Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc. owns and operates Morton's of Chicago, a high-end steakhouse restaurant chain aimed at a business clientele, and Bertolini's Authentic Trattorias, a smaller chain offering Italian specialties in a casual dining atmosphere. At the end of 1998 Morton's Restaurant Group owned and operated 43 Morton's of Chicago and 12 Bertolini's units. All Morton's of Chicago restaurants were similar in style, concept, and decor, and were located in retail, hotel, commercial, and office building complexes in major metropolitan areas and urban centers. Catering primarily to business-oriented clients, Morton's of Chicago had an average per person check of about $65 in 1998. The Bertolini's restaurants offered white tablecloth service, with an average per person check of about $20. Morton's Restaurant Group also held a minority of stock in two other restaurant chains, Mick's and Peasant.




New England Clam Chowder

Morton's the Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 6

4 (6 1/2 oz.) cans chopped clams
12 (8 oz.) bottles clam juice
4 cups half and half
3/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon  (optional)
5 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced Spanish onion
1 1/2 cups finely diced potato
1 1/4 cups finely diced leek
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
dash of Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons chopped fresh curly leaf parsley, for garnish

Drain the chopped clams and reserve the liquid. Set the clams aside.

In a large stockpot, combine the liquid from the chopped clams and the juice and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the clam juice is reduced by half.

Add the half and half and chicken bouillon, if using. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

In another large stockpot, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, potato, leek, bay leaf, and thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the flour and vegetables are well integrated. The mixture will be stiff at first.

Add the reserved liquid and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently until thickened and smooth. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, the reserved clams, and the Tabasco sauce and cook, stirring gently, just until the butter is incorporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the sherry. Ladle the soup into six soup bowls and garnish each serving with chopped parsley.

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