done a job on both of us. But we’re still here—and scarfing down steaks!

The appetizers: foie gras on buttered brioche toast for me, a salad (iceberg wedge salad, bacon lardon, and Maytag Bleu Cheese) for Ivan. This is not a place for vegetarians, though they do have, I’m told, good seafood:

Our steaks: we each had a big 35-day, dry-aged ribeye. Mine was rare, Ivan’s medium rare. This one’s MINE!:

The side dishes with the steak, which we shared, were sauteed mushrooms and truffled scalloped potatoes with cheese. The wine was a 2013 Guigal Gigondas, and was fine.

The sunset on the walk back to the train (taken with an iPhone). Chicago can be a lovely town when you’re enjoying its architecture with a belly full o’ beef:


  1. Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Look at you, Jerry! Awesome!

  2. John
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Love that old photo.

  3. Stephen Barnard
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    That’s a Wilson T2000 tennis racket you’re holding. Were you a Jimmy Connors fan?

    • Sevendy
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Actually, I believe it’s a Chemold aluminum racket.

  4. Eric Grobler
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Was that Jerry Garcia?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I’m thinking more Alan Bates circa Women In Love.

    • Bob Murray
      Posted June 27, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      I see our host as a very young Cat Stevens. When he was brilliant!

  5. darrelle
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a wonderful evening. Looks like it too. The weather looks perfect.

  6. Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I love Gigondas and I’ve been there many times — and stayed there for a week, plus other nearby villages as well. Good choice of wine!

    Oh, and the food and the view look great too! 🙂

  7. Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    As the end of the month is approaching and I am living on rice and pasta until payday, the pic of the steak is pure torture.

  8. nicky
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ll have to revise my prejudice that American food is bland, boring and easy, maybe it is because of KFC and McDonalds?
    That dinner is mouth watering!
    And although I do not eat starches, once a fortnight or so I surreptitiously eat an American ‘brownie cookie’.

    • Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      The US (like Canada) is full of really lousy food *and* really good food. Comes from a “nation of immigrants” in both cases.

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Black & blue?

  10. David Duncan
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Looks wonderful. May I ask what was the name of the place that was full?

    • Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf, a VERY popular place in Chicago (I haven’t been there yet). You can bring a bottle, and the “corkage” is giving a small glass to any person you select in the room. Another place I go to does that as well, and it’s a nice thing. You get to pick someone who looks as if they could use a good tipple, and they are always grateful.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        What an excellent idea.

      • Mack
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Also curious what the other, other place is? I’m always looking for BYOB places and one of the only other steak joints I know if besides Bavette’s is Las Tables on the North Side. Would be pleased with any other recommendations!

        • Mack
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

          Las Tablas – damned autocorrect!

  11. Simon Hayward
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s a great town with wonderful wonderful food and buildings, but did you have to end with that one!

    • Posted June 27, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Simon is affronted by the inclusion of Trump Tower, that big rounded skyscraper. All I can say is that it was part of a good picture, and you can’t see the name.

  12. Ann German
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    As a 1972 grad from Antioch College, I LOVE these old photos . . . recently back in touch with fellow Antioch science students thanks to a listserve started by a science grad. So fun to connect with old lab rats!

  13. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    That lone tomato is waving surrender

    Well composed architecture pics!

  14. Blue
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Bellies xtwo full o’beef alongside
    a quintet of hirsute darlings !

    What a post, Dr Coyne !


    ps I steak !
    m’usual weekend fare ! with alongside it
    a fine tipple o’Argentine wine: Malbec !

    that corkage – ‘fee’ is also darling !

  15. BJ
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I want that steak. And the potatoes.

    I want them now. Give them to me.


  16. Randy Bessinger
    Posted June 27, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh my, I’m hungry!

  17. Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Delightful! Thanks. Love the look of that steak.

  18. Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Grow the beard back!

    I had one for 10 years from 1983-93…

  19. kieran
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Steak for breakfast, now there’s a plan

  20. Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    A motley crew, but you would have made good enough soldiers with haircuts all around.

  21. David Coxill
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I always suspected you were a Hippie in your youth .lol.

  22. Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I’m not a steak fan, but it does look like a good place for it!

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