West Loop restaurant, BLVD Steakhouse, reopens March 17 after taking a winter hibernation. An American steakhouse inspired by Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd—the golden era’s famed strip of dining and entertainment establishments—BLVD Steakhouse’s reopening signifies the return of its dining to the neighborhood with a chef-driven menu of prime cuts and seafood towers.
The menu from Executive Chef Johnny Besch pays homage to classic steakhouses of a bygone era. Updated versions of traditional steakhouse offerings include Shrimp Cocktail, made new again by Besch with horseradish panna cotta—a technique he learned from Alain Ducasse—spicy tomato gastrique, and lemon confit; Lobster Thermidor, a whole Maine lobster entrée that regularly appeared on menus during the mid-20th century; Steak Frites, featuring a 10 oz. prime bavette from Allen Brothers served with hand-cut fries and bone marrow butter, a version of the "minute" steak; and Spinach Rockefeller with housemade maple bacon and Herbsaint absinthe. Nods to the 1950s can be seen in throwback dishes such as the Onion Soup Fondue and the Holiday Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae.
The wine program, curated by Beverage Director Ted Rink, is a 2020 Wine Spectator Award winner for the ‘World’s Top Restaurants for Wine.’ Rink highlights a mix of producers from traditional regions and producers who are experimenting with new growing methods and production techniques. Every Thursday night, Vintage Thursdays, Rink selects back vintage wines from distributors, held inventory, and wine auctions and offers that wine by-the-glass to guests at cost. This gives guests an opportunity to try wines at an affordable price without committing to the bottle. BLVD Steakhouse’s cocktail program features classic cocktails with a BLVD spin like the Sidecar Deluxe, made with Bank Note 5yr. scotch, Carpano Antica, palo santo, and cinnamon.
The West Loop restaurant offers a number of daily specials in addition to Vintage Thursdays. Happy Hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Friday features “high-low” bites such as foie gras buffalo wings, deviled eggs topped with king crab and cabernet braised short rib sliders, with wine by the glass and cocktails starting at $7. On Whiskey Wednesdays, four customized whiskey flights are offered —Small Batch, West Coast, Japanese, and The Pappy Collection—paired with a housemade bite that compliments the liquor. On Friday and Saturday, the Magnum Program is offered, which features tableside glass pours from a magnum of wine. Finally, BLVD Steakhouse offers $1 Oyster Sundays with by-the-glass pours of a featured sparkling wine.
BLVD Steakhouse will also be participating in Choose Chicago’s Restaurant Week from March 19 to April 4. A choice of classic Caesar, Wedge Salad, Onion Soup Fondue or Lobster Bisque will be available to start, before choosing a main course of Steak Frites with bone marrow butter, King Salmon, Vegetable Risotto or Organic Half Chicken with truffle chicken jus. For dessert, your choice of strawberry cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding.
Starting on the cherished Irish holiday, March 17, hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 5-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 5-11 p.m. Reservations can be made through OpenTable and delivery and takeout are available through DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats and TOCK.