HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice

Father's short visit to Chicago

Hart50 Jan 6, 2007 03:08 PM

My father (75 years old) is going to be Chicago in a couple of weeks for a brief stopover (he is going to be staying near the miracle mile) and I was wondering if the Chicago Hounds could recommend a great place for dinner and lunch. He is originally from Ireland and so he likes his meat and potatoes or alternatively classic French (As an example one of his favorite restaurants is La Gavrouche in London).
Consequently, I was thinking maybe a great steakhouse for dinner and perhaps an old fashion classic french or seafood restaurant for lunch. Thanks very much in advance.

  1. c
    cavaliere Jan 15, 2007 04:06 PM

    For steak (classic Chicago style) I suggest the Erie Street Cafe at 536 W. Erie. They have very nice steaks, chops, and decent seafood; prices are a bit high though. The atmosphere is very nice, good service, and it is frequented by classic Chicago types! Tx: (312)266-2300

    1. c
      Chicago Mike Jan 13, 2007 05:28 AM

      As for classic British Food, pub grub, the Red Lion on Lincoln is good too. But unremarkable, really.

      1. h
        Hart50 Jan 11, 2007 06:13 PM

        Thanks very much for all of the suggestions! I gave him a number of your suggestions and in the end, being the stubborned old bugger that he is, has instead made reservations at Morton's and Keefer's. Gibson's sounds great but I think he was put off by the "boisterous" environment. Anyway, thanks again. BTW if you are ever up in Calgary please check out the following restaurants:
        The Belevedere
        With Calgary's booming economy the culinary scene is quite exciting.


        3 Replies
        1. re: Hart50
          swsidejim Jan 11, 2007 06:15 PM

          cant go wrong @ Mortons, great steaks, great service.

          1. re: swsidejim
            amoncada Jan 11, 2007 06:36 PM

            Yeah, great steak, great service at Mortons, but sterile environment...much too corporate.

            Agreed though, Gibsons could be too boisterous...great place nevertheless.

            Keefers has a beautiful space and atmosphere. We'll see if he enjoys the food.

            1. re: amoncada
              swsidejim Jan 11, 2007 07:47 PM

              When I go out, I go out to eat, not people watch, Gibsons is more a place to be seen, in my humble opinion.

              That is why I prefer Mortons, although I do have to get out to The Saloon Steak House.

              to each their own though.

        2. m
          masha Jan 9, 2007 03:14 PM

          Unfortunately, "classic French cuisine" -- as opposed to Nouvelle or bistro cooking -- has virtually disappeared from Chicago. Once upon a time, we could have recommended L'Escargot or La Tour to this gentleman, but no longer. Brasserie Jo is also in the area, and may suit his needs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: masha
            magic_hat9 Jan 24, 2007 01:05 AM

            Le Bouchon, Damen & Armitage. Best bouiliabase ever.

          2. leek Jan 9, 2007 01:36 PM

            What about Bistro Zinc, right there near Gibson's? It's open for both lunch and dinner. Very classic French Bistro. I'm not sure it's the best bistro in Chicago, but it's good and close to Michigan Ave "Mag Mile" (I really like their roast/stewed chicken)

            Bistro Zinc
            1131 N. State St.

            1 Reply
            1. re: leek
              jbw Jan 9, 2007 03:00 PM

              BZ might be one of the better choices in that specific area but IMO not nearly one of the best bistros (based on one visit, and the thickest, toughest, beefiest "veal" liver I've ever had) in Chicago. It might be a good choice for a quick lunch, but, in any case, in quality, menu, and price, it is definitely a bistro. La Gavroche it ain't.

            2. c
              Chicago Mike Jan 9, 2007 06:11 AM

              For steakhouse, I think an older Irish guy would like Gibson's. The setting is great, the food is good...

