HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >


Best Short Ribs in the City?

It's a cold and crappy day ... short ribs are on our minds for dinner tonight. Besides Alinea and Graham Elliot (its not that kind of evening out tonight) ... any reco's? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What a great question! I LOVE short ribs, and I often order them when I see them on a menu. They seem to have greatly increased in popularity over the past year or two. Ideally, I think they should be extremely (amazingly) tender and not overly fatty, and very tasty. They are usually braised, a slow-cooking method that (hopefully) renders the fat and tenderizes the meat. Sometimes they are served bone-in (on the bone), other times without the bone.

    Here is where I can recall having short ribs around Chicago and elsewhere...

    I had them on the tasting menu at Avenues when Chef Bowles was in charge, so I assume the ones at Graham Elliot are the same or similar. They were excellent.

    I had them recently at Custom House. They were served bone-in (in a little pot, with a mini horseradish cream puff!) and theirs were excellent also. They're on the regular menu and this is my top recommendation for you to try next. If you like sweetbreads, they have those as an appetizer and they were also excellent.

    I had them as a special (over polenta) at Vivere and theirs were excellent, too.

    I had them earlier this year at Sweets and Savories and they were very good, although not quite up there with the previous choices, as they were not quite as tender as the very best. But still very good.

    I had them not too long ago at Avec. They were overly fatty and bland in taste. I was disappointed.

    I had them last year (bone-in) at Cafe Matou and they were very chewy, not that good.

    One of the very best I've had was this past summer at Margaux, a wonderful restaurant in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I was discussing them with Rob Hurrie, the owner there who came by my table, and he remarked that it's one of the easiest dishes for them to prepare.

    I'd love to hear about other places that serve short ribs!

    6 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Oops - I forgot to post my most recent short ribs experience! Earlier this week I had the bone-in "7 Spices & Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Carrots Batônnets & Garlic Mashed Potatoes" at Jacky's Bistro in Evanston, available on both their lunch and dinner menus. They were very good.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        Since this topic got me craving short ribs, I had dinner tonight at Jilly's Cafe in Evanston, where I had their "Barbecue Glazed Braised Beef Short Ribs". I would rate them very good - a bit chewier than some (which is not so good), but without any fat (which is very good). They were very tasty and the barbecue sauce glaze on top added to the excellent flavor (and the horseradish whipped potatoes underneath were excellent too). The portion size was also quite generous. This is one of their menu specials but they said that they usually have them, especially this time of year. Those who are fans of foie gras should also know that Jilly's version is outstanding, and also a generous portion size.

        In looking around for where to eat, I've noticed a couple more places showing them on their website menus, but where I haven't tried them yet. These include Le Lan's "'sizzling' short ribs" and Deleece's "Braised short ribs glazed with sweet chipotle
        barbeque sauce".

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Osteria Via Stato has short ribs seasonally as one of their entrees. I think its on a parsnip or celery root puree.

          1. re: chicagowinediva

            Osteria's are the best I have had in a long time. That was a little over a month ago.

          2. re: nsxtasy

            I also forgot to mention Michael, in Winnetka, which has some of the very best short ribs around! I ate there for lunch in late August, and at that time they had a "trio entree" that included wonderful short ribs. I see that their current website menus don't show this on the lunch menu (BTW they are open ONLY on Fridays for lunch), but they do on the dinner menu, as "Trio of Slowly Braised Beef Short Rib, Filet Mignon and Wild Mushroom Ravioli sauce Chasseur". Also, if you're a fan of foie gras, don't miss their sauteed foie gras over foie gras strudel. I have been to Michael numerous times now, and I consider it the very best mid-priced restaurant in the entire Chicago area. www.restaurantmichael.com

            1. re: nsxtasy

              >> They seem to have greatly increased in popularity over the past year or two.

