Amy Morton is constantly trying new things. As the daughter of Arnie Morton, founder of Morton’s Steakhouse, she could have just been satisfied to open the best new steak joint on the North Shore and left it at that. The Barn Steakhouse has a sleek, modern sensibility, a beautiful location with deep Evanston roots that’s been reclaimed and repurposed, and the most incredible menu of dry-aged and wet-aged steaks you’ve ever seen. All of that is more than enough. But Morton keeps inventing, adapting, and building.
Take the new early-bird Prix-Fixe Menu. Every Sunday through Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. they offer a three-course meal for what is essentially the price of an entree. Morton also recently tripled the number of steak offerings on the menu, every Heritage Angus cut comes from Meats by Linz, a short hour and a half drive away. Everything about The Barn Steakhouse comes together with a tip of the hat to her legendary red meat lineage while still feeling completely current, irresistibly classy, and totally unique to Amy.
The Barn Steakhouse is located in the alley between Davis, Church, Maple, and Oak Streets at 1016 Church Street in Evanston, 847-868-8041, thebarnsteakhouse.com.
THE GRAND CENTRAL CAVIAR SANDWICH
Invented in the Oyster Bar in New York’s Grand Central Terminal, this surprisingly delicious delicacy combines the salty tang of wild American bowfin caviar with the creaminess of crème fraîche and chopped hard-boiled egg on thin slices of white bread. It’s the most arresting version of an egg salad sandwich we’ve ever experienced. Even though we’re not typically caviar people, this sandwich is intoxicating and we vowed to get it on every future visit. We had this dish paired with an effervescent cava by their top-notch sommelier to complete the Gatsby vibe.
DRY-AGED NEW YORK STEAK
The best. I’m not kidding. Mouth-wateringly tender Heritage Angus beef doused in an exceptional red wine demi-glace. Marrow butterball potatoes, made by rendering down the bone marrow into the butter, accompany the steak and are so decadent that they could just as easily be dessert. The typical steakhouse toppers of blue cheese, peppercorn, or Béarnaise are available, but to add them would be a great disservice to this perfection of preparation. This is as good as meat and potatoes get.
The perfect warming entree as our North Shore autumn gives way to winter temperatures. Shreds of savory bison mixed in with hand-dipped ricotta cheese, red wine, and spices, all over a tangle of chitarra pasta. This dish leans directly into the flavor-forward nature of the meat, the sauce adding just a touch of sweetness to the pasta for balance. Comforting and savory, this artful heap of pasta satisfies.