Think ‘steakhouse’ and you probably imagine a wood-panelled roadside joint dishing up hearty portions or a bog-standard diner that’s more about protein than pizzazz. Chicago’s Maple & Ash, helmed by restaurant power-player Brian O’Conner, aims to change all that, giving meat lovers a much-needed luxe alternative. A mod take on the trad American steakhouse, it’s a stylish and seductive affair, beguiling guests with the glamour of a bygone era. Take a date, dress up and rev up for romance.
Set in Chi-town’s historic district, this Gold Coast stunner is spread over two storeys – a laid-back bar-lounge on the ground floor and an elegant dining room up above. The sultry bar teams a glossy counter with elegant bar stools, come-hither leather banquettes, art and retro glass. Drinks span wine, champers and cocktails (make ours a vintage martini or cherry-infused bourbon ‘Guilty as Charged’), with starters, salads, sandwiches and more substantial plates.
Upstairs, the dramatic Studio K-designed main dining room boasts hanging grey textiles, purple walls, chic charcoal tables, and leather-and-velvet-upholstered seats, with power flowers, necklace-like chandeliers, herringbone wood floors and lounge chairs in lime-green, orange, yellow and blue.
Chef Danny Grant takes centre stage at the open kitchen, wielding a 12-foot wood-burning hearth to roast choice meats and seafood. Kick off with caviar or Alaskan crab salad, chased by filet mignon slathered in blue cheese or roasted bone marrow.
8 W Maple St / +1 312 944 8888 / dinner daily, lounge 11am-late daily / mapleandash.com