The 24,000-square-foot, three-story Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse ( 58 E. Oak St.; DelFriscos.com ) certainly makes a dramatic statementand, in a sense, it's no wonder.
The behemoth occupies 70 percent of what used to be the Esquire movie theater, and Del Frisco's has even retained some touches, such as the "ESQUIRE" sign displayed upon entering, and even knobs on the second-floor wall that represent popcorn.
However, the steakhouse has its own featuressome which have prompted an intriguing range of reactions. Most prominent is a ginormous wine tower ( that could have its own zip code ) that's suspended in the middle of the restaurant and which contains 21,000 bottles of spiritsmost which might be out of the financial reach of the average Joe. ( You can also try one or more of several cocktails, including the very tasty VIP, which mixes Svedka Clementine Vodka with fresh Hawaiian pineapple. )
General manager Bryon Cruz led Savor on a detailed tour of the place, pointing out everything from its private rooms ( including one that Chicago Bulls player Derrick Rose likes to frequent ) to patrons such as jeweler Lester Lampert, whose business is right across the street.
Speaking of the neighbors, door prizes from nearby stores ( including Gucci purses ) are attracting people to the restaurant's "Wednesday Night Del-ight," which has a selection of appetizers, the Prime DF Burger and Buffalo Style shrimp available at half price ( and there's discounted drinking ).
As for the cuisine, Executive Chef Jared Case ( who is so laid back he could be anyone's drinking buddy ) mostly impresses. While I missed the cheesesteak eggrolls at lunch, my dining companion and I honestly enjoyed starters such as pork-belly bao and lobster tempuraand the lobster mac 'n' cheese was the best I've had in a while. The pressed-steak sandwich ( with wild-mushroom duxelles, caramelized onions, arugula, Emmental cheese, horseradish and au jus ) was solid, although the prime ribeye or even the avocado chicken-salad wrap might be a better way to go.
By the way, Valentine's Day is on its way. If you want to make a statement, this just might be the place to do it. ( There's a $79 steak-and-lobster pairing Feb. 12-14. )