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Best Steak in Chicago?

I'll be in Chicago on business in March and I'm looking for a really good steakhouse. What is the best steak in Chicago?

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  1. There are lots of good ones. The one I like best is Gibson's:

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

    I think the steaks there are great, and I like the way they come out with a big platter to show you the cuts to help you order. It's also a big, boisterous, "see and be seen" type place. Other folks will put in a good word for Morton's, Gene and Georgetti, Saloon, Carson's, Joe's, Pete Miller's, Wildfire, Keefer's, etc. It's not hard to find a good steak here; all of these places are very, very good, and you can't go wrong with any of them!

    Some of these have other locations in addition to downtown. Your location may help you determine a good choice. Will you be downtown while you are here, or in some other part of the city or suburbs?

    One other thing that may affect your choice. All of these places have great steaks, and all of them offer at least a few other, non-steak dishes. However, if you will be dining with others who are not steak lovers, some of them are much more than merely steakhouses. In particular, Carson's is also known for great barbecue ribs, Joe's for its stone crab, and Wildfire for a more balanced menu.

    33 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      I enjoyed Gibsons.

      G&G was pathetic, yes it has an old-time staff but the steak i had was awful.

      Morton's has gone downhill since I ate my first in chicago in 1979. I have eaton in others outside chicago and will never return there, but have sworn to myself that i would give the chi-town location one last try. They have a new CEO and we'll see if he can polish the medal.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        In order to assist others (particularly out-of-town visitors) who may view this topic as a guide to Chicago steakhouses, here are links to websites for all of the places mentioned in this topic. On their websites, you can find location information, menus, hours, etc. I've indicated which ones are in the city, and which in the suburbs, by "C" or "S" after their names:

        Gibson's (C,S) - www.gibsonssteakhouse.com
        Morton's (C,S) - www.mortons.com
        Gene and Georgetti (C) - www.geneandgeorgetti.com
        Saloon (C) - www.saloonsteakhouse.com
        Carson's (C,S) - www.ribs.com
        Joe's (C) - www.icon.com/joes
        Pete Miller's (S) - www.petemillers.com
        Wildfire (C,S) - www.wildfirerestaurant.com
        Keefer's (C) - www.keefersrestaurant.com
        Capital Grille (C) - www.thecapitalgrille.com
        Smith and Wollensky (C) - www.smithandwollensky.com
        Chicago Chop House (C) - www.chicagochophouse.com
        David Burke's Primehouse (C) - www.davidburke.com/primehouse.html
        Tramonto's Steak and Seafood (S) - www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/propert...

        1. re: nsxtasy

          The Capital Grille should be noted above as (C,S) since they have a location in Lombard.

          In the interests of completeness, additional suggestions from another food board include:

          Ruth's Chris (C,S) - www.ruthschris.com
          Sullivan's (C,S) - www.sullivansteakhouse.com
          The Palm (C,S) - www.thepalm.com
          Mike Ditka's (C) - www.mikeditkaschicago.com
          Don Roth's Blackhawk (S) - www.theblackhawk.com
          Erie Cafe (C) - www.eriecafe.com
          Harry Caray's (C) - www.harrycarays.com

          1. re: nsxtasy

            Ruth Chris is out of place here. As it is neither a Chicago steakhouse (being a national chain) nor is it in the same league as all the other above mentioned steakhouses.

            1. re: abf005

              I included them for purposes of completeness. I tried to compile a complete list of every Chicago-area steak place that was recommended in this and another topic, and included links to make it easy for anyone to find out more information about ANY of them.

              If locations (or roots) outside of Chicagoland were a criterion, then we would have to eliminate other steakhouses that also have locations elsewhere, such as David Burke's or Morton's or Joe's, all of which have proponents of their Chicago locations.

              As for being "in the same league", that is your opinion and you are welcome to it. This list includes every steak place that was recommended in this and another topic, regardless of whether or not I (or any other single individual) likes or dislikes them. These are not MY favorite steak places (or yours), but rather, all those that have been recommended by anyone.

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Although completeness may have been your inspiration, you are still incorrect.

                While Morton's IS a Chicago based establishment, the comment was not only to point out chain vs. non-chain, but one made to also to address the "best steak in Chicago" question.

                As such, Morton's having being born here in Chicago more than qualifies as one of the originators of the Chicago “uber steakhouse” genre, while Ruth Chris of New Orleans origins would not.

                There is also the more serious matter of inferior quality, of which Ruth Chris is guilty, chain or not. Although one could argue that the prices at Ruth Chris are certainly in a league with the aforementioned other steakhouses, you would be hard pressed to prove they are in the same “class” as the rest.

                On a separate note, I may have missed it, but did someone already call out Keefer’s? If not, I recommend adding them to this growing list of quality steakhouses.

                1. re: abf005

                  Ruth's Chris is not the only steakhouse in the above list which originated outside of Chicago. The same thing is true of Smith and Wollensky, the Capital Grille, David Burke's, Joe's, and the Palm. It would be a disservice to those who have recommended the Chicago locations of these steakhouses to exclude them from a list of links just because they originated elsewhere.

                  1. re: abf005

                    The list includes steakhouses recommended by anyone. You may not feel that Ruth's Chris deserves mention, but others have recommended it - hence its inclusion.

                    1. re: abf005

                      Keefer's was already recommended, and is in the first list of links I posted.

                2. re: nsxtasy

                  There's one other place I should have added - the Black Ram Steakhouse in Des Plaines, near O'Hare. I've been there numerous times, and it has always been outstanding - not just great steaks, but also everything else on their menu, including the freshest seafood and exceptional desserts, excellent service, nice people, nice atmosphere (not too noisy), etc. It's one of those "hidden gems" that doesn't get a lot of press, but does a great job.

                  Black Ram (S) - www.blackramsteakhouse.com

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    One more to add to the list, with two locations in the north suburbs (I've been there, and it's very good):

                    Stoney River (S) - www.stoneyriver.com

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Going to the one in Wheeling tomorrow night. Not prime, but gets good reviews.

                      1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

                        Stoney River doesn't have a location in Wheeling. Are you going to the one in Deer Park (just south of Lake Zurich), or the new one in Deerfield?