              I wrote the above because they've been popping up on restaurant menus in the past couple of years, especially during the colder months. There's now evidence that a lot of people are making them at home, too. We ordered some for tonight's big NYE bash from Zier's, our go-to place for the finest quality meats. They mentioned that a lot of people have ordered short ribs for NYE this year.

            2. I had some excellent braised short ribs at Franconello at University Village, they were juicy, tender and served over Polenta much like the other poster mentioned at Vivere.
              Speaking of ribs, I always enjoy the beef ribs at Fogo De Chao, not so fatty (although I prefer fatty ribs) and served sliced thin.

              My MK

              1. I love short ribs, too and I'm so glad we're in braising season again (as distinct from grilling season)! Of course there's my own (small, gracious bow), but that's not what you asked.

                I just had wonderful short ribs at Mercat a la Planxca last night. They appeared to have been braised and then browned so that they were tender, but at the same time had a crust. It's a small plate and was served with scallops so it was really just a taste, but sooo good.

                Let us know if you found short ribs, and where and how they were.

                1. The short ribs I had at Keefer's was to die for. Don't remember if short ribs was a special or on the permanent menu, but worth checking out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sis2catbat

                    They're not shown on the menu on their website at www.keefersrestaurant.com

                    I think a lot of places have them as a seasonal special during the colder weather months (as I was told explicitly at Jilly's).

                  2. I remember having some wonderful short ribs at Red Light, but again, I'm sure it was a seasonal specialty.

                    1. I recognize you were asking for a dinner option but should you have that short ribs craving for lunch I highly recommend Manny's Deli. Especially on Thursdays when you can pair them up with kascha as your (heaping) side. Manny's is open for dinner now, as well, but I'm not certain what the dinner menu options are.

                      Manny's Deli
                      1141 S. Jefferson
                      Chicago, IL 60607
                      (312) 939-2855

                      I have fond memories of the short ribs at Scylla before Stephanie Izzard closed it but all good things come to an end, I suppose.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Original Kman

                        I agree with the Manny's suggestion. I love their short ribs. You should know that this is a cafeteria, unpretentious, busy at lunch, and you get a lot of food for the prices, which are a lot less than at most of the fancier restaurants suggested.

                      2. If you ever have a hankering for short ribs at home, please run to trotters to go. I absolutely love their short ribs..asian preparation with hoisin, etc...grab some of the mashed potatoes, and some haricots verts with cranberrries/figs and you're set!

                        1. Sola has some great short ribs that seem to always be on their menu, too!

                          1. I don't live in Chicago, though I have spent pleanty of time there.....I had the Short Ribs at Southwater Kitchen at the Hotel Monico, AWESOME.....Tender, Flavorful!
                            Also, try the Waleye app.....

                            1. I would have to agree nsxtasy- Custom House's short ribs were the best I had. Granted, the last time I was there was about 3 months ago- but everything I ate was excellent! Definitely recommend!

                              1. I love short ribs, especially now that it's gotten cold. They are on the menu at Bonsoiree for their five-course fall tasting menu. Bonsoiree is one of our favs and we were looking forward to their Tuesday night discounted special.

                                The short ribs were beautifully tender, but they were also IMHO disappointing. Served with "blackberry capsules," the opportunity was there to give them some oomph with a pungent and savory blackberry glaze.

                                Anyway I am now inspired to try a new recipe for short ribs: braised 'til they fall apart and then glazed either with a blackberry preserve/vinegar/cayenne mix or a mustard/brown sugar/bourbon topping..

                                1. I suggest looking into Chaise Lounge on North Avenue. The chef worked for Elliott Bowles and for Paul Kahan at Blackbird. Short ribs are mighty tasty.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Chitowneater

                                    I agree and I often forget about it. The Chase Lounge is a sleeper. I also love the patio in the summer.

                                  2. joe stone crab and prime house on grand and rush has terrific short ribs

                                    1. I just posted about my dinner Sunday night at L2O in the topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/546690

                                      The short ribs were interesting because they were braised and then formed and grilled. They were rather tender but a bit on the salty side.

