Maple & Ash overall score: 81
Maple & Ash came recommended by a friend. First thing I saw when I looked at the menu online was an order called “I don’t give a fuck.” For $200 a head, they give you what they want. I thought that was funny, so I was sold on trying this place out.
We had the aged porterhouse, called “The Eisenhower.” I didn’t really get much aged flavor from it, and the thing was basically swimming in juices (likely cut too soon after cooking), but it was in fact tasty and tender. It was cooked slightly over in some parts, and slightly under in others.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 10
There’s a lot to choose from here, including, again, items from Japan and various parts of the country.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
The portions here are big, on everything from the steaks to the sides and sweets. They go a little extra here on plating – beyond the usual white plate elegance. The marrow served with the steak is nice; kinda reminded me of stuffed clams (breadcrumbs mixed in).
Another Chicago slam job on the price. I don’t think NYC has gotten there yet. A steak for two here was $225, over $100 a head. That’s insanity!
The bar(s) here are a little too small for the size and type of crowd that this joint attracts (bros and hoes). They mixed a decent martini though, and the bars were nicely appointed.
Specials and Other Meats: 10
There were no specials read to us, but I didn’t expect much from a place with such an extensive menu. We did try their veal chop as an appetizer. This was much better than the porterhouse for two.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
The broccolini was in fact broccoli rabe. Let down. It was also mushy and chopped up into oblivion.
The coconut cream pie was excellent, and the size and shape of the slice was a sight to behold.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s a lot of seafood on the menu, but we only tried the octopus appetizer. It was okay, but a slight bit snappy and chewy in texture.
Service was very good. Nice waiter, and they seemed to know their meats very well.
I really can’t decide if I want to give this place a 10, or something like a 6, so I’m splitting the difference. I like the idea of a gothic looking steakhouse. They have these wild candlesticks all over the place. The rooms are dark and dim, but loud as fuck from a young crowd. It’s kind of a strange juxtaposition. And then they also have modern touches throughout, which kind of clashes with the gothic stuff. Interesting, to say the least. Since the place is multi-level, at times it seems cramped and small. But they did make the best use of their space.
MAPLE & ASH
8 W Maple St
Chicago, IL 60610