chef chicago

Michael Jordan's Steak House Spring Menu

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Perry

Spring and summer in the city are the best times to explore the ever-growing restaurant scene.  Patio drinks, rooftop dinners and seasonal eats will shake up your dining routine and refresh your tastebuds!

With the launch of a new spring menu, Michael Jordan's Steak House, 505 N Michigan Ave. , is showing that they are more than just steak.  Created by Executive chef, Craig Couper, the menu features a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts.  

My favorite small plate item on the menu is a lump crab and asparagus salad, tossed in a white soy ginger vinaigrette.  Presented with the perfect balance of meat and vegetables, this pairing is a nice, light way to start off a meal. 

The menu features two seasonally delectable desert options, steamed lemon cake with blueberries and pound cake with strawberries and basil.  Better than a cherry on top, a berry sorbet by Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream is the finishing touch, 

Chef Couper shared with Halfstack the inspiration and preparation behind the new menu.

Halfstack Magazine: What was your inspiration behind the new spring menu at Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago? 

Chef Couper:  For the spring menu, I wanted to include some lighter dishes that showcased spring flavors, utilize as many local products as possible and really showcase local asparagus and ramps. Springtime affords chefs the ability to partake in the rebirth that occurs after a long winter. It is exciting when you start to hear that ramps are returning, soft shell crabs are available, or that a farmer has the first local asparagus. The time that these products are available is finite and before you know it, they are gone for the year.  I wanted our spring menu to capture some of these moments.
HS: What are the benefits to starting a meal with an Aperitif and ending it with a Digestif? 

Couper: (answered by beverage director Amanda Herrell) A lot of times a cocktail is just too heavy to start a meal.  An aperitif is designed to whet the appetite and excite your taste buds, while still being light on the palate as they are often dry in nature.  They are inherently designed to stimulate your senses and get you ready for your meal; making you want to eat.  In all reality, enjoying a digestif is the perfect way to end a steak dinner, but often times, people don't think about a steakhouse as having a beverage program that supports such an ending.  The antithesis to the aperitif, the digestif is designed to aide in digestion.  After a heavy meal, it's calming and soothing with a little bit of sweetness.  What better way to end a meal than with a digestif designed to gently settle you into bed.

HS: What is your personal favorite item offered on the menu? 

Couper: I love the Linz Heritage Angus New York strip, the bacon and the garlic bread: but my favorite item is the Slagel Farm Pork Chop. It is cut from pigs that are put down on Mondays, butchered on Tuesdays  and delivered to us on Wednesdays. We then brine the pork in a brine made with Burton's Maple Syrup. Smoked it lightly and then cooked sous-vide in bacon fat reserved from Nueske's Bacon. The chop is then seared under our broiler and served with a rhubarb-ginger compote.

HS: Do you use any local made or grown ingredients in any of the recipes? 

Couper: We use a lot of great locally grown products. Our New York Strips, Porterhouse Steaks and Bone-In Rib-eyes come from Linz Heritage Angus beef that  we purchase from Meats By Linz in Calumet City. The Linz Heritage Angus Beef comes from cows that they own and raise on local farms.  We use about 150 pounds a week of Nueske's Bacon from Wittenburg, Wisconsin.  Burton's Maple Farm provides us with the awesome  maple syrup that we use to glaze our bacon appetizer and the Burtons provided us with a couple hundred pounds of ramps that we pickled, pureed and tuned into compound butter for our spring menu. Slagel Farms in Fairmount, Illinois provides us with our chickens and our pork loins that we cut down into pork chops. The Slagels also deliver us asparagus from a neighboring farm. Later in the year we will utilize Nichols's farm and Seedling farm for more seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

HS: What do you hope guests of Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago walk away from their dining experience with (besides a satisfied, full stomach of course!)? 

Couper: I hope that our guest finish a meal and say in a city of great steakhouses that their meal here stood out because of the great steaks, some non-traditional twists on the menu,  great cocktails, beers and wine list and a staff in the front and back that execute day in and day out.

View the complete Michael Jordan's Steak House spring menu here

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