**** (4 stars)
This new GT restaurant is very different from its sister restaurant GT Fish & Oyster. In some ways it is more like the related Boka.
The space is mostly dark woods and stainless steel kitchen, although the underlying theme is intended to be a fanciful journey into the woods. We sat in a small upstairs space which was pleasantly isolated from the general hubub, and was quite nice, with interesting forest-themed woodwork and a dazzling light fixture. Given the size of the place, overall noise levels were reasonable, and the soundtrack is eclectic and interesting.
The idea here is to not be just another steakhouse, and they are succeeding with that. Although the emphasis is on red meat, portions are small, typically 4 ounces per person, and the side dishes are plentiful. There were some hits and misses, foodwise.
We started with the Kale Caesar, which had some nice croutons and incongruous cherry tomatoes. The kale was minced so finely that it was en route to tabbouleh, not really the consistency I was looking for. The Caesar dressing that was mixed into it was tasty, though.
Tuna Crudo was one of the standouts–delicate slices of tuna topped with red pepper and cilantro, and lightly sauced, perched atop shaved radish. This dish seemed like it came straight from a sashimi bar.
We shared the “Carnivore,” a sampler of tenderloin, rib eye, Wagyu and venison. The rib eye was the stand out here, and the Wagyu surprisingly came in last. This platter has four, 4-ounce servings of each, and is billed for four people, although two hungry people could no doubt polish it off.
The Brussels sprouts side was nicely caramelized, and probably didn’t need the prosciutto-like topping.
The better side was the Shishito peppers and corn, an unusual combination of lightly blistered peppers and delicious corn kernels creamed with Parmesan cheese.
S’mores Ice Cream Cake was well done, and tasted just like its name, but the real standout for dessert (and perhaps the whole meal) was the Coffee & Stout Donuts. These were served hot from the fryer, with a thick coffee dipping sauce and a wonderful crumb streusel to dip them into. Wow!
I probably wouldn’t go here for a steak, but I’d try some of the other mains, and focus on the appetizers, sides and desserts.
The wine list isn’t extensive, but there are some nice choices, although no bargains.
For a newly-opened restaurant, served was seamless and pleasant.
707 North Wells St
Chicago, IL 60654