I’m not talking about power eating, although I’m certainly not ruling that out, either.

These are the restaurants you go to when you’ve got business to attend to; where to take a meeting, where to see and be seen, where to use your expense account.

Not surprisingly, the list is red-meat heavy. It’s much easier to negotiate when you’re well taken care of and your belly and your glass are full.

CHICAGO

Blackbird
2013 James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Kahan’s first restaurant, and still every bit as delicious as the first day it opened. Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row starts here. 619 W. Randolph St., 312-715-0708

Chicago Cut Steakhouse
Every thing about this place screams “CLOUT,” from the shellfish bouquet to the massive Porterhouse steak. 300 N. LaSalle St., 312-329-1800 

Del Frisco’s
Occupying three floors of the once glamorous Esquire Theater, the décor—and the enormous wine tower—is out of control. 58 E. Oak St., 312-888-2499 

MK
Open since 1998, and not a sign of slowing down. The atmosphere is conducive to conversation, but the food might just stop you in your tracks. 868 N. Franklin St., 312-482-9179 

RL
East Coast machers—or those that wish they were—chow down on comfort food in an uber-preppy, clubby atmosphere. 115 E. Chicago Ave., 312-475-1100 

Rosebud Prime
This is a power staircase if I’ve ever seen one. It’s a Chicago steakhouse with speakeasy glamour—and a killer burger. 1 S. Dearborn St., 312-384-1900

DEERFIELD

Bobby’s Deerfield
This American bistro with an Italian accent makes a mean martini and serves it up with a yummy Caesar salad (or Kale and Quinoa, if you’re feeling health conscious) and Gnocchi with Beef. 695 Deerfield Rd., 847-607-9104 

dining-power-restaurants-bobbys-deerfield
Photo by Nathaniel Perry

EVANSTON

Pete Miller’s
The menu here is almost as big as the 22-ounce Bone-In Ribeye. Almost. 1557 Sherman Ave., 847-328-0399

Quince
At any given moment, there’s a professor from NU signing a contract in the corner, or maybe an offer dinner from a big consulting firm. And the food? It’s worth a drive. 1625 Hinman Ave., 847-570-8400 

GLENVIEW

Wildfire
The 1940s-era dinner-club vibe works well with the food. Order the Cedar-Planked Salmon and seal the deal. 1300 Patriot Blvd., 847-657-6363 

HIGHLAND PARK

Nieto’s
No one can make you feel quite as welcome as owner Debbie Nieto. The menu is user-friendly and the feel is clubby and casual. 429 Temple Ave., 847-432-0770 

LAKE BLUFF

Inovasi
Proprietor John des Rosiers knows his way around a plate at this contemporary American favorite. There’s something here for everyone to agree on. 28 E. Center Ave., 847-295-1000 

dining-power-restaurants-inovasi-new
Photo by Erik Davis

LAKE FOREST

Market House on the Square

American comfort food with a twist, everything made from scratch, and a country-club feel…no wonder it’s perennially packed. 655 Forest Ave., 847-234-8800 

LINCOLNSHIRE

Eddie Merlot’s
The Chef’s Creations, including a Triple-Prime Meatloaf and Beef Bourguignon, all include a Caesar and side dishes and they’re only $28. Your business associates will think you’re a genius. 185 N. Milwaukee Ave., 847-276-2000 

NORTHBROOK

Morton’s the Steakhouse
When a restaurant has been around this long, you know they’re doing something right. You did your first business deal at Morton’s. Why not your next one? 699 Skokie Blvd., 847-205-5111

Prairie Grass
This is a bustling restaurant with a conscience. So as you eat your locally sourced, sustainably produced and flat-out tasty meal, you can feel good no matter which way the deal goes. 601 Skokie Blvd., 847-205-4433 

SKOKIE

McCormick & Schmick’s
For a classic business lunch, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better location on the North Shore. Fresh seafood and a very worthy happy hour combine to make a winner. 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, 847-763-9811  

Top photo: Erik Davis, Inovasi 

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