Showcasing the first on-premise dry-aging program in Chicago when opening in 2005, Primehouse redefines the modern American steakhouse and was named Food & Wine Magazine’s Top Steakhouse in the U.S. in 2013, Best Steakhouse In Chicago by Thrillist in 2015 and the #1 Steakhouse in Chicago by Chicago Magazine. Their steak program includes racks of rib-eye, strip loin, and more, aged from 28 to more than 100 days. To say that Executive Chef Dino Tsaknis knows his steak is a big understatement. His advice says it all…
Steak is normally seen as “man food.” Why is this a misconception?
I think that the man food title gets associated with men only for the reason that sometimes steaks get cut into enormous portions. The reality is that everyone enjoys a good cut of meat!
Can you give use the 5 most common steaks we’d find on a steakhouse menu, and explain their differences?
- Filet (tenderloin): tender, mild beef flavor
- Rib-eye (Export): highly marbled, rich, high beef flavor
- KC Strip (Strip loin): slightly less marbled than a rib-eye, overall the truest beef flavor of all cuts, with a slightly firmer texture
- Porterhouse (short loin): best of both worlds you have a tenderloin and a strip loin together
- Bone-in Filet (butt tender): a step up from filet, with a more intense flavor, higher fat content
What type of diner should order each of these steaks?
- Filet, or bone-in filet: they are leaner, more entry level, I wouldn’t say beginner but for those that choose to have a lighter beef experience
- Rib-eye: Decadence, if you want high marbling, intense flavor, lends it self well to aging
- KC: great beef flavor, without over doing it, has more texture and firmness, great eating steak
- Porterhouse: Great for sharing amazing flavor, and for those that can’t make up their mind on what cut to order.
What are some of your favorite items on the steak menu?
I like the Porterhouse because it gives you everything you want, plus you can enjoy it with company, which makes it in a way interactive. The Porterhouse, I feel, elevates the steakhouse experience whether you eat one for yourself or share.
And what wines or cocktails pair well with steak?
I tend to stay away from cocktails when eating steak, but with wine, depending on age or cut, you can try anything from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel. The way I look at it, there are no real “rules.” I tell people drink what they enjoy from cocktails to beer, to wine.
What are some simple tricks for cooking steak at home?
Don’t overcook high quality cuts so try not to go over medium. Use a hot cooking surface whether grilling or in a pan, have good ventilation, and most importantly, let the meat rest for at least 5-10 minutes before you start cooking.
How should we season our steak for maximum flavor?
Use good salt and good pepper, and if you are feeling it, let a quality piece of butter melt over the top when you’re done cooking.
If we can’t finish our steak in the restaurant (crazy – we know!), how can we utilize them in leftovers?
Everything! Sandwiches, fried in with eggs, cut up and added to soup (mushroom, celery, tomato) – Only your imagination can limit you!