Perry’s Steakhouse Vernon Hills: A Modern Look for Traditional Fare

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From its beginning in Houston Texas in the 1970s as an extension of a butcher shop, Perry’s has built on its traditions and knowledge of first-class cuts of meat to expand to multiple locations across the country, including three in suburban Chicagoland. The newest of these locations recently opened in Vernon Hills at the Hawthorne Mall in a building designed by renowned restaurant builders Aria Group Architects.

From the moment you catch sight of the sleek, modern exterior you know what the experience inside will be like. The entire restaurant is decorated with minimalist, modern elegance. Straight lines, grids of wine on display, plenty of soft ambient lighting and rows of tables with neat modern seating. It is a very orderly and pleasant atmosphere. If you adore a real, modernist experience, this is the restaurant for you.

Large statement light fixtures create interesting focal points in the high-ceilinged rooms, but the lighting is strategic and low enough to highlight the food while creating a restful atmosphere in which to enjoy your meal. While the lighting is on point, the architecture of the building despite visible acoustic tile on the ceiling and sound-absorbing surfaces on many of the walls, lends itself to a noisy atmosphere.  At certain points, it was difficult to converse with my dinner companion because of ambient noise levels just from the crowd enjoying their meals around us. It wasn’t Red Robin levels of noise, but it was much louder than you’d usually expect in an upscale steakhouse.

They also have private dining rooms off the main space for parties or corporate functions.  Their exceptional staff will help you plan a curated experience for guests.  The lively bar 79 is also a charming gathering place.

One thing I’ve learned from doing a number of restaurant reviews over the years is to always listen to the advice of your server.  Ours steered us to our first course of lovely non-alcoholic raspberry-cucumber cocktails, which were exceptional. They also come in alcoholic versions.

Our second course was even more exciting. Two excellent salads.  My companion’s was a traditional spinach salad with hot bacon dressing.  It was exactly what you should expect from this dish, simply presented in a minimalist white bowl.  Mine was the very interesting Grilled Beet, Grapefruit and Creamy Feta salad.  This also contained two types of cabbage, green and purple as well as pomegranate seeds which gave an interesting pop to the mouth feel. While it looks odd like a big pile of random red things, the flavors came together beautifully, especially when eaten in a single bite containing all of the ingredients and the very creamy feta. It was by far the most interesting thing about our meals and had a genuine opinion as a dish.  I wish it had had more grapefruit in proportion to the beet, but it was still delicious and interesting.  Not something you find everywhere. I heartily recommend it.

Because Perry’s reputation proceeds it, there was no doubt that our mains were going to be meat.  And we found here that the minimalist style of the entire establishment was carried on into the presentation of the dishes. My companion got a traditional 6-inch filet cooked medium rare.  It was done to perfection and an appropriate size for a satisfying meal. Again, it was very simply presented alone on a sizzling plate with wooden trencher. 

Mine was the Chateaubriand Three Ways.  8oz of Filet cut into medallions. On the right was the 3-peppercorn au Poivre, in the center the Oscar-style topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and on the left was the coffee-crusted. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?  But as with the last time I reviewed a Perry’s, the desire to be middle-of-the-road crowd-pleasing wins out over any culinary risks.  The peppercorn was the only one that was more than a well-cooked piece of meat.  It had a flavor beyond the actual steak that was excellent. I would enjoy an entire steak cooked that way.  The Oscar Style was very mild and tasted nicely of the exact flavors of the meats and nothing more.  The Coffee-crusted seems to have been slathered in a sweet brown gravy that sort of reminded me of the Heinz stuff you buy in a jar.  You could absolutely make it just as well at home, which isn’t what you go to a restaurant for.  All-in-all disappointing.  I would highly recommend the other two preparations, though.  They were very enjoyable.

Our final course was the lovely dessert flight that featured three of their main dessert menu choices.  The chocolate crunch tower, which was basically like Swiss chocolate fudge topped with homemade toffee.  It was delicious, but so sweet that I wouldn’t have been able to eat a full-sized portion, but this small bite was an amazing treat.  We also got a portion of seasonal cheesecake and that was light and flavorful and exactly what cheesecake ought to be.  Nothing groundbreaking, but exactly as expected. The total standout was the Lemon bar, however. Topped with perfectly toasted merengue, it’s an exceptional complement and finisher for the heavy meat items on the menu.

All-in-all this new location of Perry’s is absolutely as advertised. Very traditional, perfectly prepared steakhouse items presented in a minimalist, modern setting.  If you’re in the mood for serious cuts of meat in the northern suburbs, it’s an excellent option.

They are offering various specials all year long including Pork Chop Friday Lunch, which offers a lunch-cut portion of Perrys Famous Pork Chop topped with Perry’s Signature Steak Butter. This special is served with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce. They also have a $49 3-course Pork Chop Sunday Supper available To-Go and Dine-In from 4 PM to 9 PM; Seasonal Off-Menu specials, Perry’s 3-Course Senior Menu for $39 (Guests ages 65+ any day before 6 PM for dine-in only upon request. Reservations are required.

There’s also an upcoming promotion for Mother’s Day. Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille has a delicious Mother’s Day planned for you and your loved ones. To celebrate Moms, Perry’s is opening early on the 12th. Reservations* are accepted from 11 AM to 9PM. Perry’s is featuring its 10 oz. Filet Stuffed Roast ($49), 3-Course Pork Chop Sunday Supper ($49), 4 PM to 9 PM, and Off-The-Menu Brunch-Inspired Cocktails ($13 each; 11 AM to 4 PM). A kid’s menu is also available. (Pricing does not include tax or gratuity.)

Make reservations at their website.

All photos by Suzanne Magnuson.

Author

  • Suzanne Magnuson

    Professional writer with 20 plus years of experience. M.A., M.B.A. Travel Editor and Social Media Manager for Splash Magazines Worldwide. Senior Editor. Member of Advertising Team.

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About Suzanne Magnuson 138 Articles
Professional writer with 20 plus years of experience. M.A., M.B.A. Travel Editor and Social Media Manager for Splash Magazines Worldwide. Senior Editor. Member of Advertising Team.

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