                        I've been there several times and had good meals there. If someone's *really* into steaks (and picky about which one is best), there are other places I'd recommend over SR (Black Ram, Pete Miller's, Gibson's, etc) but it's still decent. You'll enjoy it!

                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          It was very good, not great. And yes, it was Deerfield. I look forward to trying Peter Millers next time we have the parents babysit. Never heard of Black Ram, I'll have to Google that one. And did. Not exactly close to Wheeling. Menu looked ok at best.

                      2. re: nsxtasy

                        One more to add to the list is a national chain with a location here in Lincolnshire:

                        Fleming's (S) - www.flemingssteakhouse.com

                      3. re: nsxtasy

                        The website link I posted above for David Burke's Primehouse is more geared towards an overview of Mr. Burke's various associations. There is far more information about the Chicago restaurant itself, including all its various menus in pdf format as well as some nice photos of the restaurant, on the website of its corporate partner/parent at www.brguestrestaurants.com/restaurant...

                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          David Burke's Primehouse seems to move its website around. Now, its website with the must current and detailed information for the restaurant is on the website for the James Hotel, in which it is located. Click here: www.jameshotels.com/Chicago-Hotel.asp...

                          Oh, and the Black Ram has closed.

                    2. re: nsxtasy

                      I've always enjoyed The chicago chop House, Morton's and Gene & Georgetti's, altho I must admit it's been a while since I've been to any of them.

                      1. re: nsxtasy

                        Thanks very much for the listing. I'm an out of town visitor and really appreciate it.

                        1. re: nsxtasy

                          You left The Palm off of the list. They have the best New York Strip in Chicago and the best crab cakes. I have been to Gibson's three times over the years and never had a good quality steak. It is great for people-watching, but three strikes and you are out - I do not care if high-profile people are seen dining there. There are better places in town. Morton's is excellent, as well. Morton's and The Palm are in a class of their own and everyone else is a pretender. They are not new or trendy or perhaps not exciting to some, but are we talking about the food or the athmosphere? Capital Grille provides ambiance along with mediocre food preparation. It is the "upscale arm" of the Longhorn Steak chain of reastaurants. They have an outstanding wine list but the steaks never measure up to the old-school restaurants that I mentioned. Smith & Wollensky has no business being in Chicago. They have added nothing to the steak landscape here worth noting. It is just more of the same for a town that already has plenty of meat and potatoes expertize.

                        2. re: nsxtasy

                          I've eaten at Morton's on State and Morton's in Gold Coast and found the Morton's on State distinctly better all across the board.

                          1. re: pugsley

                            Morton's Gold Coast (The Original) is at 1050 North State Street. http://www.mortons.com/website/htmldo...
                            Morton's Downtown is at 65 East Wacker Place.http://www.mortons.com/website/index....
                            Their web site doesn't show a Morton's on State that is not the Gold Coast restaurant. What are you talking about?

                            1. re: Eldon Kreider

                              Oops I meant to differentiate between Morton's Gold Coast and Morton's Downtown. I stayed at the Hotel Monaco one night which is next to Morton's Downtown and close to State Street.

                              1. re: pugsley

                                And of the two locations, the one you found distinctly better is...?

                          2. re: nsxtasy

                            My friends and I were in Chicago for one night, and at the recommendation of our concierge for a steakhouse within walking distance we went into Steak Out in Lincoln Park.

                            The steak was fine, although nothing to write home about, and the martinis were strong. We had a nice evening catching up and eating.

                            Our waiter though was perfunctory, and dismissive of our all-girls table. When we asked to have out check split, long before the final bill came, we were ignored. Then when he brought the bill and we asked again to have the bill split he said that we were too late and he couldn't do that. This was irritating enough, but when we split it ourselves, organized it all, paid him, and left, he then chased us down the street because he thought we had short changed him. When I explained the math to him and he still was unwilling to acknowledge that he was being fully compensated, with an appropriately small tip, I returned to the restaurant, and allowed him to run the amount he thought correct, and took back my tip.

                            Didn't appreciate the scene or the chauvinist attitude of the server. Watch out for that place, ladies!

                            1. re: ladyloo

                              Aw, crap. Whine and complain and I get the name of the place wrong - Select Cut Steak House.

                              Select Cut Steak House
                              2808 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

                              1. re: ladyloo

                                Sorry, but a table of women asking for separate, itemized bills =====>substandard tip. I will never blame a server for refusing to take time away from his other tables to break down a bill for people who are so cheap that they're worried about possibly picking up a couple dollars of someone else's ( a friend's I assume) tab...when the odds are greatly stacked that he's going to get fracked on the tip anyway.

                                Maybe your group was the 1 in 10 such tables that would have left an appropriate tip, but I doubt it. Save the separate check b.s. for the suburban mall Cheesecake Factory.

                                BTW, I live a few blocks from Select Cut. While it doesn't equal the best steakhouses in the Gold Coast, it's a very good neighborhood steak place that I thoroughly enjoy once in awhile.

                                1. re: Sam Harmon

                                  So my crappy tip was why I got chased down the street and yelled at? Wow. That's some special customer service there.

                              2. re: nsxtasy

                                Since posting the above, I've been to David Burke's numerous times, as well as Gibson's once or twice, and I've been more impressed by Burke's. Both serve excellent steaks that have been cooked precisely as specified by my dining companions and myself. Both offer good service. But the steaks at Burke's have been at least as tender and flavorful. I've also been more impressed with how knowledgeable the servers are at Burke's. And I find the atmosphere at Burke's far more comfortable and enjoyable; it seems like a relaxed, trendy place, which is reinforced by the contemporary decor, whereas Gibson's always seems like a bustling, crowded, noisy men's club to me. So when I have the choice and I'm looking for a good steak, I prefer Burke's.

