Lawry's The Prime Rib - Chicago IL

Lowry's spinach salad

Lawry's The Prime Rib's (Chicago IL) "Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad" with Vintage Dressing

Prime Rib Station

Vicente Gerrero carving prime rib from Lawry's Silver Carver's Cart, (notice his impressive Royal Carver's Medallion)

Burgundy & Judy Delgado

L to R: Judi Delgado, Director of the Macular Degeneration Partnership (Los Angeles CA); Burgundy L. Olivier, "The Spinach Lady" (Lafayette LA)


Angie Kleinsasser, Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant Manager

Lawry's Prime Rib

"Lawry's The Prime Rib" Creamed Spinach, Prime Rib and Mashed Potatoes (September 4, 2003)


Prime Rib & Lobster

An excellent array of fine wines from Round Hill of California, prime rib and broiled lobster tails

Burgundy & Chef

L to R: Patrick Stewart, Executive Chef, Lawry's The Prime Rib; Burgundy L. Olivier

Bag-made-of-chocolate dessert

"Chocolate Bag" dessert, filled with fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, floating in fresh whipped cream; served with dark, rich coffee

Burgundy & Judy

L to R: Mr. Vern Wright, Lawry's The Prime Rib General Manager; Burgundy L. Olivier


Burgundy L. Olivier’s
“Spinach and Restaurant Review”

Restaurant: Lawry’s The Prime Rib
Location: 100 East Ontario Street (Chicago)
Date Visited: Thursday, September 4, 2003

General Manager: Vern Wright
Restaurant Manager: Angie Kleinsasser
Executive Chef: Patrick Stewart
Food Server: Cindy Foreman
Royal Carver: Vicente Guerreo

When the Director of the Macular Degeneration Partnership (Los Angeles, CA) first contacted me about traveling to Chicago in September 2003 for the AARP annual event, the first thought that crossed my mind was the possibility of getting to taste “Lawry’s Famous Creamed Spinach.” Seeing that my calendar was clear for that particular week, I immediately told Judi Delgado that I thought it was a wonderful idea…then I contacted Lawry’s for dinner reservations.

Judi and I elected to walk from our hotel to Lawry’s The Prime Rib on East Ontario Street, while enjoying the cool night-breeze and the seductive sounds of the city along the way. As we approached the maitre d’ stand, we were met by Mr. Vern Wright, General Manager, and Angie Kleinsasser, Restaurant Manager, who were both quite friendly and personable. We politely exchanged business cards as Judi and I were escorted to our table. Seated in the center of this nicely appointed room, we were immediately taken in by the spectacular interior. The bustling atmosphere produced an air of heightened anticipation of the fine dining experience yet to come.

As our attentive waitress, Cindy Foreman, appeared and presented our menus to us, we were offered the wine list. Impressed with the evening thus far, we selected Lawry’s Chardonnay from Round Hill of California to enjoy with our salads. Ah yes, Lawry’s “Famous Original Spinning Bowl Salad.” The presentation of a medley of three crisp greens (including spinach) was nothing short of a theatrical production. The bowl was set in motion to spin rapidly atop a bowl of ice, while the pitcher of dressing was held high above and poured slowly in a steady drizzle.

The recipe for this “Vintage Dressing” must be a closely guarded secret because it bathed the salad with tongue-tingling flavors. Shredded beets, eggs, cherry tomatoes and large, crunchy croutons completed our first course. Next, we nibbled on the Yorkshire Pudding, which was excellent. So far, we were doing just fine.

As we awaited our much-anticipated prime ribs (and decadent mashed potatoes), Mr. Vern Wright checked in on us and even took time out to pose for photographs. Next, Angie Kleinsasser appeared with Executive Chef Patrick Stewart, who by the way was anxious to hear what “the Spinach Lady” thought of their Creamed Spinach. After more clicks of the camera and an exchange of pleasantries, the Whipped Cream Horseradish arrived, which is uniquely Lawry’s. [Our prime ribs were so juicy and perfectly seasoned that Judi and I completely forgot about the whipped cream horseradish…reason enough to return soon.]

The Carver’s Silver Cart looked like something out of a “Lost in Space” television show from the 1960’s. It was an sleek-shaped, bright silver “spaceship-looking” contraption with a high roll-top. Quite impressive in its own right. As the Silver Cart approached, we were awed by the sights and smells...and there, right before my very eyes, was the world-famous “Lawry’s Creamed Spinach”, just waiting for my nod. Things just kept getting better…

Sensual. Yes, “sensual.” My first taste of their Creamed Spinach was devastatingly delicious. “Could it possibly be that there was a creamed spinach out there that rivaled my own personal recipe?” It would appear so. As Chef Stewart with all his culinary wisdom looked on, I insisted that my dining guest try the creamed spinach as well. Judi agreed as her eyes slowly closed to help savor the flavors. “Yes”, I was right. It was nothing short of sensational. The flavors were a superb orchestration of spinach, bacon, onion and creamy richness…coming together with perfect seasoning in a smooth and enticing symphony of tastes.

Next came the phenomenal prime rib deftly carved by Vicente Guerreo, wearing his Royal Carver’s Medallion. To accompany the prime ribs, our wine selection was Lawry’s Cabernet Sauvignon, also from Round Hill of California. Could it be that so far everything was exceeding my expectations? “Yes again.” Judi graciously shared one of her broiled lobster tails with me; the taste and presentation were quite savory. Then just when we thought we couldn’t be any more pleased with our meals, we had a very serious decision to make…concerning dessert selections.

I let Judi choose her favorite from the sumptuous selection so masterfully described by Cindy. We insisted on sharing just one "Belgian Chocolate Bag" dessert. This work of art arrived with a remarkable presence…a "chocolate bag" filled with berries (at the absolute peak of their ripeness) and white chocolate mousse, topped with fresh whipped cream. It held raspberries, strawberries and blueberries (accented with a raspberry puree) and was made complete with a cup of hot, black coffee for me, and hot lemon tea for Judi.

Angie Kleinsasser graced us with her warm smile and bubbly charm once again as she shared her photo and memory album with a brief presentation on the history of Lawry’s, including vintage photographs of the very building in which we were seated. She pointed out the rich architecture and style of the building and explained the changes over the years. The history was every bit as impressive as the food.

Summary: This upscale Chicago restaurant had succeeded in providing beautifully presented food, in a surrounding that captured the spirit of fine Chicago eating. Our entire evening of fabulous dining was presented by wait staff that was impeccably well groomed and handsomely attired, as well as aptly versed on the menu and beverage selections. We enjoyed the ambience, the elegant and expertly prepared “signature dishes”, and the comfort in knowing that every detail was executed with complete hospitality.

My Endorsement of “Lawry’s Creamed Spinach”: “Lawry’s The Prime Rib’s World-Famous Creamed Spinach is devastatingly sensational, a melange of culinary perfection, and an absolutely sensual experience on the tongue.”

It gives me great pleasure to present Lawry’s The Prime Rib of Chicago, IL, a much-deserved rating of “Five Spinach Leaves.”


Burgundy L. Olivier
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