It's that time of year again when my in-laws come and we try to find a steakhouse with all of our requirements. Help! (Have tried Ruth's Chris and Smith & W--both flunked--Ruth's too loud, sides awful; Smith & W food barely warm when it came out)
1. Not too loud; not see and be seen
2. Great steaks AND great lobster AND great sides
4. Good wine list that isn't vastly overpriced
5. Good service
6. Nice atmosphere
This doesn't seem too much to ask, but when I peruse the board, it looks like there's always a disqualification. Good steaks, but not sides; great food, but loud, etc. Help!
I like Hugo's and Gibson's steaks (not everyone does), but I will strongly second Swsidejim's recommendation of the Saloon Steakhouse. Although it is not a seafood place, they do serve lobster tails. In all other respects, I think that it fits the bill perfectly. By the way, Hugo's does have quite a bit in the way of lobster, including a stuffed lobster (crabmeat/shrimp/scallop stuffing) that is quite good.
Hugos' Frog bar comes to mind. Great seafood & Gibson's steaks, less hassle than Gibson's and not as loud. Although it can get a bit crowded and the db level might rise with the size of crowd, nonetheless I've always been able to carry a comfortable table conversation with my dining companions when I there.
I also hear good things on this site (I haven't been) about Joe's Stone crab which might meet you requirements as well.
As you may already know there is a HUGE thread on Chicago steakhouses that profile and discuss virtually every steakhouse in the city:
As to the comment on Ruth's, I'm 100% with you, they failed in my book as well.
Incidentally, I've never felt that Hugo's was particularly noisy. Probably thanks to its configuration, with lots of smallish rooms rather than one big area. And, unlike Gibson's, it doesn't have a reputation as "where the power brokers go" so there's no "see and be seen" vibe to it.
My current favorite steakhouse is Saloon Steakhouse, I had the best steak I have ever had there a couple of weeks a go, a 21 day dry aged K.C. Strip. I plan on going back. Great service, and a nice quiet atmosphere.
My second favorite is Joe's Seafood, Prime Steaks, and Stone Crabs. When the stone crabs are in season(as they are now), it is almost my favorite place.
I am planning a visit to David Burke's in a couple of weeks, and am anticipating it setting a new standard with the stories of their dry aged beef I have heard.
I am typically just filling up on the prime beef, and perhaps some crab legs so I have not tried lobster at any of these spots perhaps others have.