Chicago Chop House

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This River North restaurant epitomizes the classic Chicago steakhouse genre. "I think what sets us apart is there are three owners, and we're all here," Susan T. Gayford says, referring to co-owners John Pontarelli and chef William Farrah. A pianist performs in the evening in the first-level room. The 1,400 photos displayed throughout the restaurant feature musicians, meat purveyors, city fathers, gangsters and every Chicago mayor. (The mayors and the Mafia members are separated by a bar.) "We're a history book of Chicago," Gayford says. "We have all the mayors. Not even City Hall has pictures of all the mayors."