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Best Steakhouse in Chicago?

Best Steakhouse in Chicago?
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  • Best Steakhouse in Chicago?

    Post #1 - June 12th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Post #1 - June 12th, 2008, 9:40 am Post #1 - June 12th, 2008, 9:40 am
    I've got a pair of friends coming in from England for a week and I've promised to take them out to a fabulous steak dinner. But now I'm fretting about making the right choice. I personally love the Chicago Chop House but I'm not so sure if it's the right atmoshphere I want - I'm thinking somewhere a bit less "stuffy" and more relaxed and fun but that still serves to die for steaks. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
  • Post #2 - June 12th, 2008, 10:38 am
    Post #2 - June 12th, 2008, 10:38 am Post #2 - June 12th, 2008, 10:38 am
    Welcome to LTH Forum.

    There are a lot of existing threads on steakhouses. You'll get a lot of info by reading these. Here's a place to start: Google search results.

    Have you thought about David Burke's Primehouse? I've only been there once and I know views differ on it. It has an atmosphere more like a hip restaurant than a stuffy steakhouse. I liked it. The sides are much better (more interesting, better executed) than what you'd find at most steakhouses.

    David Burke’s Primehouse
    606 North Rush
    Chicago, IL
    312-660-6000
  • Post #3 - June 12th, 2008, 1:29 pm
    Post #3 - June 12th, 2008, 1:29 pm Post #3 - June 12th, 2008, 1:29 pm
    While not everyone's cup of tea, i think both Gibsons and Gene & Georgetti's personify the Chicago steakhouse "vibe." Both serve USDA Prime beef, G & G gets it from Allen Brothers (I believe) and if my memory serves me Gibsons sources from either Allen Brothers or Stockyards.

    You can certaintly get a great steak at a lot of places around town. If you would like to eat at a "steakhouse" for the food and the scene, and all that entails, these two places will be right up your alley.
  • Post #4 - June 12th, 2008, 1:36 pm
    Post #4 - June 12th, 2008, 1:36 pm Post #4 - June 12th, 2008, 1:36 pm
    Given the price point at David Burke's and the inconsistent service - I don't see why someone would risk going there. Quality meat is one thing, being unable to consistently deliver it to the table cooked properly and/or other service/food problems is another - and the point which disqualifies the place from consideration as a "best steakhouse."
  • Post #5 - June 12th, 2008, 1:48 pm
    Post #5 - June 12th, 2008, 1:48 pm Post #5 - June 12th, 2008, 1:48 pm
    Check out this thread:
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=18167

    I went through a pretty exhaustive process back in March for a similar quest, and came down to two places: Keefer's and Erie Cafe.

    We eventually chose Keefer's, and were not disappointed. My review of the experience is at the end of the thread, and it was extremely pleasant. :D

    I will not recommend Gene and Georgetti's, the service there is just awful, :evil: most of the time. Erie Cafe was started by some of the people involved with Gene And Georgetti's, and has great service, and a much better wine list. They also have a great little patio, if the weather permits.
  • Post #6 - June 12th, 2008, 2:41 pm
    Post #6 - June 12th, 2008, 2:41 pm Post #6 - June 12th, 2008, 2:41 pm
    I put my vote in for Keefers. It is outstanding!
  • Post #7 - June 12th, 2008, 4:30 pm
    Post #7 - June 12th, 2008, 4:30 pm Post #7 - June 12th, 2008, 4:30 pm
    I vote Erie Cafe. It has become my "go to" spot for entertaining clients. It has a great vibe, a little less stuffy than Chop House. There is outdoor seating just off the river with a great view. (But be warned, it is next to a dog park, so if you don't like to see and hear dogs while you eat sit inside.)

    The meat is always right on, and it is less of a commercial feel than Mortons and Gibsons. Less pricey than Burke's. The service is top notch, without being stuffy or condescending.
    Today I caught that fish again, that lovely silver prince of fishes,
    And once again he offered me, if I would only set him free—
    Any one of a number of wonderful wishes... He was delicious! - Shel Silverstein
  • Post #8 - June 12th, 2008, 5:34 pm
    Post #8 - June 12th, 2008, 5:34 pm Post #8 - June 12th, 2008, 5:34 pm
    Chop house on ontario.
  • Post #9 - June 12th, 2008, 6:46 pm
    Post #9 - June 12th, 2008, 6:46 pm Post #9 - June 12th, 2008, 6:46 pm
    There are so many good places for steaks these days, that I have given up on the decent food, but lousy service at Gene and Georgetti's. I am paying good money for my meal. I do not need gruff, personality challenged waiters seemingly doing me a favor while working my table. I think that my current favorite for good steaks and excellent service is Keefers. I've enjoyed every visit.
  • Post #10 - June 12th, 2008, 9:08 pm
    Post #10 - June 12th, 2008, 9:08 pm Post #10 - June 12th, 2008, 9:08 pm
    I have never experienced anything but excellent service at David Burke's, and you will not find better meat. I think Keefer's is excellent and consistent, but David Burke's serves dry aged beef (up to 75 days aged) and Keefer's does not. In any event, neither place is stuffy . . . I always enjoy the bar at both restaurants too.
  • Post #11 - June 13th, 2008, 7:33 am
    Post #11 - June 13th, 2008, 7:33 am Post #11 - June 13th, 2008, 7:33 am
    I had dinner at David Burke's last night and we had stellar service. My 40 day aged ribeye was cooked exactly as I ordered it, medium rare. Once again David Burke's comes through with a memerable meal (sorry jazzfood).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - June 13th, 2008, 7:48 am
    Post #12 - June 13th, 2008, 7:48 am Post #12 - June 13th, 2008, 7:48 am
    euthe wrote:Chop house on ontario.

    What about Chop House on Ontario?

    Good, bad, indifferent?

    How's the food, how's the service, convivial bar, strong drinks......?
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - June 13th, 2008, 8:05 am
    Post #13 - June 13th, 2008, 8:05 am Post #13 - June 13th, 2008, 8:05 am
    My recent experiences at both Chop House and Erie Cafe left me feeling that they have fallen off in quality. Both places used to be favorites of mine, and I have hopes that the most recent visits were aberrations, but the meat simply wasn't what it had been. This, combined with another recent disappointing food experience at a (non-steakhouse) place that used to be a favorite, left me wondering whether the economy is making push come to shove in the restaurant business. Costs are going up while at the same time business is falling off (because customers don't feel rich anymore), so that costs are rising disproportionate to how much restaurants feel safe in passing on the increase to customers. The only "give" in the equation, therefore, is to control costs by going to cheaper suppliers, or buying cheaper provisions from the same suppliers. Pure speculation on my part, but that is the speculation that has been occuring to me lately based on a pattern (small as the sample may be) of experiences.
  • Post #14 - June 13th, 2008, 9:01 am
    Post #14 - June 13th, 2008, 9:01 am Post #14 - June 13th, 2008, 9:01 am
    While Keefer's and David Burke's are the steakhouses du jour, I have never had a bad experience (and, in fact, have had many good experiences) at the Saloon Steakhouse, which I would say is underrated but for the fact that it's frequently mentioned on LTH. I also like Gibson's, though I know there are many on this forum who are critical of both the food and atmosphere.
  • Post #15 - June 13th, 2008, 9:09 am
    Post #15 - June 13th, 2008, 9:09 am Post #15 - June 13th, 2008, 9:09 am
    I'm not going to argue about which place has the best steak since everyone seems to enjoy something different. I've been to most of them and like them all (compared to other steaks I've had around the country or overseas). If I'm having people come to Chicago from overseas, I would think Gibson's fits the bill nicely. Although it's a bit "busy" for me on a normal night, it's nice for entertaining guests. The steaks are big and consistently good. The sides are huge as well. They may enjoy the hustle of the restaurant and the surrounding bars / people on the street, etc. They may also enjoy the "showcase" menu of raw steaks and seafood. It's a good, casual place to have a consistently good steak and visitors seem to like it.
  • Post #16 - June 13th, 2008, 10:04 am
    Post #16 - June 13th, 2008, 10:04 am Post #16 - June 13th, 2008, 10:04 am
    Ron A. wrote:While Keefer's and David Burke's are the steakhouses du jour, I have never had a bad experience (and, in fact, have had many good experiences) at the Saloon Steakhouse, which I would say is underrated but for the fact that it's frequently mentioned on LTH. I also like Gibson's, though I know there are many on this forum who are critical of both the food and atmosphere.


