Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi Chicago Review

If you're staying in Chicago, check out our review of how Stetsons has reinvented what it means to go to a steakhouse.

Imagine having dinner at a restaurant that feels a little bit like a lounge and decorated with earth tones throughout — plus outdoor views. You’re able to see the kitchen in action, there’s a sushi bar and a contemporary gas fireplace separates the dining area.

You have a choice of specialty cocktails that are named after local landmarks and pack a powerful and tasty punch. Or you can try a craft beer. And there’s a Wine-Spectator award winning wine list. Entrees reflect locally sourced beef, sustainable seafood and organic produce. The menu includes options for small/shared plates. For service — most of the staff have worked there for decades.

Experience Stetsons Chicago:

  • Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi at Hyatt Regency Chicago Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi at Hyatt Regency Chicago Courtesy image
  • Stetsons Restaurant at Hyatt Regency Chicago Stetsons Restaurant at Hyatt Regency Chicago Courtesy image
  • Stetsons Lounge Stetsons Lounge Courtesy image
  • Table Setup at Stetsons Restaurant Table Setup at Stetsons Restaurant Courtesy image
  • Stetsons Dining Room Stetsons Dining Room Courtesy image
  • Sushi Bar and Restaurant View at Stetsons Chicago Sushi Bar and Restaurant View at Stetsons Chicago Courtesy image
  • Stetsons California Rolls Stetsons California Rolls Using just the right mix of fresh ingredients: crab, avocado, seaweed, wasabi, ginger and soy. © 2014 Rob Hard
  • Stetsons Old Fashioned Stetsons Old Fashioned Stetsons offered a variety of unique drinks, but I opted to go a bit more traditional. © 2014 Rob Hard
  • Stetsons Cap Steak and Wine Stetsons Cap Steak and Wine This is the top of the ribeye but without all of the extra marbling (grass fed). It was juicy and flavorful. And I actually enjoyed it by itself. The sauce on the side is an olive oil, parsley, garlic and red pepper flakes. This, paired with a zinfandel. © 2014 Rob Hard
  • Stetsons Octopus Stetsons Octopus
  • Stetsons Brussel Sprouts Stetsons Brussel Sprouts Brussel sprouts with glazed bacon and butternut squash cooked in a beef stock. © 2014 Rob Hard
  • Stetsons Creme Brulee Stetsons Creme Brulee I had to go for the classic steakhouse dessert -- light, creamy, eggy. © 2014 Rob Hard
  • Stetsons Chicago French Onion Soup Stetsons Chicago French Onion Soup
  • Stetsons Chicago Mashed Potatoes Stetsons Chicago Mashed Potatoes Creamy mashed potatoes with strands of fried onion. © 2014 AnnMarie Koss

Your grandparents’ steakhouse should not come to mind.

During a recent stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 E. Wacker Drive), contributor AnnMarie Koss and I reviewed Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi. It has been around for decades, but gone are the days when it was recognized as a traditional Chicago steakhouse with decor and menu to match.

As part of Hyatt’s $168 million renovation that was completed in 2013, Stetsons reinvented itself into a non-traditional steakhouse in a comfortable urban setting. And the concept is great for business travelers because they don’t even need to leave the hotel for this experience. The result? A busy dining room with modern wood chairs and tables — and all guests feel welcomed.

We tested as much of the menu as possible:

  • An old fashioned cocktail — A nod to Stetsons’ traditional past
  • My Kind of Town – Chambord and prosecco with a mix of cranberry and a hint of vanilla bean (the result: cool and refreshing to the palate,  simlar to a cosmopolitan minus the bitter gin taste)
  • California rolls — super light with fresh crab, seaweed, avacado, wasabi, ginger, rice and soy
  • Grilled octopus — tender and juicy with thin apple slices for a fresh taste and cracked pepper (boiled and then marinated for 24 hours before it’s grilled)
  • French onion soup — packed with onions and a great comfort food
  • Cap steak — a top portion ribeye which has very little marbling so it’s all flavor and was perfectly cooked
  • Sides including brussel sprouts (cooked in olive oil and candied bacon) and mashed potatoes
  • Creme brulee for dessert (another steakhouse tradition)

Our server Maria helped to navigate through the menu and our selections that evening (including wine pairing). She helped make the evening special along with the Stetsons’ approach to using simple cooking techniques and fresh ingredients.

And we left nearly three hours later.

More About the Menu

The menu is on one page, but it is extensive. For example, they have more than 20 sushi options that are served raw, wrapped in seaweed or on top of sticky rice. Choose your favorite, combine them to create your own platter or opt for the chef’s selection.

For the land options — this is a steakhouse, after all — all beef cuts are prime Chicago250 angus, which means that they were sustainably raised on natural grass pastures within 250 miles of Chicago. They offer steak favorites including skirt steak “latin style,” filet mignon, new york strip steak, ribeye, prime rib and porterhouse. They also have rack of lamb options in half and full rack sizes.

If steak isn’t your favorite, there’s chicken, pork chops & clams, braised ox tails, seafood mixed grill and a vegan option, among others.

The Stetsons Team

Such a unique menu comes together when you have a unique team behind it. Chef Konstantinos Chaidaropoulos oversees Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi. He attended the School of Tourism and Hospitality in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he obtained his culinary degree.

Chef Kostas began his career with Hyatt Hotels in 1998 at Hyatt Regency Casinos in Thessaloniki, Greece, and he moved his family to Chicago in 2010 to further pursue his talents in the culinary field. Chef Kostas brings extensive Mediterranean flavors to Stetsons as well as the philosophy to keep the menu focused regionally sourced to support area farmers. Sustainable living is key to a healthier menu, and this is at the forefront of Chef Kostas’ mind in preparation and implementation for Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi.

Amy Witz is Stestsons’ sommelier. She has an extensive culinary background, including a career as a chef and her training from Le Condon Bleu, formally known as Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago. As she worked at a variety of top Chicago restaurants, Amy began to think about “wine, wine, wine; distinguishing harmony amidst perfect pairings” as a top priority. Amy decided to transition to front of the house to learn the world of wine. She has been with Hyatt since 2008.

Meeting planners who interested in hosting an event at Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi, contact the Hyatt Regency Chicago convention services team. And if you’re interested in reserving a table, just email or call.

Have you been to Stetsons Chicago? Share your review here!

Rob is editor of Business Travel Destinations. He reviews international destinations for meetings and events -- where business travelers go, the hotels where they stay and their lifestyle preferences on the road. Rob was previously the event planning guide for About.com (owned by The New York Times Company) from 2007 - 2011. His articles also appear in business travel publications and travel sites internationally.