                                      1. Would anyone care to refine the topic a bit and recommend the best place to get Korean or Asian style short ribs?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: beanbreath

                                          San Soo Gab San
                                          5247 N Western Ave

                                          Totally fun. Really good. Great value.

                                          1. re: beanbreath

                                            I second for San Soo Gab San for Korean BBQ short ribs... This is a favorite restaurant of ours that we visit weekly. The restaurant can get a little smoky, the service can be less than perfect and few of the waitresses speak English so communicating can sometimes be a little difficult.. Knowing all of that, we still come back week after week because the food is delicious, the portions are large and the price is right. One night, we counted 24 banchans (little side dishes that come with Korean meals)served to our party of 3 to enjoy with our BBQ... All were delicious and we never leave hungry!

                                          2. This is totally out of left field.

                                            I had lunch at Lula's in Logan Square yesterday and ordered a short rib sandwich from their brunch menu. It was a brioche with short rib meat, cheese and two sunny side up eggs. Heart Attack on a plate, I know. It came with browned new potatoes and an incredibly light, refreshing salad.

                                            So good I thought about it all day and I heartily recommend it.

                                            1. I'm still thinking about a short rib flatbread dish I had at Mercat a la Planxa in January...

                                              1. Tonight I had dinner at Mexique, the French-influenced Mexican restaurant in West Town. I had the "Costillas" entree, consisting of braised short ribs with a hibiscus flower glaze, served over a celery root slaw, with truffle oil pomme frites (French fries). It was EXCELLENT, one of the best short ribs I've had in Chicago. The way Chef Carlos Gaytan prepares them is, it's a boneless piece of short rib, which he braises, and then puts it on the grill to sear in the hibiscus flower glaze. This adds a super-thin, crispy layer to the outside of the tender, melt-in-your-mouth short ribs, and it was wonderful. The meat was slightly fatty but amazingly tender, and full of delicious flavor. The hibiscus flower glaze was interesting - a very mild flavored glaze, although it was very dark (as dark as mole poblano) and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The celery root slaw was nice, slightly sweet (perhaps from the cranberries in it and I think there was also a bit of crushed pineapple in there), and the pomme frites were very good. If you're looking for a great short rib, I highly recommend it! www.mexiquechicago.com

                                                The rest of the dinner was also wonderful. I've posted a detailed report in the Mexican discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/463572

                                                1. I had another excellent serving of short ribs tonight. This was at the Wheeling location of Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant, where they serve "Red Wine and Mustard Short Ribs" served on a bed of mashed potatos. They were excellent, very tasty, not overly fatty (as short ribs can sometimes be), and a nice portion size with three hunks of short ribs.

                                                  There were lots of other highlights to the meal as well. Their wines are excellent, and reasonably priced; you can try (and buy) them in the tasting room at the entrance, as well as along with your meal. Our favorites included their Malbec (red), Blanc de Blanc (sparkling), and Ice Wine (dessert). All of the food was excellent, but if I had to single out one dish in addition to the short ribs, it was the Sweet Chili Calamari ("tender rings of calamari, fried tempura style, and tossed in mango chili-ponzu sauce with a touch of spicy mayo"). Just amazing. Portions were quite large, so don't over-order!

                                                  In addition to Wheeling, Cooper's Hawk has other locations in South Barrington, Orland Park, and Burr Ridge. Here's the info on the Wheeling location:

                                                  Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant
                                                  583 N Milwaukee Ave
                                                  Wheeling, IL 60090

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: nsxtasy

                                                    I ate at Cooper's Hawk in Wheeling again last night, and it was excellent once again.

                                                    I had the same short rib entree as in the visit described above, and the above description still applies: "excellent, very tasty, not overly fatty (as short ribs can sometimes be), and a nice portion size with three hunks of short ribs".

