Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille—Suburban Cowboy

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Photos by Greg Shapps

Depending on how one is seasonally wired, June’s arrival is generally signified by one of three main olfactory enticements: Freshly mown grass; tropical sunscreen; or a smoky grill. For those in this last camp, who opt to jump into summer stomach-first, there’s no more exciting warm-weather development than the arrival of yet another steakhouse.

NMAG0614_Table_Perry's2014.06-090_800pxYet for the new-to-town meat emporium itself, the prospect of going cut-to-cut with the imposing array of established places in the shadow of a carnivore’s paradise like Chicago has to be at least a little bit intimidating. But proud Lone Star transplant Perry’s, which recently opened its first location outside of its comfortable home base by dropping into the western suburbs and into a pool of such recognizable names as Carey, Ditka and Gibson, seems to have the moxie it will need to thrive in this competitive man-eat-beef arena.

Bread and Circuses

Despite its Texas roots, the vibe at Perry’s is more Vegas chic than spurs-and-lassos, with sleek modern lighting fixtures and rich leather appointments throughout the lively dining area and adjacent Bar 79. Even on a run-of-the-mill Tuesday night, the room was crowded and boisterous well before 7 p.m., suggesting that amid the glut of high-end restaurants now competing for diners’ attention at Oakbrook Center, Perry’s was making an early connection with Midwestern sensibilities and appetites.

NMAG0614_Table_Perry's2014.06-055_800pxAs is customary in this genre, and at this price point, service was nothing short of impeccable, with our waiter always at the ready to help us navigate the massive wine list or talk us through some of the noteworthy menu items. Two of these items, the symphony kabobs featuring either several cuts of beef or seafood selections suspended on a wire hanging from a tabletop harp-shaped frame, seemed to be popular throughout the room, with patrons in several nearby booths batting at their meals like curious kittens playing with knots in a shoestring.

White Meat, Right Meat

assing on the carnival-game intrigue of those attention-getting kabobs, we opted instead to open with a shared platter of Perry’s signature fried asparagus. Topped with garlic butter and lump crab meat, this is a dish to render pointless any other possible asparagus preparation, not to mention any notion of the healthiness of eating one’s vegetables. From there, we proceeded to the substantial entrees, which in my case meant bypassing a number of enticing aged beef selections in favor of a pork chop that was listed, almost as a warning, as measuring seven fingers high.

It can be an unsettling feeling to order pork in a steakhouse, but in the case of this juicy, caramelized behemoth carved tableside into three manageable segments, the possible stigma of forfeiting the steak is a moot point. In fact, the exact reverse seemed closer to the truth, with all those poor steak-eaters missing out on this insanely good chop. Aside from a shot glass of house-made applesauce, the Perry’s chop follows the template of most steakhouse entrees by arriving unaccompanied, so we rounded out the meal with shareable portions of the decadently cheesy au gratin potatoes and the Brussels sprouts, a childhood abomination here redeemed by a zesty Sriracha vinaigrette and flash-fry preparation.

NMAG0614_Table_Perry's2014.06-255_800pxThe dessert slate, as is de rigueur in this type of place, was notably overblown, numbering three tableside flambé options among its unholy extravagances. But with a carry-out bag of leftovers so large that it looked as though we’d been shopping for winter coats, we decided to politely decline on the sweets and ride off into the sunset, confident that Perry’s would be a player here in the Midwest long enough to sample a few of these tasty treats on our next visit instead.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
5 Oakbrook Center,
Oak Brook, 630.571.1808