My Steak-cation at Zed451

You ever continually walk by a spot and never go in? And then of course, when you do go, it’s unbelievable and you kick yourself for all those times passed?

Welcome to my story of ZED451.

THE SPOT

I live about ten minutes from this place and have walked by here at least north of three hundred thousand times. I’m not sure what didn’t bring me in. Maybe I wasn’t feeling the name (what is a ZED451 anyway?) or in the mood for a Brazilian streak-house or whatever else it happened to be.

This is where I do the previously mentioned kicking of myself because its so good.

Here is what they say about themselves:

ZED451 is Chicago’s Brazilian steakhouse, where chefs bring a wide selection of fire-grilled fare and hand-carved rotisserie directly to your table, allowing you to taste the season’s freshest picks at your own pace.

Use the river stone at your place setting to create your own dining experience – place the stone in front of your plate to signal you’re hungry for more, then put it on the tray when your appetite is satisfied. Walk up to our signature Harvest Table to choose your own portions from unlimited samplings of fresh sides, salads, soups, and charcuterie.

Dine in the comfort of our sleek main dining room for the full experience, or enjoy lighter bites in our bar, lounge, or rooftop terrace surrounded by sky-high views of the Chicago cityscape.

Yum.

THE CHEF’S TABLE

Zed451, like a good Doctor’s time machine, is much much larger on the inside than it looks from the door. It’s beautifully mood lit with tables stretching back farther than you can see (seriously, every time I turned the corner, there was another spot to sit).

We actually had the chance to sit at the chef’s table, which was a long stretch of counter top right in front of the grill. This meant that not only did we get a chance to chat with the chefs, but we also got first choice of all the meats as they came off the fire.

If you ever have a chance to do this, do this.

THE FOOD

Ugh, the food, the food! It was incredible.

If you’ve never done a Brazilian steakhouse before, let me inform you about the joy you’re about to undertake.

At your seat is a small plate with a rock on it:

Once you remove the rock from the plate, the chefs will start to bring you gigantic slabs of beautifully cooked meats that they will then slice for you with swords. They will never stop coming until you tell them to. Which you should never do because the meat is amazing and it should continue forever.

This is what we ate:

  • Bottom Sirloin
  • Herb Marinated Leg of Lamb
  • Hanger Steak
  • Pincanha, Top Sirloin
  • Linguisa Sausage
  • Platanos Maduros/Fried Plantains
  • Asian Pork Belly
  • Tandori Chicken Thighs
  • Moroccan Chicken
  • Farror Island Salmon
  • Ribeye
  • Al Pastor Pork Tenderloin
Holy woah. They even let us sneak back to the grills to see the meats up close (but not sure we were supposed to do that, so shhhhh, don’t tell anyone.)

MORE THAN THE MEATS

If that wasn’t enough, there were amazing hot sides served in tiny cast-iron pans to keep them warm and amazing.

Of course, it’s not just about the steak, they also have a… salad bar isn’t the right word, since this was a curated collection of gourmet sliced meats and cheese and sauces and breads. Would salad boutique experience be correct? I don’t know, it’s closer at least.

We also had cocktails, ugh such good cocktails. I can’t recommend the Peach Sangria enough. So good, so refreshing. The cocktails change seasonably so worth coming back to check it out again even if you’ve been there before.

Of course there is also dessert, which honestly, not even sure we needed after that meal, especially because they’re very very very rich. That bread pudding though is something else and, if you have the room, that’s the one I recommend you trying.

MORE THAN THE FOOD


Not feeling like dining? They’ve got a beautiful rooftop space and an even more beautiful happy hour. It’s a great location for those summer Chicago days, which hey, are finally here. Thank god.

ZED451 has been around for TEN YEARS this year, which is crazy for any restaurant, much less a niche one like a Brazilian steakhouse. However after you try it, it’s easy to see why. It’s epic in all sense of the world and if you too keep walking by it, stop doing that and come have all the meat at once.

ZED451 is located at 739 N Clark St. You can learn more about them at zed451.com.