Full disclosure: I don’t eat beef. So when I walked into STK, one of Chicago’s newest steakhouses, I was a little nervous that my options would be pretty limited – but more on that later. As I entered, the first thing that popped into my head was: HOLY PARTY. With a sleek looking bar that extends throughout the front and a champagne room to the left, it became apparent that this was not just a restaurant.
As I traveled past the bar and up a short set of stairs next to the DJ booth, I entered the dining area. With posh, round, white-colored booths and a beautiful white structure that extends the length of the ceiling, I immediately knew this would be nothing short of fun. The first libation to enter my hands was the Secret Affair. You have to like spicy food to enjoy this drink, which I do, so I found it quite inventive.
Made with Purity Vodka, red chili pepper, watermelon and a Tajin rim, it’s proof that opposites attract. The first thing that hit my palate was the spice, and then the fire in my mouth was put out by the sweetness of the watermelon. It’s two things I never would have thought to put together that actually pair beautifully.
I was happy to see that they offered a variety of salads, most of which don’t contain any meat. The Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad immediately caught my eye. I’m a sucker for anything that contains goat cheese and the apples, cranberries and Marcona almonds only solidified my decision to try this. It was very earthy with sweet notes, and the hints of salt offered a satisfying contrast.
What came next was an unexpected construction. The Seared Scallops sat atop a squash puree with pomegranate seeds and short rib marmalade. I pushed the short rib to the side and dug in. After eating this dish I can say I am a huge fan of pairing pomegranate with scallops. The flavor of the pomegranate burst onto my taste buds and married with the scallops in a way that was so pleasant and unique. These two textures were meant for each other. This was turning into an evening of firsts and I can fully appreciate a steakhouse that takes its scallops seriously.
The Staff Selection was my next cocktail, which went well with the scallops. Made with Plymoth Gin, lavender honey, sage, basil and mint – it was very refreshing and easy to drink.
Since I kept my meal light I knew it was perfectly acceptable to end things on a sweet note, so I went for the Churro Milk Shake. This adults only shake is made with dulce de leche ice cream and Fireball Whiskey, and the churro bites are just the right size for dipping. If you’re looking to feel like a kid again (except with alcohol) this dessert will satisfy you on all fronts.
Moral of the story? The atmosphere, drinks and desserts make it fun and if you’re not a big steak eater you can still go here and indulge in a variety of dishes. And when better to try a new restaurant than on NYE? STK has 4 and 5 course dinner options (or just an open bar ticket) and after you eat you can stay right there and celebrate masquerade style. No need to bar hop, just head on over to the champagne room and countdown to midnight!
9 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654
Featured Image: © Jorge Gera Photography