A classic American-style restaurant set in dark wood and vintage lights, fixtures and posters, Dan Ryans Chicago Grill emits a hearty, open and relaxed ambience that instantly makes the diners feel right at home. There is also a bar where one could enjoy a drink or two before meals commencement; or after-dinner drinks as well.
Seated comfortably in a booth, we had a hard time deciding if we should go for the enticing set lunch, or order from the Brunch or A la Carte menu. Everything looked good, and we were ravenous. We finally made up our minds, and decided to keep the orders to a minimal because they stated there in bold that they "Serve American Portions"... ahhhh, a kind reminder to smaller-eaters to please not over-order and waste food.
The delightful bread basket was served, with butter (there's orange marmalade and blueberry jam on the table along with the salt-pepper shakers if one prefers such). Besides noting the soft-looking slices of bread and the yellowish buttery-soft cake-like pastry, my eyes zoomed in onto the lone chocolate muffin within. It was tasty - not too sweet, but fluffy enough for our liking.
Our soups came next. The New England Clam Chowder came in a crispy bread bowl and we enjoyed it - very thick, creamy soup filled to the brim with chunks of soft-boiled potatoes, baby clams, and chicken. The hot soup was so thick it was almost gooey - deliciously so, especially when we added hints of pepper to it.
The Baked Onion Soup was rather lightly-flavored - clear dark broth with soft slivers of onions, softened bread chunks and melted cheese.
The main courses were served before we finished our basket of bread and soup - something that left us somewhat perplexed as the current items already took up most space on the table. In fact, the overall service was slow and the wait staff often tended to overlook guests trying to get their attention.
We had the Rib-Eye Steak with medium doneness. The steak was succulent - tender and lean with very slight hints of fats that added to the crispy chewiness of the meat. The taste itself was superb, flaunting its red-wine marinated flavor in a subtle overture. We also tried putting tiny speckles of salt (the dish came with two types of salt on the side) onto the steak, and this brought it to another level of deliciouness entirely - not too much, just a few tiny grains please. In fact, even the seasonal vegetables and fries served with the steak tasted great as well, especially the thin, crispy fries.
Our Fisherman's Platter basically consisted of three types of fried seafood - cod fish fillet, squid and shrimps (yes, the menu stated "scallops" but we did not detect it in the platter). Nonetheless, it was tasty and not greasy. Edison* thought the cod fish fillet was a little dry, but the overall review was good. The coleslaw was refreshing with a strong tinge of onions, and the lovely thing is the minimal use of mayonnaise as dressing. This gives the coleslaw a light, crispy sweet flavor instead of being mayo-polized.
We spent SGD$35.00 each on this simple but fulfilling meal. We had wanted to order desserts of either New York Cheesecake or Molten Chocolate Cake, but the service staff were too busy to notice us, hence after trying to get their attention for about ten minutes, we decided to head off.