Westin Crown Center Hotel
1 East Pershing Road
When someone generously offers to spring for dinner in an upscale restaurant, most people immediately think of going to the Plaza (positively saturated with dining possibilities) or more iconic local choices such as the Savoy Grill or the American. The 20-year-old Benton's Steak & Chop House atop the Westin Crown Center Hotel is less famous but offers a lot more bang for the buck: a spectacular view of downtown at sunset, impeccable service and premium steaks beautifully prepared. The wine list is more than decent, and for a nostalgic presupper snack, there are two oddball appetizers -- "Oriental Cheese Balls" and stuffed dumplings prepared by the same woman, Miss Lee, who used to make them for the old Trader Vic's restaurant (which used to be the best restaurant on someone else's dime). Benton's is also one of the last places in town serving a well-laden, fancy Sunday brunch. It's the old-fashioned kind with an omelet bar, a waffle station, a vast array of pretty desserts and, at a diner's request, a chilled glass of champagne. It's expensive, but what the hell -- you're not paying for it.