Before visiting Steak 48 at 615 N. Wabash Ave, here’s a bit of advice: When a server sets down that sizzling plate, heaving with a 16-ounce bone-in ribeye, and says, “Please be careful. The plate is hot,” believe them. The new restaurant from the family that founded Mastro’s, opens to the public tonight in River North.
Those 500-degree plates of sizzling steaks were so lava-like at a Thursday night fundraiser that they seared holes into the white tablecloths of the serving trays. Like the original Mastro’s Steakhouse, which the Mastro family sold about 10 years ago, this new two-story steakhouse comes by way of Arizona. There it’s called Steak 44, a reference to the street address. There’s also a Steak 48 in Houston, a reference to Arizona being the 48th state in the union.
Customers enter by walking in down a long, dark corridor featuring a wall completely covered in aged meat cleavers. Yeah, it’s more grindhouse than steakhouse, but they’re firmly bolted to the walls, so don’t be scared.
Inside find a low-ceiling, boisterous front lounge to the left, a slightly more subdued dining room to the right, and a brightly lit kitchen dining room next to the raw bar that feels like the real party here. Head upstairs for more intimate lounge with orange tufted banquettes, and two more dining rooms, and a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking Wabash.
On the menu, which promises “responsibly farmed" and 28-day wet-aged beef.Diners will see that a 12-ounce New York strip will set them back $39, an 18-ounce bone-in filet mignon will costs $64. Other cuts, like the domestic Wagyu filet are listed as market price. Top those chops with truffle butter for $6, burrata for $7, and black truffle sautéed Maine lobster for $38. Other items included customizable seafood towers, Maryland-style crab cakes, whole King Crab clusters, lobster tails, and a bone-in veal chop.
The wine list offers 48 wines by the glass — touted as 9-ounce “Chicago-style pours” — and includes options like a 2015 The Prisoner Red ($28), a gem rarely offered by the glass.
Another notable nod to Chicago happens to come in the unlikely form of late actor and steakhouse habitué Dennis Farina. A friend of the Mastro family — and a regular customer — guests will see the Chicago cop-turned-Law & Order actor on a mural in a second story dining room, informally being referred to as, naturally, The Farina Room. Better yet, the menu offers a Steak Farina, which is a 12-ounce bone-in filet with a fried egg on top, one of Farina’s favorite ways to eat his steak.
And if the egg is too runny, diners can always just flip it onto the 500-degree plate and try to scramble it.
Is Steak 48 an improvement over the Mastro’s namesake steakhouse, located just a short walk away? Find out today when Steak 48 opens.
Steak 48, 615 N. Wabash Ave., (312) 226-4848, open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; bar opens at 4 p.m. daily. Reservations available via OpenTable.