Tableside service was once reserved for Caesar salads and guacamole, but lately, many of Chicago’s top restaurants are adding the finishing touches to (and in some cases, preparing) everything from dessert to risotto at your table, too.
Whether it’s a seafood-focused riff on charcuterie or an outside-the-box way of presenting risotto, one thing is certain: chef Tim Graham doesn’t shy away from creativity in his approach to cooking—he embraces it. His pistachio risotto is made with apricot, mascarpone, whipped cream, chopped pistachio, and wild mushrooms, and is finished tableside in a gigantic parmesan wheel and topped with a splash of pistachio oil and fresh watercress for garnish. 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312-923-7705
Get your dessert fix and a nightcap simultaneously with the warm rum sponge cake at this River North favorite. The airy cake is served with citrus confit and lightly whipped cream, and is accompanied by tableside rum service; choose between Ron Zacapa, Eldorado 21, Bacardi Reserva Limitida, and Appleton Estate Reserve to pair with your dessert. 59 W. Hubbard St., 312-595-0800
RPM’s decadent dessert is an impressive creation made of salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and meringue, but the wow factor comes when it’s flambéed with rum tableside. The fire torches the meringue, giving it a warm, toasty flavor, and the rum offers a subtle boozy note that pulls the dessert together. 66 W. Kinzie St., 312-284-4990
Originally slated as a limited-run special, Ruxbin’s made-for-two guinea fowl is now available to guests indefinitely. The experience begins with chef Edward Kim expertly carving the whole, roasted bird tableside, followed by two courses showcasing the freshly cut meat. At the end of the meal, your server will send you off with a takeaway box packed with the roasted carcass, herbs, spices, and other stock ingredients and instructions for creating the perfect stock at home. (Pro tip: The fowl must be ordered one week in advance, and is not available on Fridays or Saturdays.) 851 N. Ashland Ave., 312-624-8509
Hand-carved prime rib from a tableside silver cart is a hallmark part of the Lawry’s experience; each slab of tender meat is served au jus with a salad, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and whipped cream horseradish, making for a hearty, well-rounded meal. 100 E. Ontario St., 312-787-5000
This hulking 36 oz. Painted Hills bone-in ribeye is fittingly designed for two people to share and comes with marble heirloom potatoes, bernaise made with a short rib jus reduction, and your choice of two sides, such as caramelized Brussels sprouts with cipollini onion, sautéed kale, or grilled asaparagus. Did we mention that it’s served tableside? 104 E. Oak St., 312-445-0060