              As to the classic French, that's a bit more of a problem... In the immediate neighborhood, Les Nomades is more classic-to-nouveau, NoMi is definitely more creative "french influence". For authentic "rustic French" Cafe Bernard is about 15 minutes away by cab and very reasonably priced. The atmosphere is something like an old french barn and may be a bit too simplistic, however. It's also very BYOB friendly if that's important.

              1. r
                RMA Jan 8, 2007 03:27 PM

                Gibson's is great, but it's definitely known as much for the scene as for the food. It can be crowded, boisterous, and not particularly conversation-friendly. FWIW, the Saloon has excellent food and is a bit quieter.

                In terms of an old-fashioned seafood place, he may enjoy the Cape Cod Room in the Drake Hotel.

                1. s
                  Sam Harmon Jan 7, 2007 11:23 PM

                  He might enjoy The Pump Room for dinner. They have new management, chef (Rick Tramanto is consulting) and wine director, and the quality has really come back to where I believe it to be at the level just below the city's best. It's a very historic room in one of Chicago's most exclusive neighborhoods but very convenient to Michigan Avenue.

                  I do believe that they plan on shutting down for a couple of months in late Winter for extensive renovations, so you might want to check beforehand.


                  1. j
                    jbw Jan 7, 2007 09:27 PM

                    When I see "meat-and-potatoes," "75-yrs-old," "London," I think Lawry's. It's touristy and sometimes uneven, but it's one of the "clubbier" restaurants near the Mag Mile and very accommodating to single diners. It's a good choice for lunch, too. Here's their site:


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jbw
                      nsxtasy Jan 7, 2007 10:25 PM

                      I'm pretty sure Lawry's has ONLY prime rib (also some seafood entrees, but no steaks) and Gibson's has ONLY steak (also some seafood entrees, but no prime rib). So it may depend on which type of meat he prefers.

                      FWIW, based on my visits to both, I consider Lawry's okay but not particularly memorable (the food was okay not great, including the so-called "famous spinning bowl salad"), whereas I have found Gibson's to be much more impressive (the steaks are great, it's fun to see all the cuts, and the atmosphere just screams "Chicago steakhouse"). Which is all the more surprising since I generally prefer prime rib to steak. Just my opinion, of course...

                    2. c
                      cheapertrick Jan 6, 2007 08:33 PM

                      The steakhouse I would go to if I were staying in that area is called Saloon. I prefer it to Gibson's because they dry age their steaks. Most Chicago steak houses wet age. Saloon is one of the few that doesn't. The address is 200 E. Chestnut.

                      1. nsxtasy Jan 6, 2007 03:20 PM


                        1028 North Rush Street,
                        (corner of Bellevue and Rush)
                        Chicago, IL 60611
                        (312) 266-8999

                        French, open for lunch:

                        Bistro 110 (French bistro
                        )110 East Pearson Street
                        Chicago, Illinois 60611

                        NoMi (French contemporary
                        )Park Hyatt Chicago, Seventh Floor
                        800 North Michigan Avenue
                        Chicago IL 60611
                        312 239 4030

                        If you would be willing to switch your requests - in other words, do the steakhouse for lunch and French for dinner - that would open up some additional options. Gibson's is open for lunch. French/seafood/etc dinner options in the area would then include several places which are not open for lunch:

                        Avenues (in the Peninsula Hotel
                        )108 East Superior Street (at North Michigan Avenue)
                        Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA
                        312 573 6754

                        676 N. St. Clair St.
                        Chicago 60611

                        Les Nomades
                        222 E Ontario St
                        Chicago, IL 60611
                        (312) 649-9010

                        All of these are right off the "Magnificent Mile" stretch of Michigan Avenue.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: nsxtasy
                          Hart50 Jan 6, 2007 03:42 PM

                          Thanks very much! Sorry about the "Miracle Mile" mixup.

                          1. re: Hart50
                            nsxtasy Jan 6, 2007 03:53 PM

                            No mixup - people call it that, too...

                        Show Hidden Posts