The lush Michael Jordan's Steak House opened last night on the Magnificent Mile. Located inside the historic InterContinental Chicago, the restaurant attempts to balance fitting into an already gorgeous space while not feeling limited by it. When you check out the slideshow below, take note of the bridge. It's the first thing you'll probably notice when enter the space, as it juts across the lobby, connecting the second floor to the main dining room. Sure, the two staircases on either side already get you to the dining area, but they aren't nearly as dramatic as the bridge. That basically sums up this place.
As you've probably noticed from looking at the menu, Michael Jordan's Steak House doesn't really try anything radically different. The steaks are huge, the salads are based on classics, and the wine list is vast and heavy on reds. As executive chef James O'Donnell has mentioned before, that's kind of the point. The restaurant isn't trying to reinvent the model, as it has an ideal location and the greatest living athlete's name on the sign.
If the restaurant has any angle, it may be a slight embrace of some Southern dishes. The shrimp and grits ($14) dish is described as being a favorite of Jordan's. Also, O'Donnell is enthusiastic about some of the fish courses, especially the pan-roasted halibut which features a smoked pecan romesco.
It'll take time to see how it fits into the already crowded steakhouse culture of Chicago. But for now, take a look at our slideshow of the space, along with some shots of what you can expect to eat.