                                                    I really loved the two items I had prior to the short ribs. We started with "CHICKEN POTSTICKERS - Blend of Chicken, Ginger, Cabbage, Sesame, and Soy Served with Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce and Our Classic Ginger Soy Sauce". This was outstanding, as good as you'll find at the best Chinese restaurants. The pot stickers were accompanied by an excellent Asian slaw.

                                                    I then had the "CHOPPED WEDGE SALAD - Chopped Lettuce with a Balanced Blend of Red Wine Herb Vinaigrette, Creamy Salemville Bleu Cheese Dressing, and Garnished with Red Onion, Sweet Grape Tomatoes, Bleu Cheese Crumbles and Warm Applewood Smoked Bacon" and this too was outstanding.

                                                    They also brought hot pretzel bread to the table piping hot, and it was great too.

                                                    The service was also excellent; our server, Kristie, made good suggestions, and was friendly and helpful. She did sort of push their wine club, but given what a good deal the wine club is for those who drink wine, I can forgive that.

                                                    The pricing is also excellent there. The food prices are generally reasonable, with entrees $20-30 ($21 for the short ribs). What makes Cooper's Hawk a true bargain is the wine situation. You can try any of their wines for free in the tasting room at the entrance; many of them are very good, and they are priced fairly. Inside the restaurant, their wines are marked up 25-40 percent from their regular prices, which is unusually low (most restaurant markups are 2.5-3.0 times retail).

                                                    The only downside to dinner was that the dining room was extremely noisy, to the extent that it was difficult to hear my three dining companions. Even though it was a Tuesday night, they were doing a booming business, from the time we arrived at 7 right up until we left around 9. Fortunately I had called ahead for reservations, which I recommend doing.

                                                    As mentioned above, Cooper's Hawk has other locations in Orland Park (where they make the wines), South Barrington, and Burr Ridge, and they have opened three more locations, in Naperville, Indianapolis, and Brookfield (west suburban Milwaukee WI). They are also in the process of converting the now-closed Pappadeaux location in Arlington Heights to another Cooper's Hawk location.

                                                    This is a really good restaurant with great food and a lot of other things going for it. I recommend it!

                                                    Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
                                                    583 N Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, IL 60090

                                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                                      Nsxtasy, we agree on many things. But there are some notable places where we disagree. This is another one of them. We ate there with friends a few weeks ago and thought it was some of the most overpriced, homogenized uninteresting food we had had ever had.

                                                      I love Longman and Eagle, The Publican, and Girl and the Goat. And you don't.
                                                      You love this place, Sable and Cafe des Architechtes. And I don't.
                                                      You have a problem with places that are noisy or uncomfortable and love sweet desserts. I don't.

                                                      Isn't it great that we bring different perspectives to the table?

                                                      Party on!

                                                      1. re: chicgail

                                                        You're welcome to your opinion. And although I understand that different people like different places, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would consider Cooper's Hawk overpriced; the food is priced less than similar items elsewhere, the portions are generous, and as noted above, the wine list in the restaurant is an absolute steal.

                                                        As I noted in another topic, I haven't expressed an opinion on Cafe des Architectes, other than brunch, because I haven't had dinner there since Chef Biggers took over and revamped the menu, so I don't think it's fair for me to express an opinion now based on the previous chef. I'd love to hear opinions from you or others if you've eaten dinner there under Chef Biggers.

                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                          Relatively low prices for a lot of mediocre food or wine does not, to me, indicate a particularly good value. I know some people feel differently. As my mother used to say, "that's why they make chocolate and vanilla." If you like Cooper's Hawk, by all means return there and enjoy it. I will not.

                                                          1. re: chicgail

                                                            If one expanded the definition of "overpriced" from "higher prices than comparable items elsewhere" to "fair prices for mediocre food", then I would consider Publican, the Girl and the Goat, and Longman & Eagle to all be overpriced. However, I don't think that's what most people consider when they hear the word overpriced, and I wouldn't describe them as such.

