- Mike Sula
- Steak frites
A steak house with only one entree? It’s so crazy it just might work! I mean, it has worked. Grass Fed is the new Bucktown spot that takes inspiration from the familially affiliated group of globally spread French restaurants known collectively as L’Entrecôte that serve a single prix fixe meal—steak frites with a salad. In Wicker Park the hook is that the beef is grass-fed sirloin sourced from a collective of Wisconsin farms and served in a space that looks like Martha Stewart’s kitchen circa 1995, all white with avocado banquettes, the polar opposite of a traditional testosterone-soaked expense-account steakhouse.
First thing—all beef is grass-fed—even the factory-farmed CAFO meat you buy in the supermarket. It’s just that those cows finish their lives fattening up on corn. The cows employed by Grass Fed live their entire lives frolicking on grass and they aren’t fed hormones, antibiotics, or feed processed from other cow brains, just as C’thulu intended. They live healthier, happier lives than their factory-farmed sisters and the environmental impact isn’t as grievous. What that means for you: their meat is leaner, chewier, and ideally, should result in a clean, deeply beefy flavor.
Problem is, full-time grass-fed beef is trickier to cook. Its paucity of fat means you can’t fire it at high temperatures without ruining it. The kitchen crew at Grass Fed gets around this by cooking the ten-ounce strip loins sous vide—as in a long, low and slow vacuum-sealed bath in a water circulator.