Following a full makeover of the former Zest, Michael Jordan's Steak House opened inside the InterContinental Hotel. Appropriately enough, the restaurant officially opened for dinner on Aug. 23. Get it? 23. If it needs explaining, just move on.
The restaurant sits on the second floor of the hotel, and unlike its predecessor, it takes advantage of some of the more dramatic design elements from the original building, constructed in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club. Guests enter across a new glass bridge that extends underneath beautiful frescoes, stone columns and more. The bridge delivers you toward a glass-enclosed wine wall and eventually into the dining rooms.
The rooms (one sits on either side of the entry) each seat 80 diners in red-fabric booths or at mahogany wood tables with burgundy leather chairs. Additional wine cases grace the rooms, as do large blown-up photos of basketball nets with quotes from MJ like "I was aware of my success, but I never stopped trying to get better." There's also a wood art installment featuring both the numbers 23 and 6, signifying the number of championships Jordan helped the Chicago Bulls win.
A first-floor lounge greets guests off the hotel lobby with 90 seats. Seating in this area is first come, but guests can order off either the lounge menu or the main dining room menu. Peter Vestinos (Sepia, Wirtz Beverage) has created the cocktail program and has featured drinks like the Meet Me at the Bar (gin, Cynar, dry vermouth, grapefruit and angostura bitters) and La Grande Dame (Cognac, mint, lemon and Champagne).
As for the food, well, if you want a well-made steak by chef James O'Donnell, you'll find yourself in the right place. Whether ordering a 28-day dry-aged 20-ounce prime Kansas City strip, a 10-ounce center cut filet or any of the other nine steaks, O'Donnell can perfectly char the outside while leaving the center a perfect medium rare.
Other food offerings include various chilled shellfish; garlic bread with a melted Wisconsin Ader Kase reserve blue cheese fondue poured over; a 23-ingredient chopped salad; seared rare tuna with three tapenades and wilted spinach; double-smoked bacon with a maple black pepper glaze; and shrimp and grits with smoked bacon, sweet onions and lobster broth; the dish is apparently one of MJ's favorites.
Ready to jump in? Take a look at what's on the menus.