What is a “SOAP Night Out”?
Unfortunately we are getting old, and coordinating a dinner for all 3 founders together is tough. But alas, we were each able to find a time in January to try out Swift & Sons and we are pooling our experiences together to formulate our combined review and rating.
Steak: 4.5…22oz bone-in ribeye: Just the right amount of marbleization and hit the mark on medium rare. The 3 dipping sauces all had very unique delicious flavors (I poured a little bit of the 3 on my plate just to taste) , however, I’m a purest and elected not to dip my precious bone-in.
Drinks: 4.5…Great wine selections and suggestions by the team. Oregon and South American reds paired perfectly.
Ambiance: 5.0…S&S gives off a sleek sexy industrial feel the second you walk into the lower bar/dining area with exposed ductwork, lighting fixtures and subway tile. The service team was extremely attentive and a managing partner provided a nice tour of the facility. Absolutely gorgeous establishment and decor fitting perfectly into the West Loop neighborhood. I’d like to redecorate my apartment after spending the evening in S&S. Customized plates are always a nice touch!
Sides/Starters: 3.5…Salmon tartare was lacking flavor. Cauliflower, mushrooms, and mashed potatoes were spot on. Brussels sprouts which are usually my favorite side, were underwhelming.
Steak: 4.9…LOVED this cut of meat [22 oz. bone-in ribeye, medium]! Everything from the presentation, the plating, the cooking temperature…absolutely perfect! My only regret was that there was an eventual end to the steak! The bone-in ribeye had just the right amount of fat, which made the meat right adjacent to the bone (typically the more flavorful) a delicacy. With every steak entree, S&S brings out a selection of three sauces to go with the steak: an in-house made steak sauce, a bernaise sauce and a horseradish sauce. I’m a bernaise guy and I thought it was awesome…the perfect amount of tanginess. Horseradish sauce was excellent as well. But the real star was the in-house made steak sauce. WOW. If you are a purist and don’t do sauces, then there’s nothing I can say to you that will change your mind, but me personally, I’m a sauce aficiando! The steak sauce was fantastic. Steak sauces are usually meant to be either tart (A1 is tart on purpose) or sweet. S&S’s in-house created version is sweet and, to quote 90’s pop culture, is “sweeeeet”. S&S’s steak sauce is now tied for my all time favorite steak sauce, along with RPM Steak’s in house created steak sauce (which last time I was there you couldn’t get if you were actually dining in the restaurant, but I got it in a gift bag at an event that was hosted at RPM Steak).
Drinks: 5.0…I started off with my goto Breckenridge Bourbon Old Fashioned…they nailed it! I then had another…they nailed it…again! I then switched to beer as I really loved their beer list options. I was immediately drawn to a favorite beer of mine, Anchor Brewing Company’s Anchor Steam Beer…the cool/crisp flavor, which is ironic because it’s a California steam beer (a lager beer brewed without refrigeration during fermentation) hit the spot with the ribeye. The fact that they have Anchor Steam on their menu is a fantastic pick on S&S’s part. Just to make sure that first beer was good I of course had to get another one…that too rocked my world.
Ambiance: 4.5…Really liked the interior design of the restaurant, especially how the columns from the existing refrigerated warehouse structure were incorporated into the interior space. Now with steakhouses, you can either find 1 of 3 different lighting levels; a very dark steakhouse (Bavette’s), a medium lit steakhouse (Prime & Provisions) or a very bright steakhouse (Gene & Georgetti)…I would place S&S in the medium lit category…on a personal preference level though, I prefer my steakhouse dark! The decor that pays homage to the times of the stockyards was great…we sat right by the wall of clocks to show the times in various regions of the US that raise cattle. My wife really liked the theme of “arches” throughout the restaurant. As I usually rate the steak knife, I’m putting this in the ambiance category. Now, there is NOTHING wrong with a high end Wusthof knife, but I was really hoping for a custom knife special to S&S, with a custom logo etched in the blade and a freakin’ heavy feel to it…sadly I did not get that…but like I said, nothing wrong with a high end Wusthof…I just wanted more. My knife issues and the light level (again, a personal preference) is the only reason ‘Ambiance’ does not get a 5.0.
Sides/Starters: 4.5…We started with the lobster bisque…”can I have some more please” was my only thought! While I wanted to get oysters, I decided to make that a special trip and come back sometime in the near future and visit Cold Storage to get my oyster fix. For sides we got the Roasted Mushrooms (with porcini aioli and croutons) and the Crispy Brussels Sprouts (with soy and lime chili). First the mushrooms…DAMN…I’m changing my “stuck on a desert island” pick and having this be my side dish (oh yeah, my desert island game is an entire sit down steak meal with all the various courses…none of that favorite book bullshit). These mushrooms were sooo amazing. I like my brussel sprouts flash-fried, and these crispy brussel sprouts did not disappoint! Great flavoring with the lime chili…I was in side dish heaven. But sadly this “story of the sides” is not all unicorns and rainbows, because I haven’t talked about the bone marrow yet. Granted Purple Pig and Bavette’s have ruined my scale of excellence with respect to bone marrow (because it’s that good!), but I was really hoping for a similar flavor profile…instead I got bone marrow that had so much herb flavors that I thought it was chimichurri bone marrow. I don’t want my bone marrow chimichurri flavored…I want it cow or pig flavored.