                                One other option I choose when my group has one or more non-meat-eaters is Hugo's, the seafood restaurant. Hugo's downtown location is next door to, and owned by, Gibson's, and they share the same kitchen. So it offer's the options of Gibson's steaks, more seafood options than Gibson's, and while the atmosphere is fairly busy there, it's nowhere near as frenetic as Gibson's. www.hugosfrogbar.com In the suburbs, a good choice for great steaks as well as options for non-meat-eaters is Pete Miller's, with locations in Evanston and Wheeling; it is part of the same restaurant group as Davis Street Fishmarket, whose seafood recipes often migrate to the steakhouses. www.petemillers.com

                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                  Wat steak restaurant compares to Peter Luger's or Ben Bensons in NYC

                                  1. re: coachrbc

                                    If you mean, what steak restaurant represents a virtual consensus as Chicago's best, there isn't one above all others. There are a lot of steakhouses with at least some fans, and all of those have at least a few detractors as well.

                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                      your pick what compares to these non chain nationally reknowned steak houses

                                    2. re: coachrbc

                                      I think it's a mistake to go to a new city and try to find a restaurant that is most like the one you like in another city that you know better. Try one here that has a lot of fans; see what you think. If you don't love it, try another one next time.

                                      You may find this article from Chicago Magazine useful in choosing.


                                  2. You can't go wrong with Gibsons. Great steak, great atmosphere, great location. The Chicago Chop House serves fantastic steak as well but lacks in appetizers and atmosphere. There are many other great steak places.

                                    Gene & Georgetti's has been around for 65 years. The staff has been there for 20-30 years as well...this place has great character. It's a Chicago Institution.

                                    Sure Mortons's has great steak and great service but it lacks in personality...far too corporate and sterile for my taste.

                                    The Saloon and Keefers get positive reviews as well. Keefer's has a georgeous space.

                                    For a decent steak that won't break the bank in a lodge-like setting, try Wildfire.

                                    Pete Millers in Evanston has outstanding steak. Nice atmosphere as well. Evanston is the first suburb along the lake north of the city. Definitely worth a day trip here.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: amoncada

                                      I second the Pete Millers recomendation. The steaks are great and the lobster bisque is outstanding

                                      1. re: Lobstah

                                        For those who prefer Pete Miller's, note that in addition to its original location in Evanston, they also have a location in Wheeling, about eight miles north of O'Hare.

                                    2. It's definitely not a steakhouse atmosphere, if that's what you're seeking, but last week I had one of the best steaks I've had in a long time at Chez Joel, the little French place on Taylor St. Unlike most steakhouse steaks, it was sensibly sized (10 oz sirloin, the menu said), perfectly cooked, every bite tender and flavorful.

                                      I've actually heard people say they thought Gibson's was overrated. How do people feel about the beef at Capitol

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Steve Sanders

                                        Gibson's has been just fine every time I've been there. I've also known a lot of other people who have gone to Gibson's, and I've never heard anyone say it's overrated. Sure, some people have commented that it's noisy and bustling, but that's the kind of place it is.

                                        Have you been there? If so, have you been disappointed in any way?

                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                          Well, I'd say it's overrated, and I've been there. The meat is competently cooked and of decent quality. It's prime, but it's wet aged, and the flavor suffers for it.

                                          Sides/desserts/apps are all average.

                                          I think Smith and Wollensky and David Burke's Primehouse are both quite a bit better, if only because they do a lot of in-house dry aging.

                                          I've always gotten the feeling that Gibson's is popular more for the atmosphere (which is great, if not old-world Chicago clubby) than the food.

                                          1. re: gleam

                                            Then I guess we'll just agree to disagree. As I noted, most folks who go to Gibson's are very happy with their steaks. They wouldn't be the most well-known steakhouse in Chicago if that were not the case.

                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                              Popularity and quality are not remotely linked. The most well-known hamburger in the country is the Big Mac (or some other McDonald's burger), but is it good? Not even close.

                                              There are so many unjustifiably popular restaurants that it should be readily apparent how flawed your comparison is. Look at, say, the Soupbox, Twin Anchors, or the Berghoff (the restaurant, not the bar, in its last 5-10 years before it closed). Really poor or mediocre restaurants that are nonetheless obscenely popular. So being well known and being popular are among the worst ways to judge the quality of a restaurant.

                                              I didn't say the steaks weren't good at Gibson's, I merely said that I think the place is overrated. So now you've heard someone say it's overrated. I certainly don't think they serve the best steak in Chicago.

                                            2. re: gleam

                                              I took out of country visitors to Smith &....around the holidays specifically for the view of the river and the lights and because the food was supposed to be decent. How disappointing. Luckily we were seated downstairs where it was quieter, but the blinds were down (though open) making the view far less visible and the food (steaks, lobster, soups, etc) were all just barely lukewarm. Yes, we could have sent it back, but then you wait forever and it's overcooked, so......won't return.

                                              1. re: mousse

                                                I second your opinion, S&W was one of the worst meals of my life. The steak was 'black & blue' not the medium I ordered. Additionally there was a large table nearby that was dropping f-bombs every 30 seconds or so...once I realized that the staff didn't intend to do anything about it, I asked them myself to tone down the language and was then mocked for the rest of the night. My request for another table was greeted with quizzical stares.

                                                I contacted the management a few days later...they promised to look into the situation and get back to me. Naturally I never heard from them again.

                                                Awful in every way.

                                        2. Just thought I'd add my 2 cents. Gibson's is very good -- I've been there (and Hugo's) numerous times, and don't feel that it's overrated. However, Gibson's definitely is a "see and be seen" type of place, that's as much about the "scene" as the food. One thing I've never liked about Gibson's is the fact that they make you wait 45 min. or so, even with a reservation. I recall reading that this actually is their policy, in order to make diners "anticipate" the great dining experience (I always felt it was to get people to spend more $$ in the crowded bar).

                                          As others already have indicated, there are many choices -- and, IMO, you really can't go wrong at any of them. One of the best steaks that I've had recently was the kona-crusted dry-aged sirloin at Capital Grille. I personally have come to prefer dry-aged beef, and, as someone noted Gibson's (and a lot of Chicago places) wet age their beef.

                                          1. I can see why people feel that Gibson's/Hugo's are overrated. They serve very good meat...it's more about the, "Chicago Experience", and the bustling atmosphere here though. It's in my nature to seek out the best tasting and best quality food but when it comes to a steakhouse, I look for that big shoulders bustling atmosphere. Morton's or the Chop House likely serve a better steak but I prefer Gibsons or Hugos for the atmosphere.

                                            1. One of the best steaks that I've had recently was the bone in fillet at Joe's Seafood on Rush and Grand. But, I also like Keefer's.

