Sam & Harry's Steakhouse
1551 Thoreau Drive North
Ambience: White-table elegance with a supercontemporary feel. Glass walls, leather chairs, curved booths, deep leather settees with throw pillows. Central wine room, trimmed in wood and glass, offers spacious privacy for a dozen or more guests. Walls hung with framed, celebrity-signed menus.
Who eats: Work buddies from nearby office towers (there are tons), conventioneers, hotel guests.
Why eat: Surprisingly affordable, considering the sophisticated trappings. Can get away as cheaply as the $10 lunch special (soup/salad with half-sandwich). Even the steaks are smaller and less expensive (12-ounce top sirloin, $23) than the dinner-menu options.
Dress code: Polo shirts and slacks as far as the eye can see.
Service: Friendly, quick and efficient, well-equipped to handle lunchers with limited time.
Noise factor: Remarkably sedate for such a large, hard-surfaced room. Music plays so gently you have to strain to hear the lyrics.
Cellphone reception/ Wi-Fi: Good reception. Free Wi-Fi available to restaurant guests.
Menu: American chophouse with few surprises. Plenty of lighter dishes, including a half-dozen entree salads, for those not steak-inclined.
Reliable options: Rich and smooth lobster bisque ($8), cheese-smothered prime rib-eye sandwich ($14) with lively dijon mayo and great onion rings. Grilled salmon ($18) done perfectly. Housemade sorbet trio ($8) a nice, light meal-ender.
Neighborhood: Northwest suburbs
Expect to pay: $40-$60 for two
Overheard: One group of office pals dishing on co-workers. Nothing scandalous.
Contacts: 847-303-4050; samandharrys.com; Twitter @samandharrys