Midwest Living Review
An inventive menu. Expertly prepared dishes. Superb service. Michael Jordan's Steak House, opened in late 2011 in the ground floor of the Intercontinental Hotel on North Michigan Avenue, is a rarity among celebrity-owned restaurants -- the food really is the star. Not to say that the restaurant is completely devoid of its namesake's influence. The decor is sleek and understated masculine: gray walls, red leather chairs, warm wood tables and stone accents on the walls. For artwork, two oversize, artful and somewhat abstract black-and-white shots of basketball nets hang on the wall, one with an overlaid quote from MJ. But that, and the restaurant's name, about covers it. From service to food to drinks, the focus is on creating a high-class dining experience. And thoughtful little details (like serving sides in hot cast-iron dishes so the food stays warm) make it work. The menu includes simply prepared basics and inventive takes on steak house classics. An appetizer of shrimp cocktail ($18) features fresh shrimp mingling with ribbons of spicy celery and a horseradishy cocktail sauce. The dry-aged, bone-in ribeye ($55) is served artfully cut, with a huge curl of bone balancing the thick piece of steak. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare on the inside, the outside features a well-seasoned, charred crust. The steak is served with three sauces: an au jus, a horseradish cream and a sweet tomato chutney. The lamb chop ($41) is tender and flavorful, topped with a pad of spicy-minty harissa and settled over a handful of glazed baby carrots. Sides include sauteed mushrooms ($7) and a buttery trio of mashed potatoes ($14), including a decadent sweet potato and marshmallow concoction. Our only real complaint here was the acoustics: The restaurant surrounds a three-story rotunda, which amplifies sound. It was challenging to hear our waiter (who was exceptionally patient with our repeated questions), but table conversation wasn't an issue. Overall, this is a small concern, and not enough to keep us from returning again -- and with any luck, we will soon.