Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A family friend told us a few weeks ago about Chateaubriand steak. He wasn't sure exactly what it was, but he claimed it was fork-tender, and more delicious than filet mignon. According to Wiki:

The Chateaubriand steak is a recipe of a particular thick cut from the tenderloin, which, according to Larousse Gastronomique, was created by personal chef, Montmireil, for Vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, (1768–1848), the author and diplomat who served Napoleon as an ambassador and Louis XVIII as Secretary of State for two years. This dish is usually only offered as a serving for two, as there is only enough meat in the center of the average fillet for two portions. At the time of the Vicomte, the steak was cut from the more flavorful but less tendersirloin and served with a reduced sauce made from white wine and shallots moistened with demi-glace and mixed with butter, tarragon, and lemon juice. An alternative spelling of the statesman-author's name is 'Châteaubriant', and some maintain that the term refers to the quality of the cattle bred around the town ofChâteaubriant in the Loire-Atlantique, France

As a steak lover, I immediately looked up a restaurant that serves this dish, and found the unanimous vote is for Sabatino's (in fact, I don't think there were any other place I found that served it in Chicago). Since my brother was moving out of the country, the hub and I decided to take him out for dinner.

Sabatino's is an old-Italian style restaurant with piano bar, so don't expect anything fancy schmancy. The place settings aren't even nice. However, they do give you a lot of food (great value), and they're generally fresh & tasty too.

We started off with pre-dinner dry grey goose martinis. To my absolute delight, they offered blue cheese-stuffed OR anchovy-stuffed olives.. YUM! I love anchovies...in salads, on bread, pasta, the possibilities are endless. That super salty fishy taste is so addictive. Needless to say, I requested anchovy-stuffed, and didn't even offer any to my husband (he asked for blue-cheese), because it was so good. That super salty (olives AND anchovy) taste mixed with chill alcohol is divine.

No matter what you order, Sabatino's bring over a loaf of bread, AND pizza bread. So easy - but so delicious. I don't see a point in trying to order any appetizers.. you'd only be left with no room for the main course.

Each dish also comes with soup AND salad. (and yes, the Chateaubriand for two would give you two sets)

The hubby went from Minestrone, which was fresh and good with intense tomato base.

I tried the Stracciatella with Spinach. It was decent, reminding me of Chinese egg drop soup with spinach.

The house dressing for salad is Italian (of course), nothing special about it. The only mistake our waitress made was not putting dressing on the side...it was a little salty for me.

My brother decided to order a pasta dish we can all share (we planned on sharing the Chateaubriand too).

"Chef's Favorite" Vermicelli Alla Angelo ($17.95) - Shrimp sauteed in butter, garlic, and wine sauce, and served over Vermicelli Aglio Olio

This dish was okay - a bit too buttery for my taste. It's nothing to write home about.

Chateau Briand for two ($58.00) was prepared table side, which I was barely able to watch because he was behind me (and I was a little buzzed). I told the waitress that I typically like my steak to be between "rare" and "medium rare", so she said she'd request 'rare', and if it's undercooked, they're able to cook it more. It seemed like that's how it was being prepared, but after we cut into our plates, we found that my husband's portion was perfectly cooked, and mine was overdone. Next time I go, I'm definitely asking for 'rare'. My husband's portion was SO MUCH more delicious and tender. The mushrooms/shallots/wine sauce was also very tasty.

The three of us licked every plate clean, and was too full for dessert.

This is definitely a place I recommend for easy, no frills, delicious Italian. As a side note, the waitress also recommended Filet Mignon Meuniere ($24.95) - (Sliced center cut filet in white wine with lemon), and said she loves it more than Chateaubriand. We will definitely return to try that.

4441 W Irving Park Road
Chicago, Ill 60641
(773) 283-8331

No comments: