HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >


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

  • p
  • 9

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.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
      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 ( www.leye.com/gift-cards ). 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. www.americanexpress.com 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: http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Mag...

            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.

            2. David Burkes is probably the best all over steak house in town and it has the advantage of interesting appetizers and sides as well as alternatives to a big slab of seared beef. I also really like Bavettes because I rarely do want a big slab of meat and if the short rib stroganoff is on the menu I am all over it but it's steaks are mighty fine and they offer lots of other food to satisfy a multiplicity of dining tastes. Both are centrally located within spitting (metaphorically) distance of the loop.
              Not a steak house per se but I had an amazing rib eye at Brindille last week that was perfectly done, seasoned, sauce and came with a delicious potato/cheese gallette. The cost gave me a bit of sticker shock because it not something I typically order or crave but is is not out of line with the best steakhoses. My So ordered the even pricier Dover Sole and the portion was not nearly as generous but he won the "Clean Plate Club Award" for ingesting every last drop.
              A word of caution about Gene & Georgetti, recommended below. I really dislike this place. The service is awful and the place has all of the ambiance of a 1950's tavern with dark and dank corners.. Because it is a Chicago institution and hold out from expense account dining days it engenders nostalgia for some. I haven't been in at least 5 years and didn't want to go then and except for the steaks thought the food just awful. Appetizers and sides hadn't been revamped since the 1960's and they really really could have used some help. A great big ICK on many levels.