                                              I only live about 3 blocks from Gibsons and we go there frequently for quick meals is the bar - about the best burgers around - guess I'll have to make a point of ordering a steak :~}

                                              1. I clicked on to ask the exact same question as I'm heading to chicago the end of Feb for a business trip. I've been to Gibson's twice and have two other uber-carnivorous friends that have gone and we all agreed it was above avg at best. I've not been to any of the others discussed here but had Chicago Chophouse in mind. Atmosphere is secondary to the meat and wine list to me so any help would be appreciated.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: ieatdallas

                                                  The new Tramonto's Steak & Seafood is my current #1 pick for meat and wine. I've had 4 or 5 steaks there and each was perfect. The wine list is just mind-boggling (a $28 MAGNUM of Spanish red all the way up to $$$$ cult wines and classics).

                                                  1. re: Pugman

                                                    Pugman...I have a reservation at T'sS&S soon and am curious if you're still a fan. I read raves in the beginning, but it seems like those have cooled. Any thoughts? Many thanks!

                                                    1. re: kwe730

                                                      Went there last night... I got the risotto then lamb chops and DH got carpaccio then filet mignon with foie gras... all was excellant.

                                                2. My vote goes to David Burke's Primehouse in the James Hotel.


                                                  The Primehouse serves Prime Kentucky beef from Creekstone Farms which has been dry-aged (up to 40 days) onsite in a salt cave.

                                                  You can view additional commentary and pictures here:


                                                  I count myself amongst a number of folks who considered the Bone-In Dry-Aged Ribeye at David Burke to be one of the best foodstuffs of 2006. [And, as much as I love the steaks at Chicago institutions like Gibson's or Gene&Georgetti, they don't even begin to compare to those served at DBP.



                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Erik M

                                                    Primehouse seems to get short shrift on CH among those forever-touting the usuals. I've only been once, but it was one of my best all-around dining experiences of the last year from exemplary, welcoming service to great dry-aged meat.

                                                  2. I was at Gibson's last night. I would not normally have ordered prime rib, but my waiter was recommending it. It was fabulous. The waiter said the owner is particularly fanatical about the prime rib, even though that's not what most people think of at Gibson's.

                                                    1. David Burke's Primehouse is part of BR Guest restaurants. I don't know if they have a loyalty card, but they do have an email list you can sign up for to get notified about events and promotions at all their restaurants (most of which are in NYC, but they have DB PH and Blue Water Grill in Chicago)


                                                      1. I can see that swords have been drawn. You can't bring up the topic of Chicago steakhouses without blood being shed.

                                                        A few years ago, a friend and I embarked upon the arduous task of finding the best cheeseburger in Chicago (a different thread) which gradually morphed into the hunt for the best steak in Chicago. We eventually decided that Capitol Grille (yes, I know its not purely a "Chicago" steakhouse) was tops for ambiance, food, and service. If I close my eyes and reminisce hard enough, I can just about taste the Cajun crusted DelMonico I had there about 8months ago (sadly, I moved out of Chicago last summer).

                                                        What was most impressive about them is the following: My wife, a friend of ours, and I went there for an early dinner one evening. As we were seated, the hostess returned a few minutes later and replaced our white linen napkins with black ones. She said she didn't want us to get lint on our dark evening attire. I've never seen that kind of attention to detail anywhere. And if Heaven isn't a perfectly executed medium-done DelMonico followed by a snort of single malt scotch, then I don't know what is.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: caliking

                                                          I am not a fan of the Capitol Grille. Went there once and my NY Strip was definitely not prime. The service was indifferent and the red wine was served warmer than room temp. I could go on. Moreover the cooking seemed formulaic to me.

                                                          Custom House has better steak, replaces white napkins with black (but, to quote my wife, a high quality restaurant should invest in napkins that don't shed lint) and they have much more to offer (mmm - veal cheeks) than a traditional steak house, which they are far from and thus don't, in my mind qualify for this thread.

                                                          1. re: caliking

                                                            Real attention to detail would be using lintless napkins. ;-D

                                                          2. Can anyone tell me about The Saloon in the Seneca Hotel?

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: manomin

                                                              Like most of the popular places, Saloon has a lot of fans but a few detractors as well. A few people here say that it's their favorite steakhouse in town. My closest and most frequent fine dining friends (who are not on Chowhound, and whose opinions I trust) were disappointed with their steaks there.

                                                              1. re: manomin

                                                                It's my favorite steakhouse in town. ;^)

                                                                Casual atmosphere with excellent, friendly service. Does a great job with all the steakhouse standards but also offers some unusual menu items.

                                                                1. re: manomin

                                                                  Appetizers were terrific although the Crab Cake came out stone cold. Replaces with a new one, hot and all was good.

                                                                  The KC I split with my GF... I'm sorry, it wasn't Prime. The marbling wasn't there (ordered MR) and... it didn't help that the temp was wrong, but it was still a tough KC.

                                                                  Wine list is certainly better priced than most steakhouses! I may go back to check it out again, but I work at a steakhouse as a waiter (and no... I'm not telling which one...) and I get sick of steak quickly.

                                                                  My HONEST TOP pick for a good steakhouse in Chicago? And it ISN'T a place where I work:

                                                                  Harry Caray's ... That Tallgrass KC is incredible. I've never had to send a steak back there for temp issues at all.

                                                                  I work at a really good steakhouse... I'm proud of what we do and of our food. And I'd send people to Harry's.

                                                                2. FYI - Last week in Chitown and went to Capital Grille on Ontario off Mich. Sat at the bar and had onion soup (fair at best) and then my PH arrived.

                                                                  This was the BEST steak i have eaten in twenty years, perfectly cooked, slightly charred outside, perfectly MR in the middle (warm-red) and as tasy and tender as I have ever eaten.

                                                                  This may not be the best everyday, but the steak i had last week was a 12 on a scale of 1-10.

                                                                  1. Wow - it was great reading everyone's thoughts... :) Now I have to give my input:

                                                                    LOVE Keefer's - they cooked my steak perfectly. Its also a great spot for outdoor eating - once the temperature warms up.

