v17 Commentary :: Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse

Steak On A Plate Co-Founder’s Commentary
SOAP v17 @  Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse (11.04.2016)

[SOAP Co-Founders (right to left): Josh, Adam, & Andrew…also included: Nick (next to Andrew) and Krishna’s left hand (next to Nick)]


Steaks: 3.5…The cut is among the most classic in the city and its presentation is second to none. It is not necessarily the best in town but there’s something from every page the Chicago steak rulebook on this one that has never made the taste go away.

Starters/Sides: 3.0…The sides here are pretty run-of-the-mill, as typical in many of the classic joints. Honorable mention goes out the the cheddar twice-baked potato, easily the best we had that night.

Ambiance: 5.0…“Booze, broads, and bullshit”. I’ve been coming to this place for years, since long before I could afford the bone-in Ribeye and made my dad made me settle for the fillet. The restaurant is near and dear to my family so when the Saturday after the Cubs won the World Series was here, there was only one meal I had in mind. But there was nothing different about it. The bar area was lively, the dining atmosphere was elegant as ever. And of course, old Jon and I had a nice karaoke session in the bathroom. The man can still carry a tune!

Drinks: 4.0…For this experience it didn’t matter what was being served, it all tasted 108-year aged me! But Jesse our server was on par with all the ideal recommendations to suite the evening. The old-fashioned was classic and the wine nothing overly memorable, just an excellent overall experience as usual, which makes any drink taste good.


Steak: 3.5…18 ounce dry-aged bone-in ribeye.  As the old saying goes: “Everything tastes better after the Cubs win the World Series”.  So a few days after the Cubs won the world series, this steak tasted amazing…tasted like 108 years aged!  Now looking past the overall feeling of joy I was experiencing due to the Cubs, this steak was ok, but not great.  Beautiful preparation, great bone presentation, perfect temperature, a little flag in the steak which who doesn’t like a little flag?!  I had some bites that were so flavorful and others that come thru at all, so for that lack of consistency I have to knock the score down a bit.  Big kudos on the crusting…this steak was made to be photographed!

Starters/Sides: 3.0…We started out with the Toasted Ravioli (meat filled of course)…pre-made: yes, possibly frozen at some point: probably…taste:  really good…so freeze them as much as you want if you can still make them taste fantastic!  Sides for the night were Brussels Sprouts w/ Pancetta, Four Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese, Bacon Cheddar Twice Baked Potato, and Sauteed Wild Mushrooms.  Twice Baked Potato side was spot on…definitely their star side dish.  Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts didn’t have a lot of flavor sadly as I was really excited for that duo.  Mac n’ Cheese wasn’t unique, but also didn’t lack on flavor…so definitely recommend the Twice Baked and the M&C.

Ambiance: 4.5…Harry Caray’s is the capital building in the world of Cubs fans.  The entire restaurant is filled with memorabilia both specific to the Cubs as well as Harry Caray’s life and career, and being there just a few days after the Cubs won the World Series only intensified the awesomeness of the scene and decor.  The restaurant buzzes with activity as there is a line to get into the bar and another line to take photos in front of the Harry Caray bust and “W” flag.  Marv Levy (retired Buffalo Bills head coach) sat at the table next to us, so we were among the elite 😉  The interior is bright, but not overwhelming.  Tables are close together but it works there as the frenzy of activity between the waiters and the presentation of the pre-cooked meat tray adds to the restaurant energy.  Speaking of the meat tray, I LOVE when restaurants do this.  Nothing cooler in my opinion of being shown your meat before it cooks.  I admit, I expected more from the knife-ware…pretty generic in my opinion.  I would have loved to see a laser etched “Holy Cow” on the knife handle or blade as I ate my cow, but if the restaurant reads this and wants to steal that idea, please do so!  Does the restaurant have this vibe every night?…probably not…especially any year when the Cubs aren’t making history…but any day or any night, the ambiance at Harry Caray’s will not disappoint.  Also, ask for Jesse as  your waiter, he was excellent.

Drinks: 3.5…Harry Caray’s favorite beer was Budweiser, so coming into the night, I didn’t have too high of expectations of the beer list.  While their draft beer selection was pretty generic, their bottle’d beer list surprised me as it had a lot more craft options and uniqueness than a typical generic distributor might offer, so very satisfied with that.  I also had a Moscow Mule as they are their specialty cocktail…excellent tart that I was looking for.  Bourbon offerings lacked a bit I felt.  Was really bummed about that.  The rest of the table loved the bottle of Jordan wine, but as I very rarely rate the wines, i’ll trust them and incorporate that vote of confidence into my rating!  It did feel pretty damn great to drink in the house that Harry built!


Cubs Win Cubs Win! The decision to audible from GT Prime to Harry Caray’s was also a huge win for the group. Iconic restaurant, rich with Chicago history.

Steak: 3.5…It’s a classic just like you’d expect from this 30 year old establishment and 120+ year old building. The steak selection tray is always a nice touch and you always know you in a classic steakhouse. Its simple and won’t wow you but it’s damn good.

Starters/Sides: 3.5…The Wedge got on safe in the lead off spot with a double. Mushrooms advancing the wedge to third and M&C picking up an RBI.

Ambiance: 4.5…The name says it all. Harry Caray’s, the same week of the Cubs WS victory! The whole place was a celebration!

Drinks: 4.0…Justin is one of my favorite wines enough said…old fashioned in a plastic cup from the bar, not getting points on the presentation.

Combined Rating