BestGay Chicago Recommends ZED451 – Best Gourmet Dinner Experience in Downtown Chicago

Last week we told you about an  amazing wine tasting experience we enjoyed downtown at ZED451.
We had to get back there for dinner!  So  a  few  nights ago we did just that.

WOW! What amazing food and what a fantastic dining experience! ZED 451, while based on the concept of the Brazilian Steak Houses, takes dining to a new level. They pay the utmost attention to their ever changing menu’s fresh and seasonal food flavors and ingredients, as well as customer care and comfort. When dining at ZED451, expect a relaxed atmosphere where you are not rushed through your meal at all, matter of fact, quite the opposite. This restaurant is not concerned about how many times it can turn a table in an evening. They are concerned, however, that you stay and have an amazingly good time! What other restaurant do you know of that does that?!  And if you make arrangements ahead of time, ZED451 will even drive to your Chicago location and pick you up in their private shuttle!  And take you to your final destination when you are finished! 


ZED451 started right here in Chicago two years ago. They opened in the suburbs first but the concept was not what suburbanites were looking for. So they brought the concept to downtown Chicago and the urban foodies  LOVE IT!  They have since opened in Boca Raton and are preparing a site in Boston for later this year.

ZED451 is a revolutionary restaurant concept featuring original cuisine and delivery, service intelligence and unprecedented design. The name, ZED451, is simply the end and the beginning. ZED, the last letter of the British alphabet, represents the culmination of all our restaurant experiences (the end) and 451, the degrees Fahrenheit that fire starts, represents the beginning.

Interior designer Julia Roth and Architect  Chris Smith from CMS Design in New York took the original restaurant space which  is over 125 years old (and actually still has a speakeasy window in it!), and kept much of the original steel and brick to keep an old, rustic Chicago look. Natural elements and lots of wood were used throughout the restaurant to provide a rich, organic, comfortable feel. From the design of the floors to the design of the menus, no detail has went overlooked.  Soaring ceilings, dark wooden floors, glass walls and an eclectic mix of  music give ZED451 a  relaxing lounge feel. Even the restrooms have state-of-the-art Dyson bladeless super-fast hand dryers!

Before the meal experience even starts, you may want to try a seasonal sangria or mojito on the secluded rooftop when open!   Or maybe a wine flight at the wine bar. Every juice used is fresh squeezed. If you order a  drink “up”, expect to get freshly chipped, triple-filtered ice in your drink. House-Infused Spirits are available.  Every detail is thought about here. Take your time and savor the comfortable surroundings! It’s all about dining in the same comfort you feel in a friend’s home. But with the full service, culinary offerings and ambiance of a fine dining restaurant.

THE CONCEPT is all about  FRESH and SEASONAL.  $44 for a full dinner. At the fresh harvest tables you find things like seasonal soups, well over 15 composed salads like Strawberry Rhubarb and Spinach Salad, Roasted Pineapple  “Madagascar” with Orange Yogurt Dressing, and Sautéed Wild Mushrooms with Feta Dressing. 


 Plus an assortment of hummus,cured meats, marinated vegetables, olives, peppers,  pepperoni, prosciutto,  various artisan cheeses  and breads. EVERYTHING is hand picked and hand selected by the staff.  And it changes all the time. Feel free to graze and try as much as you want…but don’t forget, dinner is still to come!

 Once you are ready to begin your main courses, the chefs are  alerted and start to bring you their nightly offerings. Modern upscale grilling of  fire grilled steaks, ribs, poultry, seafoods, wild game, served along your choice of comfort foods like smoked gouda mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, roasted corn with bacon or cheddar jalapeno potatoes.

Imagine being on the set of the Food Network and you want to try EVERYTHING!  Everything smells and looks amazing. So just take a taste, a bite of everything, so that you don’t find yourself overeating and can taste as many flavors as possible~then go back for more of your personal favorites!

Unlike many Brazilian steak houses, it’s not all about the meat at ZED451. There are plenty of seafoods and other things to try as well.  The evening we were dining, there was a delicious salmon entrée and a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth  Mahi-Mahi dish.

You MUST save room for dessert. FAMOUS for their Butterscotch Bread Pudding and  S’mores Pie.  WOW! Not to mention Chocolate Strawberry Soufflé Cake and  Vanilla Malted Creme Brulee’.

Tired of the same old brunch with Omelette’s and Eggs Benedict?  This is the BEST BRUNCH IN CHICAGO and only $24!  In typical Z fashion, a lavish gourmet brunch is presented every Sunday. Lavish abundance.

Chefs offer a variety of traditional and exotic dishes tableside while the Harvest Tables are transformed into a sea of fresh fruits, seasonal desserts and specialty items. Corned Beef Hash and Spinach and Egg, Italian Panettone French Toast with lemon curd, vanilla whipped cream and Vermont maple syrup. And of course, fresh fired meats and delicious fish. Their  Maple Cajun Bacon is THE BEST!  

This will be a fabulous place to spend  Easter  Sunday!  And what about  Mothers Day  May 9th.  MOM’s  DINE  FREE! That’s right! ZED451 believes mom should be treated like a queen  and therefore should not have to pay on her special day!

This restaurant has it all.  Whether you want to dine alone as a party of 1  or  bring a group of 101, the restaurant has many floor plans and options for everyone to create the most memorable gourmet dining experience.
Pre-theatre drinks and snacks (like amazing $6 beer batter pearl onions and Lumpy Crabmeat Cajun sliders you won’t believe!);   Rooftop  cocktails;  Romantic dinner for  2; After-Work networking event for 20; Sunday Wedding for  100. Tell them what you want and they will deliver. EVEN YOU!  I mentioned earlier, call ahead and they will even pick up and deliver you! How is that for service?

INSIDERS NOTE: For those foodies who want to be close to the grilling action, there is a chefs seating area / counter in the grilling area that accommodates about 8 people. Reserve ahead if you wish to sit there.


* Best  Gourmet Dining Experience in downtown Chicago
* Best  Brunch in downtown Chicago
* Best  Pick up and Delivery Service in Chicago
* Best  Space to plan a party in downtown Chicago
* Best  Wine and Cheese Tastings in downtown Chicago

ZED451, 739 North Clark Street, Corner of Clark and Superior.
  Chicago, IL 60654  (312) 266-6691   We  pick up and  deliver!

The Best of Gay Chicago