                                                                    Chicago Chop House - I haven't had a bad steak there

                                                                    Capital Grille - Love their porterhouse

                                                                    Morton's - I strictly eat ribeye... but was impressed when my friend ordered their filet - and God forbid he ordered well - that the steak was extremely flavorful, tender and tasty. Love their Lobster Bisque

                                                                    Gibson's - not for me... I didn't care for my steak until I used the seasoning on the table. In my opinion the seasoning should be doing the preparation and not at the table. But that's just me... I know others that love this place. Great place for people watching and drinks...

                                                                    Tavern on Rush - My sister LOVES their Ribeye...

                                                                    Not a fan of Ruth Chris's - I'm not a fan of my medium rare steak sitting on a hot plate for who knows how long before it gets to me... and then its medium or medium well. No thanks.

                                                                    Saloon - I had a pretty good Kobe styled Ribeye there... and a great vodka martini with blue cheese olives...

                                                                    And what happened to Magnum's? I used to love eating their 24 oz bone-in ribeye... my guy friends got a kick out of watching a 5 foot 3, slender female slam on the entire thing in one setting... so good.

                                                                    1. The best steakhouse in Chicago is David Burke's Primehouse. We went last night for my birthday and I was just blown away. Get the bone-in ribeye which has been dry aged for 40 days. This is the best steak in Chicago right now.

                                                                      1. The best steakhouse in the Chicago area is the Black Ram in Des Plaines (just north of O'Hare). We went last night and we were just blown away. We usually get the prime rib, because it's the best prime rib in town, but this time we tried a couple of other dishes. My companion got the New York strip and said it was wonderful, even better than the same cut we had recently at Pete Miller's (which was already very good indeed). I got a seafood special (grilled sea scallops) and it was superb also. The desserts are outstanding too; they include a couple of very light dishes I particularly recommend (don't worry, you'll have room) - the light banana Bavarian or the white chocolate mousse - and if you like the conventional, they have the best rice pudding in Chicagoland. As always, the service was efficient and friendly, and the atmosphere was relaxed. This is the best steakhouse in the Chicago area right now.

                                                                        1. In checking opentable.com for reservations lately, I've noticed that several of the steakhouses (particularly Gibson's and the various locations of Wildfire) are often booked up well in advance, even at off-hours and during the week. So if you have your heart set on a particular place, it's a good idea to make a reservation as early as possible.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                            Note that Opentable doesn't get all of the spots for any particular restaurant. They can give it a specific percentage, or black a date out for a special evening, or only 6-tops, or whatever. So try calling if Opentable doesn't have what you want. That doesn't mean you'll get a reservation, but don't despair either.

                                                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                              Restaurants tend to blackout a good deal of the spots you see on opentable.com... It's a strange system to explain, but in brief... a restaurant has to PAY a percentage of the final tab to opentable.com for that reservation.

                                                                              So a restaurant doesn't open up the prime spots necessarily. I'm not in charge of reservations, I'm telling you what's up with it and why.

                                                                            2. We have moved downtown a couple of years ago and are moving down the steakhouse list. The Saloon to me is a more neighborhood place. Many, many regulars there. Gibson's is way too much production for steak. I love Capital Grille. They have very nice fish if I am not in the mood for steak. I, personally, have never had a bad steak there and I am pretty picky. I have had a tough steak at the Palm, not once but twice.I thought Keefer's was great and the sides were wonderful as well. I haven't tried Rosebud yet or the Drake. How far is the Black Ram from the airport?

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: BarbaraM48

                                                                                The Black Ram is three miles from the airport. From I-190 (the O'Hare access road), take the Mannheim Road northbound exit. Go three miles, turn right onto Oakton, and it's a block down on the left, right after you cross the tracks.

                                                                              2. I've eaten at them all. Tramonto's new place in Wheeling is the best. I've had the aged strip w/bone marrow and foie gras, the prime rib, and the bone in rib-eye. It blows away that charred dog food from Gibson's or Gene and Georgetti's. Smith and Wollensky is good, but it's a far second.

                                                                                1. One pleasant surprise was the steak at Bob Chinn's Crabhouse. I knew my family would be ordering lots of crab, so there would be plenty to share. Thus, I decided to try something atypical

                                                                                  For about $25, I got an aged prime strip steak cooked medium rare as requested. The meat had the same good aged beef flavor that I get from a quality butcher when grilling at home. It was also nicely cooked with just the right amount of char on the outside. Just the right amount of tenderness while still giving some nice meat texture to it.

                                                                                  It wasn't one of those enormous 20oz steakhouse cuts, just a simple 3/4 in, 12 oz strip.

                                                                                  Both the missus and I thought the steak was better than the classic steakhouses like Mortons and Sullivans.

                                                                                  Definitely a hidden gem.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: tex888

                                                                                    I like Morton's a lot. But Tramonto's in Wheeling was exceptional too. We had the 40 oz. tomahawk chop that was just sensational!

                                                                                    Gibson's was a good atmosphere and good steaks, but not amazing. I agree that they need some more seasoning. Great place to have a martini though and people watch. If you do a sapphire martini w/ blue cheese stuffed olives and follow with one of their burgers you'll be very happy. :-)

                                                                                  2. The results are in...we were staying at the Sofitel in Rosemont which has the distinction of being within walking distance of both Gibson's and Morton's. I really wanted to go to David Burke's Primehouse but with it being on Saint Patrick's Day we (by we I mean my wife) decided walking distance trumped dry aged beef.
                                                                                    I've eaten at Morton's all over the place and I've never had a bad or even a just ok steak. They've all been really good but in the true spirit of a chowhound I went for the unknown over the done before. I have to say that I wish I had stuck with the known. I can't speak for any of the other spots around the city that everyone was kind enough to suggest but as far as the Morton's/Gibson's matchup I'd say that Morton's was the clear winner.
                                                                                    Someone mentioned that Gibsons like to make you wait even with a reservation and I experienced that. I don't mind so much but my wife's bloodsugar drops quick when she gets hungry so she did not appreciate having to wait 45 minutes to get our table. If the bar hadn't been packed forcing us so stand near the hostess stand it wouldn't have been quite so bad. I don't mind a bustling restaurant but this place was a little much. I felt like the steaks weren't the only beef in there. We were definately herded in like cattle. for an appetizer we had the crabmeat and avacado. This was one of the bright spots of teh dinner. I had a large sirloin and I think that might have been part of the problem. I ordered it medium. It was cooked perfectly inside but I guess it was so thick that they had to really char the outside to get it right. My wife had a regular sirloin and it was cooked better but still had a heavy char on it. I learned later that this is just how they cooked their steaks so maybe its a matter of preference but I cannot imagine someone preferring charred meat to a well cooked piece of meat.
                                                                                    We shared a vegatable combination that I was looking forward to because of the mushrooms buy, alas, they were just your regular garden variety. Since we had eaten at a Mortons a few weeks ago and very much enjoying their wild mushrooms I was very disappointed.
                                                                                    Dessert was good and the service was good but I have to say that Mortons is far far better. Next time we'll expand our horizons a little bit more and try some of the other recommendations that everyone put forth. Thanks again.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: GrillMaster

