This must be what it felt like to go out for dinner during the Gilded Age. Del Friscos Double Eagle Steakhouse is an opulently outfitted chain restaurant specializing in prime steaks and seafood with a selection of over 1,200 fine wines. It occupies three floors of the historic Esquire Theater at 58 East Oak Street on Chicago's Gold Coast. It is designed to preserve the landmark theater's historic architectural elements and create an intimate dining environment. The 47-foot-tall wine tower is a tourist attraction in itself. Diners are impressed with white linen tablecloths, large chandeliers, high-backed booths and large windows facing Oak Street. Del Friscos is an experience unlike any other steakhouse in Chicago. And it's part of a chain, like Capital Grille, Other locations are in Boston, Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Denver, Las Vegas, Fort Worth, New York City and Washington, D.C. I'm glad they decided to include Chicago, even though it was a shame to lose the Esquire. Del Friscos has added traffic to the popular Oak Street shopping district for lunch and dinner. The menu features traditional fare, nothing glitzy and inventive. Start with shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, escargot and Caesar salad. For entrees, my wife and I chose Bay of Fundy salmon with potatoes au Gratin and spinach and an eight-ounce filet mignon with mashed potatoes and sauteed wild mushrooms and pearl onions. Other options are 16-ounce ribeye, 24-ounce porterhouse, seared Chilean sea bass, filet medallions, pan roasted chicken, prime braised short rib and broiled lobster tail. Save room for dessert. You won't be disappointed. But which one? How about lemon doberge cake, six layers of cake with lemon buttercream icing and lemon glaze? Or Butterscotch pudding with salted caramel and whipped cream? Or warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce? Or coconut cream pie? Or Nutella bread pudding? Or an adult milk shake with Nocello walnut liqueur? There are many quality steakhouses in Chicago and Del Friscos is one of the very best.
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