                                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                                              Like I said:
                                                              Some people prefer chocolate; some people prefer vanilla. And then there are the strawberry folks. Nothing wrong with any of them. Just different tastes.

                                                              Viva la difference. I'm sure you agree.

                                                              1. re: chicgail

                                                                Of course. My point is only about when the word "overpriced" is appropriate.

                                                  2. Here's another report of short ribs. Last night I had an excellent dinner at Roy's, serving their "Hawaiian fusion cuisine" in River North. They have two entrée preparations with the same braised beef short ribs but slightly different sauces and platings. The prix fixe menu ($35 for 3 courses) has them with a red wine reduction and accompanied by mashed potatoes and garlicked broccolini; the a la carte menu has honey mustard short ribs with lomi lomi tomatoes and a natural reduction. I was unsure of which to get, because the sweetness and tanginess of a honey mustard preparation sounded good to me, but all worked out well; I had the prix fixe version and its sauce, too, was sweet and tangy. Delicious! It was a boneless formed piece of meat and, like some of the other places mentioned in this topic, they finished it by throwing it on the grill for a very slight char on the outside. Very tender, not at all "stringy", and very little fat, too (which can be the downfall of short ribs). This is one of the best versions of short ribs around town. Other items during dinner were also excellent, notably the Maine lobster dim sum appetizer (steamed dumplings full of lobster meat) and their signature hot chocolate melting souffle. The service (by Avery) was unusually polished and friendly as well. Highly recommended. www.roysrestaurant.com

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                                      Today I received an e-mail from Roy's which contains the following blurb about short ribs:

                                                      History of the Dish
                                                      Roy's Braised Beef Short Ribs

                                                      In the late 1980s, Chef Roy Yamaguchi was inspired to offer an upscale interpretation of a classic comfort food dish popular in many of the Asian communities in Hawaii. He began by taking beef short ribs—at the time a relatively obscure cut of meat, especially in high-end restaurants—and braising them until they were "spoon tender." He then paired the ribs with mashed potatoes and garlicked broccolini, creating a dish that has since become an enduring favorite at Roy's.

                                                      P.S. Beef short rib dishes are now featured on the menus of many highly regarded restaurants from around the world. We consider this a shining example of Chef Roy's influence in today's culinary world.

                                                    2. Here's another report on short ribs. (It's not that I'm seeking them out, but rather, I often select them when I see them on the menu, since I like them.)

                                                      Tonight I had dinner at Sam and Harry's in Schaumburg. This is a small group of restaurants whose other locations are in the DC area. The restaurant is in the Renaissance Hotel in Schaumburg, and both the hotel and the restaurant are stunningly beautiful, an excellent design by architect John Portman.

                                                      The short ribs were their "Akaushi” slow braised boneless beef short ribs, served with veal jus over a bed of mashed potatoes. The portion size was generous, and the short ribs were tender and tasty. However, they were fattier (fatter?) than average, and the gravy/sauce didn't really do anything for them. If you like short ribs, order them, as you'll probably like them (as I did). But if you're looking for the best short ribs in town, these are a bit too fatty to qualify. www.samandharrys.com

                                                      1. Today I had brunch at Perennial, in Lincoln Park. On their brunch menu they have short ribs hash, and it was wonderful! The hash was almost all short ribs meat, only a few little pieces of potato and onion. It was served over a large brioche crouton (the shape and size of a burger). It was surrounded by a truly excellent reduction, which the crouton was soaking up. It was a delicious dish, especially for short rib lovers! (The rest of the brunch was good too!) www.perennialchicago.com

                                                        1. Tonight I had dinner at Pete Miller's in Evanston. They had a daily special of braised Kobe short ribs, and they were excellent. They were as tender and moist as any I've had anywhere. They also had a bit of a char flavor; like some of the other places mentioned here in this topic, they apparently throw them on the grill for a little while after braising them for hours. Definitely worth checking out for any fan of short ribs! www.petemillers.com

                                                          1. Last week I had dinner at Sable. For my main course, I had a half portion of the bison short rib sliders with root beer glaze ($7). I love short ribs, and these were as good as any I've had in the entire city. As they were billed as sliders, they were served on two smallish pretzel rolls. The root beer glaze was not prominent, but oh well. Again, the portion size was very generous; the two pieces of short ribs were comparable in size to the amount typically served as an entrée in many restaurants for 2-3 times the price, so it was quite the bargain!