                                                                                      I like my steaks with a char on the outside and pink or red inside. Como Inn had great steaks in it's day. I've tried Ruth's Chris. Good quality meat but no crust and not a lot of flavor.

                                                                                      It seems that the Ruth's Chris style is the way many steaks are served now.

                                                                                      Who makes a steak the way I like it?

                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                        One of the hallmarks of a good steak house, IMHO, is the ability to make a steak *exactly* the way the customer requests it, on the first try. If they can't make it the way you specify, or the way I specify, or the way anybody else specifies, then they don't deserve a great reputation.

                                                                                        Ruth's Chris does things a bit differently; they intentionally undercook the steak and serve it on a hot metal insert on a wooden platter, so that the steak continues to cook at the table, and the customer decides when it's done. I'm not aware of any other place that does that. And I'm not crazy about that, either; I'd rather let the steakhouse cook the steak and serve it the way I request it, the moment it arrives at the table.

                                                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                          There's a place in Madison, WI that does the hot plate thing as well (Smoky's Club?). Unfortunately they don't undercook it, they cook it how you specify and then it still continues to cook! Unless you order it blood rare, it will end up medium well. So at Ruth Chris, how are you supposed to keep it from cooking further than your preferred doneness? Hold it up off the plate until the plate cools down?

                                                                                          1. re: leek

                                                                                            > So at Ruth Chris, how are you supposed to keep it from
                                                                                            > cooking further than your preferred doneness?

                                                                                            It is served with a regular dining plate in addition to the metal and wood platter that the steak arrives on, so you can let it finish for a few minutes and then transfer it to the dining plate.

                                                                                        2. re: twodales

                                                                                          I think this question got lost in the Ruth's Chris topic but I'll ask again:

                                                                                          Where in Chicaco can I get a steak with an nice crust on the outside and hot and pink/red in the middle ...with some of that lovely steak "juice"?

                                                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                                                            Unless you specify otherwise, Carson's prepares their steaks "charcrust style". The color in the middle depends on how you order it prepared (rare, medium rare, etc). www.ribs.com

                                                                                      2. Don't forget about Flatlanders in Lincolnshire. Great food and microbrews in a beautiful rustic setting. It is on the corner of Rte 45 (Old Half-Day Road) and Rte 21 and just north of Rte 22. Really nice place.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: adukehart

                                                                                          I've been to Flatlander's. There is a difference between "steakhouses" - i.e. restaurants which emphasize their steaks as the house specialty, far and above everything else - and other kinds of restaurants which include steaks on the menu. Flatlander's is definitely in the latter category; it's really a "brew pub" type of place, not a steakhouse per se, and the food is decent, but nothing great.

                                                                                          1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                            I have to agree with nsxtasy 100%.
                                                                                            Flatlanders is not a steakhouse, nor is it even a great eatery.

                                                                                            It isn't even in the same league as a Jimmy's Charhouse or Wildfire both of which are just down the street, much less a Pete Miller's or Tramonto's also in the same general area.

                                                                                        2. I've had the best and most consistent experiences at the Chicago Chop House. Their cuts of meat are prime, the atmosphere is comfortable, the wine list is beyond extensive and the service is great. I've never had a steak not cooked exactly to my liking there. It's basic but, in my opinion, a wonderful Chicago steak experience.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: sushicupcake

                                                                                            Just don't go to the Chicago Chophouse for lunch and expect the same quality you get at dinner.

                                                                                            I would also add; that if your a rib-eye fan (like myself) they are awful! My bone in rib-eye (aka the cowboy cut or Chicago bone in cut) are really just (cooked) prime rib cut to 3/4" thickness and charred to finish. Makes for a nasty "campy" tasting piece of mushy meat.

                                                                                            after 2 less than great steak experience this year and last fall I can say that I wont be back. IMO: For the money, most of the above mentioned places are better, starting with Morton's, Gibson's, Keefer's & Pete Millers and on and on....

                                                                                          2. I am veggie but friends have all said that Tango Sur is a great place to go...its an all you can eat deal where they slice it off huge slabs, etc. The big plus is its BYOB. Its in a cute area, just west of Wrigley. There also is outside seating...supposedly great steak for half of the prices of downtown

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: sleopold

                                                                                              Tango Sur is very good, but it is NOT an all you can eat place, and they don't slice it off of slabs for you. It's an Argentine steak house.

                                                                                              Tango Sur
                                                                                              3763 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

                                                                                            2. Recently dined at Chicago Chop house for the first time in many years-had the 24oz Strip-it was DIVINE!--service was great, as well. The salad was fabbo.
                                                                                              All-in-all a top-flight feed.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: qzq

                                                                                                DH and I dined at Tramonto's Steak and Seafood last night and we both agreed that it was not only of the best steaks we'd ever had, but that the food was incredible all the way around. The service was impeccable as well. I had been reading some very hot/cold reviews of the place, but things could not have been better last night. Since neither of us are into the big huge pieces of meat, we were pleasantly surprised to see that a 6 oz. filet was offered.

                                                                                                I might also add that since DH both travels and dines out frequently, he has eaten at various Ruth's Chris's, Morton's, Gibson's, Chop House, Pete Miller's, Smith & Wollensky, Peter Luger's and he said this was definitely the best steak he'd ever had.

