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Apr 24, 2007 09:08 AM

Gibson's Last Night (Long)

I recently moved to town and have been keeping an eye on the steak debates on the board. When I was previously living in the Chicago area (Evanston) I frequented Morton's and have never been to Gibson's, the Chop House, or Gene and Georgetti, so I decided to tackle the one that has peaked my interest for many years now with its mixed reviews and "power" atmosphere. A note: I love steak and my favorite dinner could be a Strip (or occasionally a rib eye or porterhouse) medium rare with a nice salty char, shrimp cocktail, creamed spinach, and a scotch or martini, and have no problems visiting steakhouses once a week to get my fill. Anyway- hoping to find a place I would be delighted to frequent somewhat often I called and secured a last minute reservation at Gibson's.

When I called they stressed the importance of arriving on time since they would only hold the table for 15 minutes. Lo and behold, as is par for the course I have read, we walked into a 20 minute wait at the bar where the bar-back was much more helpful than the bartender.

I don't know if this is the case in restaurants in this area, but I felt pandered to as if I wasn't that important all night. Be it the cold shoulder from the bartender who stood there talking to his buddy while I waited to order drinks, to the long-winded schpeil by the server (as if I were at a Fridays,) to the grotesque patronizing smile by the server when we asked to have some food wrapped up, to being seated in the narrow back room (seemingly Siberia)- the overall tone was not overly hospitable and made me feel like a tourist.

On to the food- starters of shrimp cocktail and spicy lobster cocktail were right on the ball. Good portion sizes, proper snap to the shrimp and consistency of the Lobster. House salads were a nice treat since back home absolutely nothing comes free at a steak house.

Large 19oz strip was cooked perfectly and had a decent char. Needed some salt but overall was a very good steak. Other entrees at the table included the pork chop- which was tasty but perhaps a bit over-seasoned, and the salmon that was well received- a nice surprise. Sides were cream spinach- which I found to be overly creamy to a fault, and mushrooms which were too vinegary and disappointing. Maybe they can be salvaged in an omelet.

All in all, the food was very good with the exception of the sides, and I hope to return but will certainly make visits to the Chop House and G&G (as well as Morton's) in order to find a steakhouse more to my liking. I ate at N9ne in Vegas and was pleasantly surprised, and I have never had a good steak at David Burke & Donatella in NYC. Perhaps these were anomalies?

Thanks for reading,


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  1. Great review, I have experienced similar in visits to Gibsons. Good food, but not the best service, and the "Viagra Triangle" vibe, really does not impress me.

    1. I'm new to the board, so I'm not up on the great steak debate, but a couple of places that I have enjoyed more than Gibson's and Mortons are Sullivans and Keefers. Also, Fulton's on the River does a great steak-seafood combo

      2 Replies
      1. re: gryphon773

        I am a big fan of Mortons, I have yet to try Sullivans, or Keefers. I had an excellent bone in filet @ Joes Seafood, Prime Steaks, and Stone Crab recently and it was excellent. Pair that with some stone crab claws, and that mustard dipping sauce and I was in heaven.

        1. re: gryphon773

          > I'm new to the board, so I'm not up on the great steak debate

          Welcome! You'll find the most comprehensive discussion of steakhouses in the Chicago area in the topic at

          Cliff's Notes version: No single steakhouse in the Chicago area is the consensus favorite (contrast this to New York, where 95 percent will tout Peter Luger's). For every place that has a lot of fans, there are at least a few detractors.

        2. Do not go to G &G. Unless you want worse food and even worse(RUDE) service. I could go on and on as I have before about this awful place. In a decade of fine dining in Chicago the meal I had here stands out as the absolute worst.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hoppy2468

            Wow, that sounds pretty poor. I don't mind gruff service (you know, like at Lugers where they start off snarling at you and then end up joking with you) but rude service is unacceptable.

          2. AGREED! and I sit in the Gibson's bar at least once a month with friends for dinner.
            Next time you're looking for a great steak and wonderful service try the Saloon Steakhouse (behind hancock). You will be treated like royalty whether you're a regular or a first-timer. Not to mention the Kansas City strip is phenomenal.

            1. Great info. Don't forget to try:

              Pete Miller's Seafood & Prime Steak
              1557 Sherman Ave.
              Evanston 60201-4421

              Great steak, seafood, burgers, & atmosphere plus live Jazz/open late.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amoncada

                I was actually a NU student when Pete Millers opened so have spent plenty of night eating burgers in the pool room and whenever there was a special occaision, steak in the dining room. Do they still have bacon in their cream spinach? yum!