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MICHAEL JORDAN'S CHICAGO RESTAURANT - A SLAM DUNK
 
(2017 - Fall Issue)

Writer: DIANE SLAWYCH



If Michael Jordan walks into his eponymous restaurant in Chicago for dinner and you happen to be sitting at his table (number 23–just like his old jersey), you could be in luck. Not only will you see the retired basketball star up close but if you relocate to another table so he can be accommodated at his oversized corner booth with pals or family, he’ll apparently pick up your tab. Or at least that’s the story I overheard a guide tell a group of young sports fans at the restaurant recently.

The six-time NBA champion has steakhouse restaurants in New York, Washington and Connecticut. The one in Chicago is located in the historic InterContinental Hotel along the Magnificent Mile.

From street level, enter through the bar, where basketball (what else?) plays on television screens and walls are adorned with photos of MJ, both on and off the court. There are images of Jordan posing with a dizzying array of celebrities over the years including Bill Murray and Muhammad Ali.

If you happen to be here around Jordan’s birthday on February 17, you can sign a gigantic birthday card at the foot of the stairs that leads to the fine dining restaurant. Note the beautiful painted designs on the ceiling beams on your way.

Inside the restaurant are tall glass cabinets, some filled with bottles of wine and others with dozens of knives. There’s nothing to explain why the handles bear the names of well-known personalities such as Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. Did they eat here? Where’s that guide?

Barring an MJ sighting you can dine from a menu of his signature favourites. The table 23 menu for two includes colossal crab, garlic bread, double-smoked bacon, choice of salad, MJ’s Delmonico (a 45-day dry-aged USDA Prime cut) with ginger-balsamic jus, baked stuffed half lobster, various side dishes, and—save room for it—a 23-layer chocolate cake!

The restaurant offers plenty of choices beyond beef (lamb chops, salmon, halibut, sea scallops and roasted chicken) plus some inventive cocktails. The Perfect Pear, with gin, pear, nicholiahoff elderflower and black walnut bitters, features MJ’s “Jumpman.” The staff at MJSH has also worked with a local brewery to develop house beers ranging from the refreshing “Magnificent 7” to a seasonal coffee and bacon-flavoured stout.

For a winning career, only the best will do.

Travel Planner

Porter Airlines (flyporter.com) operates daily non-stop service between Toronto Island and Chicago. Michael Jordan’s Steak House (mjshchicago.com) is located at 505 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. The bar is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday. The dining room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. most nights. The Hyatt Centric hotel (chicagomagnificentmile.centric.hyatt.com) is centrally located and sure to please.

Celebrity dining spots are not the only reason to visit Chicago, a city that offers countless themed tours (on foot or by boat) of its architectural treasures. There’s a stunning beach, more than 200 theatres (from Broadway musicals to Shakespeare), ethnic neighbourhoods to explore, several Frank Lloyd Wright homes to visit, 360-degree city views from the Skydeck and glass ledge at the Willis Tower, and the famous painting “American Gothic” at the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information, visit choosechicago.com.

 
 
 
 
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