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Keefer's steakhouse

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Coming to Chicago in March and plan to hit Gibson's (a repeat for me) and two other steakhouses. Definitely not Chop house which I tried and was mortified. Perhaps a repeat at the original Morton's/.

Never heard anything good about Gene & Georgetti's unless you are a local, which I am not.

What about Keefer's?

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  1. The bone-in filet at Joe's Seafood Prime Steaks and Stone crab may very well be the best steak in town (and I am not really a big filet fan). Another great steak is bone-in ribeye at Nine. The original Morton's is great but is not much diff, than any other good Morton's (they do differ a bit).

    Also consider Fogo de Chao a churrascaria for a carnivore's delight. Search the posts or check out metromix for more info. I hope that you enjoy your trip and that we are thawed out by March.

    Link: http://www.metromix.com

    1. Keefer's is terrific...but then I also think Chop House is outstanding. I find the term "mortified" a bit puzzling. Let's be honest: Gibson's, Morton's, N9NE, Gene & Georgetti, The Palm, Chop House and Keefer's (and others) in the main get their steaks from Allen Brothers. There are clear differences in preparation, presentation, atmosphere and attitude, but a very good meal is to be had 99% of the time at all these places. We all have are preferences, but I can't imagine being "mortified" at any of the above.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Steve C

        Though the steaks are fine, I think the overall Chop House experience is generally awful, at least on weekends. 2 of the 3 times I've been there I've been stuck downstairs at those oppressively packed bar tables (at one point was actually seated on the piano). The service each time was awful (bordering on hostile) and I have never seen a place that so blatantly chintzed on drinks. Half-full martini glasses are the norm. By far the worst of the so-called high-end steakhouses.

        1. re: HB

          Agreed that downstairs is less than ideal. The easy way to avoid that is to make a reservation and if they say all they have is downstairs, either state your objection or decline the reservation and wait for another time. Then again, if you don't really like the place that much, why fight it when there are so many others? I've never had a less than steller experience there. If I'm dying tomorrow, I'm at the Chop House tonight.

          1. re: Steve C

            That's pretty amazing--maybe just bad luck on my part I suppose. In any case, Smith & Wollensky is my personal favorite. Kinzie St, if it's still around, is a good sleeper.

        2. re: Steve C

          You are wrong. The listed do not all and at all times get there meat from allen brothers. Please be acurate.

        3. I've been to Keefer's (actually it is my husband's nickname!) and we loved it. We were seated right by the fireplace...it was divine!

          Enjoy your stay here!


          1. I can't understand why no one on this board (except me) ever mentions Ruth's Chris, which is my all-time favorite for steaks in Chicago. Yes, it is a chain (so is Morton's, though one that started in Chicago), and, I believe, also Smith and Wollensky. I love the clubby atmosphere at Ruth's Chris, and the steaks are superb. You don't have to get them with the butter finish (which is what I suspect some purists object to). I have never had a bad meal at Ruth's Chris.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Akatonbo

              You nailed it with that maitre d'butter finish. Yes, you can get it without, but you must specifically mention the preference. Otherwise, I think RC is OK. No better or worse than a Carmichael's. That said, my wife would put RC in her top tier over Morton's, Gene & Georgetti, Smith & Wollensky, The Palm and Gibson's (but not over Keefer's & Chop House).
              And hey, whatever happened to the downtown Magnum's?

              1. re: Akatonbo

                My one experience @ Ruth's Chris was a disappointment. The filet was gray outside...no sign of char or juices. It was pink inside but again rather dry. Not juicy. Not a great meaty flavor either. It wasn't bad, it was just non-descript and I could have done a better job at home. That is why I don't mention Ruth's Chris. Our guest, however, enjoyed his steak and that is what counts.

                Joe's Seafood and Prime Steaks on the other hand.... Mmmmmm...

              2. I have been to Keefer's twice, and both meals were wonderful. I highly recommend it. Great service, good pre-meal drinks at the bar.

                Also, second on Joe's Stone Crab - the bone-in ribeye is spectacular. But has anyone here noticed that the side dish portion size has gotten smaller? Not necessarily a complaint, but it does figure in to your meal planning (particularly when, as is often the case at steakhouses, you are ordering a few for the table). Am I crazy or have they?

                1 Reply
                1. re: RVA Transplant

                  carmichaels steakhouse has great steak and food overall hands down! G & G is overrated and not as great as people make it sound. check out carmichaelsteakhouse.com

                2. Glad you asked. I went to Keefer's a while ago for my "birthday dinner" and it was awful, I hate to say. After seeing and continuing to see so many positive things said about it, I must have been the victim of an off night or just an off table, but it was bad. i will not be back.

                  Details include: Slow service, a long wait between plates. Wrong apps delivered to table. Caesar salad made with only the white bitter nubs of the romaine, and bad anchovies (I know anchovies). No lobster, as advertised, in lobster bisque. Given steak knife with tip broken off. Steak was pretty good. Pasta dish very bad, cold and way overpriced. There is more but I can't recall at the moment.

                  I would go to Joe's, or another of the top places.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: thebelly

                    I think you hit Keefer's on an off night. I went there this week for the first time with a friend who eats there often. I am very particular about steak, and I would say Keefer's was very good. We had great service, the portions were generous, and my meat was cooked perfectly. There were choices for non-meat eaters, although 90% of the people in the place were having steak. The only area in which the place fell down was the frites: they did not compare to a good French bistro, but I loved the potato croquettes. I would be happy to eat there again.

                    1. re: thebelly

                      I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience. The one time I went to Keefer's I had the best steak of my life. It was perfectly cooked and unbelievably flavorable. The service was excellent as well. I don't remember what else I had because the steak was so spectacular, but I have no complaints. I remember that my friend also enjoyed his steak and the enormous apple dessert. I also really liked the space.

                      1. re: ChemWork

                        I go to Keefer's at least twice a month for business lunches and find it to be consistantly exellent. Very good food, service and atmosphere.