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The Love for Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille Never Dwindles

A fine establishment with a focus on precise yet soulful dining, the newly opened Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in Vernon Hills, Illinois, continues the tradition of offering a gratifying experience.

LF Says: ★★★★.5

For last couple of years, I’ve become fascinated with Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille – the restaurant chain that has outposts in Oak Brook and Schaumburg in Illinois. It has humble beginnings as a modest meat market — Perry’s Butcher Shop & Deli in Houston — which grew to transform into the Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. Bob Perry’s vision took wings when his son, Chris Perry, decided to expand the deli into a space that offered in-house dining. Celebrating nearly 45 years in the business, serving great food across 22 restaurants in 11 cities, it is impressive for a regional chain that has its roots in a butcher shop and deli. Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has become a successful regional brand and has expanded its operation to North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Alabama and Illinois.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills

I always wondered what was it about this steakhouse and grille that had made it a beloved haven of meat and wine across cities. I’m told Perry’s is a smashing success. So, when I was invited to dine at its newest restaurant in Vernon Hills, a nearby suburb of Chicago, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to delve into its fascinating world and family dining concept.

First impressions

The towering wine wall at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in Vernon Hills offers hundreds of wines researched to complement the menu perfectly. Here you’ll find rare vintages from major wine regions of the world. Comforting and welcoming environs, plush interiors and the addition of outdoor seating, eases you in while the fireplace keeps you toasty. The glass walls open to a patio dining that seats approximately 45 guests.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills

The restaurant has an expansive main dining room. Depending on where you are seated, you do get a reasonably good view of the chefs in the kitchen. The Perry’s Bar 79 has been named after the year Perry’s was founded. Pops of color punctuate the décor alongside textural details and great lighting. They have four private dining rooms that work well for business meetings and events, with rooms that can be joined up or separated as needed. The team will assist you with the specially-curated menus that can be tailored to your taste, says Rachael Moline, General Manager at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, Vernon Hills.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills

The finer tastes in life

As you make your way through a dedicated menu of handcrafted cocktails and non-alcoholic mocktails, all created with ingredients fresh from the kitchen, you realize it complements the food they serve quite delightfully. Perry’s signature Mini Martini Trio features a flight of three mini martinis, which rotate monthly from an offering of 12 nicely crafted specialty cocktails. Delicious, boozy and Instagrammable, the flight of mini martinis is a must-sip.

We started off with Lobster Tempura – basically lobster tail fried in tempura batter, served with miso butter, and paired with Cucumber Blueberry Martini (Mini), Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka and fresh-pressed lime, cucumber, and cranberry juices. Perry’s Signature Fried Asparagus with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat is a pescatarian appetizer, lightly fried and topped with jumbo lump crabmeat – it’s a popular starter and works well as a perfect side for your dinner. It came paired with Smoky Rita (mini) Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila, Dekuyper Orange Liqueur, fresh-pressed lime juice and agave nectar served in a glass rimmed with habanero sugar. It does offer more than just a hint of heat.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills food

Steak & Tater Totter Bites topped with shaved filet mignon, garlic aioli and diced chives are paired with Bourbon Bloom (Mini) Woodford Reserve Bourbon, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh-pressed lemon juice, and freshly-muddled blackberries and mint.

You know the place is serious about its meat when diners are offered a near-immersive experience – steak fans have the opportunity to peruse the meat and the glorious cuts through windows on the wall. It’s a sneak peek into the restaurant’s history of being a butcher shop in the 1970s. In the hall of meat fame is Wagyu beef, considered the world’s most expensive beef. And Akaushi is all-natural Wagyu beef that has a prominent place in the menu at Perry’s. “Originating in Kumamoto Japan, our Akaushi Wagyu is family raised on the Beeman Family Ranch by fifth generation cattle ranchers. Managing the lifecycle of the premier Japanese red cattle, the Texas-based ranch boasts the largest herd of Akaushi cattle outside of Japan,” says Ms. Moline. Mad about meat? Wonderful, because Perry’s has a high-quality beef selection – True Japanese A-5 Wagyu, USDA-aged PRIME Angus, and Certified Upper Choice beef – in their menu.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills food

At Perry’s Steakhouse, they do serve up more than steak. Perry’s Famous Pork Chop is an unexpected steakhouse specialty cooked to perfection. It’s Perry’s version of “farm-to-fork” with the pork sourced from Midwestern farms. Each slow-smoked, sizzling prime chop measures seven-fingers high; just as butchers would measure back in the day. The signature recipe, perfected for more than four decades, involves rubbing the chops with a secret blend of seasonings, cured and roasted on a rotisserie with pecan wood for four to six hours. There’s something especially satisfying about the chop.

“We work directly with the winemakers to blend and taste each vintage to ensure quality and consistency is maintained as these wines are specifically crafted to be paired with our award-winning menu; our most iconic pairing being the Perry’s Reserve Pinot Noir and our Famous Pork Chop.”

The sweet, smoky chop is then topped with Perry’s signature herb-garlic butter; the glazed and caramelized chops are carved tableside. It’s impossible not to swoon over the marvelous sight: plated as three portions – the “eyelash” (that’s what the restaurant terms the section found above the eye of the chop, the most marbled and melt-in-your-mouth tender part); three baby-back ribs and the center cut loin. Make a note of Perry’s Famous Pork Chop Friday Lunch which is offered on the only day of the week the steakhouse opens for lunch.

Perry’s Reserve Wine Portfolio includes a Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Bordeaux style blend, the Big Red Blend. The Chardonnay and Cabernet are sourced from Sonoma County, the Rosé and Pinot Noir are sourced from Monterey, while the Big Red Blend comes from the vineyards of Napa Valley. “Our newest addition to the portfolio is the Perry’s Reserve Rosé, made from 100% Pinot Noir, and can be enjoyed by the glass or in our mixology cocktail, the Rose Rosé Spritzer. We work directly with the winemakers to blend and taste each vintage to ensure quality and consistency is maintained as these wines are specifically crafted to be paired with our award-winning menu; our most iconic pairing being the Perry’s Reserve Pinot Noir and our Famous Pork Chop,” says Paige Stroud, Beverage Director of Perry’s Restaurants.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills cocktail

Moving on, the Pan Seared Sea Bass Cilantro was a marinated Chilean Sea Bass that was beautifully pan seared and basted with butter. Accompanied with corn brûlée and red pepper coulis, the fish was garnished with cilantro oil and micro cilantro. Dine here and even non-steak lovers will find the seafood selection deeply satisfying.

Chateaubriand Three Ways (3-Peppercorn au Poivre featured for tasting) was a Premium center-cut Filet Mignon sliced into three medallions and individually topped Oscar-style with jumbo lump crabmeat, 3-peppercorn au Poivre, and coffee crusted. The food was paired with Perry’s Reserve Pinot Noir that hails from the cool coastal Monterey vineyards.

Sweet endings

Don’t leave without trying the Nutty D’Angelo. The restaurant’s signature flaming dessert has crushed pecans flambéed with brown sugar and brandy sauce; it is served over vanilla ice cream, dipped in white chocolate and toasted almonds. Crackle the chocolate sphere with a spoon and dig in.

Perry's Steakhouse Vernon Hills dessert

The Salted Caramel Espresso Martini is incorporated with Stoli vanilla vodka, Kahlua coffee liqueur, caramel, and fresh-brewed espresso, topped with a sprinkle of Maldon sea-salt – and yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

I finally understood. The love for Perry’s never dwindles and I could see why.

 


 

LF Says: ★★★★.5

Coordinates: 1050 N Milwaukee Ave. Vernon Hills, IL, USA

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