                                                                                                1. re: kwe730

                                                                                                  I had a pretty fantastic bone in ribeye (chicago cut, i think they called it) at the new rosebud in the loop. It was a steakhouse concept, mainly steak and seafood. good winelist too for a steakhouse, which usually seem to be too filled with the bigtime winemakers, with no hidden gems, aka way too overpriced for an oakey california cab. had a bottle of gnarly dudes shiraz, always a steal. it was a great meal.

                                                                                                  Rosebud Prime
                                                                                                  1 South Dearborn St
                                                                                                  Chicago, IL 60603

                                                                                              2. Another decent addition to the Chicagoland steak scene is Sam & Harry's in Schaumburg at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel. They have like 50 wines by the glass and the service is awesome!

                                                                                                1. I've heard excellent things about Gibsons.

                                                                                                  Wildfire is also quite good! And so is Stoney River! I love steak...

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                    Heading to Chicago this week. Was planning to visit my old neighborhood favorite (Club Lucky) for italian. Realizing that I can find all the italian I want here in SF, I'm thinking of going for steaks instead. Would like to find somewhere that's not too pricey (the only comparison I have would be slightly less $$$ than Del Friscos.)

                                                                                                    Can anyone offer any help?

                                                                                                    1. re: mofo313

                                                                                                      another vote for chicago chop house. never had a bad steak there and the non-steak offerings are great as well.

                                                                                                  2. I've liked Stoney River in Deerfield so far. I've been to the Chicago Chop House, taking all the great reviews they've had - however, I guess had such high expectations. They had to re-cook the steak to medium-rare 3 times, in which by the fourth time, it was pretty much well-overly done (our waiter was nice, and gave us dessert on the house (Eli's cheesecake, yummy!). While the ambience was nice, romantic, and cozy, in my opinion, I think this restaurant is a tad bit overly-hyped.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: juicyhannah

                                                                                                      I like Stoney River a lot, too. I've only been to the Deer Park location, but I've been several times, and it has always been excellent - not only for their steaks, but also for their seafood. Last time I was there, I had a grilled Chilean sea bass that was outstanding, and I think their crab cakes are the very best in the Chicago area. I tried my dining companion's coffee-cured filet mignon, and it was very enjoyable as well.

                                                                                                    2. I cant believe I have missed this thread/topic.

                                                                                                      My favorite steaks I have had have been at Saloon Steakhouse and their dry aged K.C. Strip Steak, and the bone in filet @ Joe's Stone Crab. I have alos had good steaks at Morton's, and some of the better service as well.

                                                                                                      I have had a few very average steaks at Gibson's, and terrible service there as well. Other average stekas have been had at Capital Grill, G & G, S & W, Chicago Chop House, & Sullivans.

                                                                                                      The worst steak I have had was at Black Ram, not in the city so it shouldnt be mentioned here, but just a bad steakhouse, and very bad service.

                                                                                                      On top of my list to still get to is David Burkes here in Chicago to try some of their steaks that they dry age for 30 to 40 days.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                        Recently took an English pal to Joe's Seafood & Prime Steak & Stone Crabs. He said it was the best steak he's ever had. Better than Peter Luger's in NY. I have to say the service was impeccable and everything from the super fresh Shrimp De Jonghe-to the steaks-to the side of crispy green beans was marvelous. Worth every penny.

                                                                                                        1. re: twodales

                                                                                                          that has been my experience there as well,

                                                                                                          top notch service, great steaks, a nice selection of tequila, and those stone crab claws when in season are worth the visit by themselves.

                                                                                                        2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                          I forgot about Joe's! Their filet mignon was peppery and fantastic!

                                                                                                        3. I vote Gibsons! My second choice is Wildfire. Both prepare an excellent steak WITHOUT salt!

                                                                                                          1. A little over a year ago I went to the Pump Room with a group of people for dinner. Not my choice, a little old school for me. However, I do have to say that after all this time, I still remember that filet as the best I have had in quite some time. Nothing too fancy, just a great cut of steak. If there was any seasoning on it, I did not taste it, just really really good beef. Personally, when a restaurant loads on salt, seasoning and blackens the heck out of steak (or worse yet, slathers it in blue cheese or similar) I have to question the quality of the beef. In this case, it was simply good steak.

                                                                                                            1. To me you can't beat Gibsons. Their steaks are amazing, but no one ever mentions their sides!!!! The doublebaked potato can not be compared!

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: kikielmo

                                                                                                                Any of these places a better than others for solo dining (at the bar?)

                                                                                                              2. The Palm has the best New York Strip in Chicago and the best crab cakes. I have been to Gibson's three times over the years and never had a good quality steak. It is great for people-watching, but three strikes and you are out - I do not care if high-profile people are seen dining there. There are better places in town. Morton's is excellent, as well. Morton's and The Palm are in a class of their own and everyone else is a pretender. They are not new or trendy or perhaps not exciting to some, but are we talking about the food or the athmosphere? Capital Grille provides ambiance along with mediocre food preparation. It is the "upscale arm" of the Longhorn Steak chain of restaurants. They have an outstanding wine list but the steaks never measure up to the old-school restaurants that I mentioned. Smith & Wollensky has no business being in Chicago. They have added nothing to the steak landscape here worth noting. It is just more of the same for a town that already has plenty of meat and potatoes expertize.

                                                                                                                1. the best steak in chicago in my opinion is primehouse. it was the best steak i have ever had

                                                                                                                  1. Unequivocally Capital Grille, Custom House and David Burke's Primehouse. Each serve dry-aged beef which I personally prefer over most steak houses' wet-aged offerings.
                                                                                                                    Each excel at appetizers through desserts, and at genuine white tablecloth service. These are not "hash-house" steak houses nor to they throw the obligatory Saran-wrapped slab at your face as if you've never seen a side of beef before. As an 8-year veteran of the steak house chain scene, I have dined for comparison's sake at these fine Chicago eateries' competition numerous times as well as around the country - these 3 are tops.

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: tbeaune

                                                                                                                      I agree with your praise of David Burkes, they are head and shoulders above everyone else in town.

                                                                                                                      I cannot heap praise on the chain Capital Grill, or Custom House, as I have had average to subpar steaks & service at both.

