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May 20, 2007 12:25 PM

Best Chicago Steakhouses?

Hi folks. I'm new to Chowhound, but I like what I see so far. My fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon in Chicago for September 4-10. Whenever we're in a big city, we love to seek out the best steakhouses. I have been reading a lot online about Chicago and, quite frankly, I'm feeling overwhelmed with the choices. Anyone want to comment on the following places?

Keefer's (looks like a good all-around menu)

Saloon Steakhouse

Gibson's Steakhouse

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  1. Keefer's has very good steaks, a nice bar and outdoor seating area. Much more sleak and contemporary than your average Chicago steakhouse (above and beyond the fact that Sinatra is not the only music you'll hear over the speakers). Gibson's is more in the old-school vein. My recollection of the place is a bit foggy--my wife and I went there when we first moved to the city five years ago--so I'll defer to other posters.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dedalus

      I had the best piece of roasted Hake at Keefer's - ever. (Ever, I say.)

      1. Hi. I would like to add my two sents. 3 years ago I visited Chicago with a friend and had a fantastic steak dinner at Shula's Steakhouse. The foot was great and the atmosphere was terrific. We left stuffed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: fifthglen

          I was thinking Shula's also. We really had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the food!

          1. re: hatfiels

            With all due respect, Shula's might be good, but, with all of the other places in town, there's not way that I could recommend it to an out-of-towner seeking a Chicago steakhouse experience. While traveling on business, I dined at the Shula's in Troy, MI (which, I'd imagine, is nearly identical to the ones in Chicago and Itasca). While the food was good, it certainly was nothing special or memorable.

        2. Thanks for the recommendations and link to previous discussion re: best steakhouse. I'm not surprised there are differences of opinion.
          I noticed on the linked discussion from earlier in the year that opinions were divided re: Gibson's and Morton's.
          Nobody had anything bad to say about Keefer's, and most posters were positive about the Capitol Grille. I'm thinking Keefer's because the steaks look great as does the rest of the menu.

          5 Replies
          1. re: anewton

            Keefer's has a great all around menu. Gibson's is more see and be seen. The Saloon is more of a nieghborhood steak house and is quite good but not as fancy. Morton's is fine but a chain.

            1. re: anewton

              As you have seen, there are almost as many opinions as there are steakhouses. Personally, I like most, if not all, of the steakhouses -- including the national "chains" such as S&W and Capital Grille (FWIW, I don't consider the Morton's at Newbury Plaza to be a chain restaurant). However, I really am partial to the Saloon and Gibson's.

              I always have enjoyed Gibson's food, and the scene and atmosphere (which, admittedly, some may find annoying) in my opinion would be great for out-of-towners who want to soak up some Chicago atmosphere and see some "movers and shakers." If you go there, be prepared to wait, even with a reservation.

              I must admit that I have not tried Keefer's. I was thinking about going there recently, but was a little put off by a string of bad/mixed reviews on, as well as some other mixed reviews elsewhere. Rather than risk it, we are returning to the Saloon this weekend, where we've had many great experiences in the past. I will post a review on this board or on LTH.

              Ron A.

              1. re: RMA

                I just returned from Chicago, and Keefer's was my steakhouse of choice. The meal started off on a bit of a sour note, with our waiter taking a VERY long time returning with our drink orders. That asid, the calamari with spicy mayo was delicious, the panko breadcrust accentuating rather than overpowering a large portion of plump, well-cooked squid. I order the New York Strip, m/r, and unfortunately it came out a bit more than medium. The slow service I could deal with, but and overcooked steak in Chicago is a hard offense of which to let go so easily. With all the options, my vote would be against keefer's, based solely on that experience.

                1. re: RMA

                  I don't put a lot of stock in metromix reviews. Some of the reviews are so hysterical you'd think the maitre'd slapped the reviewer in the face when he arrived.

                  One steakhouse that doesn't get mentioned very often, but I think is great: Kinzie Chophouse. Relaxed atmosphere, good wine selection. Really good bone-in NY strip.

                  1. re: Dedalus

                    Very disappointed by a recent visit to Kinzie Chophouse. The porterhouse was thin, un-aged and not well charred. Sides were bland, the wine list was decent. Not a major leaguer in my opinion.

              2. I agree that Gibson's is the best rec for a romantic meal for out of towners. It cannot be beat. It's remarkably consistent; you will NOT be dissatisfied. It's also pure old Chicago through and through. Get the Chicago cut!