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May 7, 2014 02:19 PM

Colleague moving to Chicago: gift cert. ideas for a good steak dinner ?

Hello Chicago Board -
I have volunteered to research a going-away gift for a professional colleague moving with his wife to Chicago this summer. He is a dedicated carnivore who enjoys a good steak dinner. I think they will be living somewhere north of downtown, but they will travel for food.

Your suggestions, thoughts, & comments would be appreciated, as I have eaten only at ethnic and kosher restaurants in Chicago/ Skokie!
Thanks, p.j.

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      1. Gibson's is a famous steakhouse in the Near North Side restaurant neighborhood and since the same owner owns adjacent Hugo's Frog Bar (high-level seafood) the same gift card is good at both restaurants.

        Another option would be Fogo de Chao, not a traditional American steakhouse but a Brazilian churrasqueria that brings infinite selections of excellent grilled meats to the table (see their website for pictures).

        1. David Burke's Primehouse is considered the best steakhouse in town by more steak aficionados than any other. It also gets named "best steakhouse" by the media more often than any other.

          However, I have a couple of additional thoughts to consider.

          When you say they will be living somewhere north of downtown, do you mean in the city, or in one of the suburbs? If they're in the city, then Burke's is a great choice. But if they're in the suburbs, there are almost certainly some excellent steakhouses that are closer to them than going all the way downtown. Let us know which town they will be living in.

          Also, there are a couple of options you might want to consider besides getting them a gift certificate for one specific restaurant. One is to get a gift certificate for Lettuce Entertain You ( ). They have several dozen restaurants in the Chicago area, including steakhouses (Wildfire, Joe's, Petterino's) and a variety of others. That way, if they don't use the entire gift certificate at one restaurant, they have the option of using the remaining balance by trying another place, rather than going back to the same one. Similarly, American Express sells gift cards that can be used anywhere that accepts their credit cards, so again, they can use any remaining balance at a different place. With either of these options, you can still tell him you wanted to give him a nice steak dinner.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nsxtasy

            What a lovely gift idea! Chicago steakhouses are iconic for good reason.

            Here is a recent ranking from Chicago Magazine:

            I think this article does a good job of summarizing the vibe and strengths of each spot, which might help you decide which would best suit your colleague. While David Burke's was ranked first, as referenced by Nsxtasy, if I were welcoming someone to Chicago, I'd go with one with more local connections and history, and David Burke, let's face it, is a New York/New Jersey guy.

            1. re: GourmetWednesday

              Thanks so much for the link to the article: our colleague is a die-hard basketball fan - plays 3x week with a mature league.
              So: Michael Jordan's restaurant caught my eye. The review is quite good.
              Does anyone here have some personal experience? We don't want a tourist-trap type place, which "celebrity" restaurants tend to be.
              Thanks! p.j.

          2. Dave Burke's is definitely widely regarded as Chicago's best steakhouse.

            Another venue to consider would be Bavette's Bar & Bouef; love the lively (but not not too loud or trendy) ambiance, the chic decor, the friendly service and the amazing food. Not only are the steaks phenomenal, but the entire menu from starters through desserts to sides are well thought out, a bit more creative than your typical steakhouse fare and delicious.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Gonzo70

              Thanks for the rec. for Bavettes.It looks interesting - I've printed out the menu and gift certificate form.
              I'll present to the committee tomorrow. p.j.