                                                                                                                      1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                        I have been the in the aging room at Primehouse - what a priviledge and what a sight! I had three different steaks there and all were excellent.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Wrigley12

                                                                                                                          how were you able to score that tour of the aging room? I would love to have such an opportunity.

                                                                                                                          1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                            Just ask your waiter the next time you're there. If they're not too busy, they're usually happy to take you down to the aging room. I went the last time I was there. It's pretty cool.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jesteinf

                                                                                                                              thank you, I will try on my next visit.

                                                                                                                    2. Going to jump on the Tango Sure train. Place is awesome and different than any other "steak place" in the city. It is sexy not stuffy and the prices are unreal.

                                                                                                                      -pk, theculturephile.com

                                                                                                                      1. here are my reviews of the steakhouse i've been to:

                                                                                                                        rosebud steakhouse (in the drake hotel): this is my favorite steak place in chicago. if you like ribeye, go here, as steak has great flavor wtth good-quality meat. but my gf, who is more of a fillet person, thought this place was just okay.

                                                                                                                        gibson's: i've been to the one in rosemont for dinner once, the one in gold coast for lunch once and for dinner once. i was disappointed every time. overall, i felt the meat was not tender, which makes me suspect that either the meat was not prime or the steak was not rested sufficiently after cooking. moreover, the dinner visit at the downtown location served overcooked meat (i ordered medium rare and got medium well). i've been reading great reviews from people on this page. i have a feeling that i either have really bad luck or it's just a matter of personal taste.

                                                                                                                        ruth chris: i thought the quality of meat was great here, and it was prepared well. but the cut was a bit too thin for my chicago-taste. i also thought the butter finish was too greasy (very reminiscent of peter luger in new york in this regard).

                                                                                                                        stony river: pretty good steak for deerfield. but when put in the context of chicago, it is mediocre.

                                                                                                                        bob chinn's crab house: more of a seafood joint. but the porterhouse was well seasoned and cooked. though the quality of meat is probably not prime.

                                                                                                                        texas roadhouse: they sear the steaks before grilling. very well prepared choice meat. but they tend to over-season a bit. they also have prime rib, which is quite good, surprisingly.

                                                                                                                        lawry's prime: very good prime rib. luxurious interior decor with a showy presentation (they toss the salad and cut the steak in front of you). although the service is a hit or miss. i experienced better service at the one in LA.

                                                                                                                        david burke: i'm not a dry-age steak person. what new yorkers describe as "beefy flavor" tastes a bit bitter on my untrained palette. yet i gave this place a try. i thought the steak was not as "beefy" as peter luger's in new york, but my ribeye was overcooked, and my dining companion's fillet was undercooked. the sommelier we got was also quite amateur (but that may have changed). overall, not a big fan. but i do have to say that the place feels trendy, and the service was attentive.

                                                                                                                        aja steakhouse (in dana hotel): they have prime, american wagyu, and wagyu imported from japan. i only had the prime. the steak itself was tender enough. but they have this spicy dry rub that overpowers the flavor of the beef itself. i would also note that the place is overpriced, including the steaks and the seafood.

                                                                                                                        yoshi's cafe: i tried their american wagyu steak. it is indeed more tender and flavorful than prime. the american wagyu here is also more moderately priced than the one in aja steak. this is my only experience with american wagyu (from allen brothers).

                                                                                                                        i used to part-time in the meat department in mitsuwa. i would like to warn people that the "wagyu" sold in mitsuwa is not wagyu. it is the same choice meat that is being sold right next to it.

                                                                                                                        1. This is a good question and there seem to be quite a few quality answers here. I'd qualify the parameters of the question a bit, though, and argue that the 'best' steak in town really depends on a lot of factors including (and especially) what kind of steak you're ordering, what day of the week you're eating, how you want your steak prepared, and what (if any) sauces you'd want with your steak. The best bone-in ribeye I've had in town is actually at Pete Miller's in Evanston. The best T-Bone at Keefer's, and the best strip at Gene and Georgetti's. Gibson's is consistently good. Tramonto's has an absurdly large, good, and expensive steak if you're far enough north and west to end up in Wheeling, and the best sauce again goes to Keefer's, who incidentally offers your choice of fine sauce free with every steak. I admit that I haven't yet been to David Burke's, and look forward to trying a long-term salt aged steak, but I've been to most of the Chicago 'classics', and found that no specific steakhouse is the monolithic 'best', but that each of the notables has their own strenghs. Anyone agree/disagree or have anything to add about specific specialties per steakhouse?

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: miasm

                                                                                                                            "I admit that I haven't yet been to David Burke's, and look forward to trying a long-term salt aged steak . . ."

                                                                                                                            I've been to David Burke's and I've read the reviews of many other people who have, and one consistent comment, and my experience was, while the quality of the raw beef may be good . . . the kitchen is inconsistent in the delivery of a steak cooked to order . . . and, therefore, I wouldn't send someone there for a good meal. I've found the restaurant to be highly over-rated when you consider all factors that may contribute to the making of a "good" or "great" steakhouse.

                                                                                                                          2. After reading this post and all the back and forth about what is or isn't a real Chicago steakhouse I was ready to add my 2 cents and say "when in Chicago, eat at a Chicago steakhouse. Then I read the original post again. GrillMaster is asking for the best steakhouse in Chicago, not the best Chicago steakhouse. I was going to say Gene & Georgetti's or Gibson's because these are Chicago steakhouse legends. However, since we are not sticking to that line, I would suggest The Palm.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: lindainwi

                                                                                                                              TWIW, I would agree that G&G's and Gibson's are Chicago steakhouse "legends." That being said, I think they are both unpleasant places to dine.

                                                                                                                              Gibson's is the poster child for the Viagra Triangle, filled with overgrown boys with indulgent expense accounts who want to show off for some woman half their age. A place to see and be seen -- with the right person, of course.

                                                                                                                              G&G is beloved by the "regulars," but provides lousy service to tourists and/or newcomers -- and the food is mediocre.

                                                                                                                              So I would go for David Burke's, Capital Grill or the Palm. My favorite actually is a Chicago local place, but it's quite a ways out of town: Tramontos, Rick Tramonto's steak joint in Wheeling.