Smith and Wollensky is a mainstay in the city of Chicago and a first stop for International travelers when visiting.  They are the only National steakhouse to butcher and dry age their beef on the premises, ensuring consistent excellent quality for every hand cut USDA Prime quality steak. Their wine list has earned top Wine Spectator Magazine honors for 25 years running.  We decided to sit on the patio for our dinner.  Leading us out to the patio, along the Chicago River, the hostess was friendly and warm!   Well dressed tables adorned the patio.  As we walked along the Chicago River sparkling with reflections of the City lights, I felt as though I was on the River.  One of the most beautiful views in the City.  
Our server approached once we were settled.
I decided to start with a classic Manhattan!  A smooth start, while enjoying my best friend's company and soaking up the sights, smells and sounds of the City.  The fresh baked bread was presented beautifully and brushed with butter, sprinkled with rock salt and rosemary.  The aroma was as delicious as the taste!  The crabcake appetizer came next.  The presentation was perfectly perched.  Sweet crab flavor was so pure and fresh.  The kitchen and service times were perfect between courses, just enough time to savor prior course and chat a bit. 
 For the entree we decided to share the Charlie Smith Seafood Bouquet, a huge iced tower of lobster, lump crab meat, jumbo shrimp, littleneck  clams and oysters served in shell with classic cocktail, ginger and mustard sauces along with a sherry mignonette.  The presentation was impressive!   Perfect for sharing with friends.  The sauces were perfect!  The Green Goddess was creamy and light, yet prominent in flavor.  The mignonette was much more prominent with the Sherry influence.  It was a delicious compliment for the sweet seafood, flown in daily!  The cocktail sauce made my taste buds burst with flavor and left with a clean finish, just the way I love.  The oysters tasted best with the Green Goddess sauce, which was a new combination for me.  It really settled down the strong oyster flavor.  The lump crab meat was so tender and sweet.  Paired with the Sherry Mignonette sauce was delicious, however for maximized clean flavor, several drops of fresh lemon is all it truly needed.  The Jumbo Shrimp were very meaty, sweet and fresh, some of the best I have tasted.   The littleneck clams, known for their tenderness, were indeed perfectly tender.  I usually will use a drop of Louisianna Hot Sauce on the clams, a holdover from my East Coast days.  These were delicious with no sauce at all.  We sat back, relaxed and chatted while the busser crumbed our table.  We decided on the Chocolate Hazelnut Crème brûlée and Espresso for dessert.  The espresso was a French Roast-Loved it!  The Crème brûlée had a perfectly scorched classique top.  Depth and breadth of flavour was outstanding yet still light.  The espresso complimented the flavors nicely.   Compliments to the Chef!

Beautifully aged beef, Seafood flown in daily, wonderfully flavored and presented food, along with a warm and professional service staff makes this one of the best in Chicago and the Midwest.  From the manager to the service staff, we were impressed.  Thank you for a fantastic dining experience.  I will definitely have to go back for their aged beef.  You might want to try a Prixe Fix menu, Early Flight for Wine Week (3 wines for $20;, tour the dry ageing facility, or a Rioja Wine Pairing Dinner this Tuesday night the 17th, or just Savor the sights, sounds and tastes from the patio with your friends! rème brûlée
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09/16/2013 6:14pm

what a wonderful experience! I've always wanted to eat there and after reading your review, I'm going to be planning a date night there with my husband in the next few weeks. I love your photo of the towers, so cool with the lights. The Charlie Smith seafood bouquet sounds amazing!!
Have a nice day

09/16/2013 6:15pm

I live in Chicago and I didn't even realize this view existed! thanks for sharing an awesome dining experience. This is a place to try

09/16/2013 6:19pm

It's good to know that the service experience matched the food. Sometimes I find with these institutions, that they rest on the laurels of the good food and the overall experience doesn't match.
I can't wait to try it! Thanks for the review!

09/17/2013 5:40am

a platter of seafood? I need to go back for that asap~~
I wish I was in town for wine week, but I'm at fashion week instead lol!

12/08/2013 11:49pm

That seafood platter looks amazing! Will have to try this place next time I am in the States. Cheers.


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