                                                            I've posted a detailed report on the entire meal in the Sable topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/704524 Sable's website is www.sablechicago.com

                                                            1. Best short ribs to date....Longman and Eagle...go, eat, see....

                                                              1. Tonight I had dinner at Campagnola in Evanston. Their short rib was superb - a huge piece of boneless short rib, not much fat, extremely tender, with a balsamic glaze (which tasted more like a red wine reduction). Absolutely terrific.

                                                                Also their vanilla bean bread pudding was outstanding as well.

                                                                815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                  Ah, nsxtasy, at last we agree again!

                                                                  Campagnola is one of few restaurants that survived and even thrived after the departure of its original Executive Chef (in this case MIchael Altenberg also of Bistro Campagna and Crust). Vince DiBattista.the current chef has done a stellar job.

                                                                2. Had the short ribs at Roy's on Friday night...wow!! Excellent. I also had the Duck confit appetizer which was very good as well. Have now eaten at Roy's in Orlando and Chicago, completely satisfied with both places. Basically the absolute best one can expect from a chain (albeit a small one). Highly recommended.

                                                                  Roy's - Chicago
                                                                  720 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

                                                                  1. I'm bumping this topic because I had short ribs for lunch today, and I thought it was one of the best short rib preparations I've had. It was at a new restaurant that just opened last month:

                                                                    Chef Vince's Zeal
                                                                    680 Mall Dr.
                                                                    Schaumburg IL 60173

                                                                    It's described on the menu as "Short Rib Slider - Tender boneless short rib with a dab of caramelized onions, served on a mini brioche roll". There were actually two sandwiches in the serving, each on a smallish roll but with quite a lot of short rib meat on it. And it was all meat, no fat whatsoever, and the meat was delicious, tender, and moist, yet with texture/grain and chew to it, not overbraised to the point of mush. The small bit of caramelized onions (and I think there was also a small amount of horseradish sauce too) added to the flavor as well. At $10, a good value as well. Highly recommended.

                                                                    1. I'd like to report one more outstanding short rib preparation in the city. This past week I had dinner at North Pond, the restaurant in Lincoln Park (in the middle of the park itself). As described on the menu, this was "Grassfed Beef, Mushroom: New York Striploin Medallions, Short Rib; Beech Mushrooms, Confit Potatoes, Mushroom 'Pudding', Marrow, Pistachios". The short rib was all meat, no fat, yet amazingly moist and tender. It was covered with a red wine reduction that is one of the thickest, most concentrated reductions I've ever had. The other items on the plate were all very good as well, but oh, those short ribs! Wow!

                                                                      Incidentally, the rest of the dinner was equally stellar, the best dinner I've had since I ate at Alinea last fall. Every dish was a stand-out. Of particular note were the desserts, two of the best, most creative desserts I've had in a long, long time. A lot of desserts are delicious but not all that unusual, or unusual but not that amazingly delicious, but these were wow-worthy in every way!


                                                                      1. I had another really excellent short rib preparation last night. It was the smoked bone-in short rib on the menu at Carnivale. It was everything a short rib should be - tender and moist, with relatively low amounts of fat (just a bit, easily trimmable and less than most). The smokey flavor was very subtle, not noticeable at all. Also worth noting is that the portion size of short rib was HUGE, one of the biggest I've had. It was slathered with a guava barbecue sauce, which was also excellent (not very guava-ey) and accompanied by a nice cilantro-studded slaw. I skipped the grits and parmesan that normally accompany the dish. www.carnivalechicago.com