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Saloon Steakhouse?

I am in charge of finding the best place for steak to bring a group of people who have never been to Chicago. I was in town a few months ago and went to Gibson's, which I thought was pretty good, and I thought it was a safe choice.
I just killed the last two hours reading steak postings on this board, however, and have come to the conclusion that maybe Saloon Steakhouse would be slightly more interesting with slightly better steak, based on what you've all said.
I am close to cancelling my Gibson's reservation and substituting Saloon for it, but would appreciate any feedback / encouragement / guiding wisdom any of you may be able to provide.
Thanks very much in advance. I promise feedback to the board in October when we are done.

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  1. Saloon steakhouse is great. Off the beaten path, and a cut above others in city that I have been to. I go more often for lunch, but I love this place!

    1. Gibson's is a great, great place, but the wait times are grueling, the noise levels can be deafening and is not condusive to a large group conversing unless everyone wants to be shouting across the table at each other.

      On the other hand, the Saloon which is also an excelent place is more intimate and quiet and would be accomidating to a large group.

      1. Based on my experience, the Saloon is a better choice than Gibson's

        1. The Saloon hands down.. Better food, better service, better drinks, better atmosphere.

          1. NO! Don't do it. Listen: as someone who has eaten at both of these restaurants recently and many times previously, Saloon has gone down hill significantly. Not sure why. Saloon used to be my favorite steakhouse in Chicago because the steaks were so good. Certainly, though, there is no ambience there whatsoever. It's a hotel restaurant. And now, for whatever reason, the steaks and even the bread and side dishes just aren't as good.

            By all means, go where you can get a reservation. Don't walk up and wait. But if you can reserve at Gibson's, it is always good and always reliable. You can't beat the location and the whole scene. If you want something a little more relaxed, try Hugo's, which is next door to Gibson's and has the same kitchen and many of the same basic menu items.

            1. Check out Keefer's, which seems to be at the top of its game.


              1 Reply
              1. re: jbw

                Haven't been to Saloon lately so unaware of the decline... But I'm with jbw - when in doubt - go with Keefers, in our experience it's always a sure thing.

              2. I say Hugo's (a bit less expensive than Gibsons which shares the same kitchen) or Keefers. Hugo's or Gibsons having the best overall package...vibrant atmosphere, great Gold Coast neighborhood, and great food

                1. I'm a strong vote for Keefer's, the food is better. Gibson's is just too much of a zoo, unless you're really into frottage.

                  1. I love, love, love Gibson's. Your wait will depend on the time of your reservation and day, of course. Lively and loud, yes. That's part of it. Amazing steaks, sides, service. Why take a chance elsewhere? It will not disappoint.

                    1. Interesting thread. I haven't been to the Saloon lately, and also am unaware of the fact that the quality has declined. In my experience, it always has been very good. That said, it definitely is lacking in atmosphere compared to Gibson's. For entertaining out-of-towners, Gibson's has the vibe and atmosphere that will be much more impressive.

                      Keefer's seems to be popular lately, as does David Burke's Primehouse (which I haven't yet tried), but these places aren't typical Chicago steakhouses.