    I like the Saloon as well, but I consider it a second tier steakhouse, albiet a good one.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - June 13th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #17 - June 13th, 2008, 10:12 am Post #17 - June 13th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Thanks for all the suggestions! They are very helpful!

    Does anyone have any thoughts on N9ne? I know it's not a "Chicago" steakhouse but I've heard good things about it.
  • Post #18 - June 13th, 2008, 2:48 pm
    Post #18 - June 13th, 2008, 2:48 pm Post #18 - June 13th, 2008, 2:48 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    euthe wrote:Chop house on ontario.

    What about Chop House on Ontario?

    Good, bad, indifferent?

    How's the food, how's the service, convivial bar, strong drinks......?



    Well since the title is best steakhouse in chicago it's safe to assume that I think the chop house on ontario is the best. (I know, I know assumptions are dangerous but this is a gimme!)

    That being said everytime I've been here I've not been disappointed. Service has always been good and the steaks are great. The wine list is very nice and the atmosphere is great especially if you're entertaining company.

    Hope that did it!!!
  • Post #19 - June 13th, 2008, 3:23 pm
    Post #19 - June 13th, 2008, 3:23 pm Post #19 - June 13th, 2008, 3:23 pm
    I adore steak at all levels. I pretty much stand by what I said in this post, which contains all the addresses.

    I don't think of the Chop House as stuffy. If you want a more casual experience, though, you might try Carmichael's, which has a great outdoor cafe. The steaks are choice, not prime, but to UK visitors that won't matter.

    But if you really want to buy them the best steaks in Chicago, go to Primehouse. I don't care for Gibson's. Their steaks are bland and their vibe depresses me.
  • Post #20 - June 13th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    Post #20 - June 13th, 2008, 4:48 pm Post #20 - June 13th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    stevez wrote:I like the Saloon as well, but I consider it a second tier steakhouse, albiet a good one.

    I'm wild-guessing that you consider Burke's a first-tier steakhouse, but am curious which others you put in that category.

    I'm glad the Saloon has come up, because I tend to forget about that place and shouldn't. Unlike at the Chop House and Erie Cafe, I've never had a disappointing piece of meat there. Perhaps the Saloon doesn't rise to the heights, either, but it rises pretty darned high (IMO), and the consistency with which it does so makes it a favorite of mine for lunch. (I have to get over there for dinner sometime.)
  • Post #21 - June 14th, 2008, 1:26 pm
    Post #21 - June 14th, 2008, 1:26 pm Post #21 - June 14th, 2008, 1:26 pm
    rsworsky wrote:Thanks for all the suggestions! They are very helpful!

    Does anyone have any thoughts on N9ne? I know it's not a "Chicago" steakhouse but I've heard good things about it.

    I ate at N9ne one time. I never would have gone there myself because of the price point -- it's pretty expensive even by Chicago steakhouse standards. But some friends were having their "wedding celebration" dinner there, so I went. I ordered the cheapest cut of meat they served, and it was the best steak I've ever had. The decor and ambiance is a lot more modern-chic than old-school steakhouse -- it's like you're eating in a 21st-century stylized interpretation of a 1970s disco. It's actually kind of weird and it's completely not my scene at all -- and yet if I'm ever in a position where "money is no object," I would go back for the food.
  • Post #22 - June 16th, 2008, 10:08 am
    Post #22 - June 16th, 2008, 10:08 am Post #22 - June 16th, 2008, 10:08 am
    My favorites:

    Saloon Steakhouse
    Keefers
    David Burke's
    Joes Stone Crab

    The places I avoid:

    Gibsons
    G & G
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #23 - July 26th, 2008, 9:00 am
    Post #23 - July 26th, 2008, 9:00 am Post #23 - July 26th, 2008, 9:00 am
    I had a great dinner with friends last night at the Saloon Steakhouse.

    The Saloon's dry aged KC Strip is one fantastic steak, especially when topped with a chunk of seared foie gras.

    We started with a plate of ocean fresh west coast oysters - small, but extremely flavorful

    I should note that those in our party who ordered the Wagyu seemed disappointed with their selections. One who ordered the prime bone in filet pronounced it perfect. My recommendation would be stick with the regular prime and dry aged steaks over the Wagyu at Saloon.

    Our tab was a very reasonable $100 per person with plenty of booze and a few well done sides included.
  • Post #24 - July 26th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #24 - July 26th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #24 - July 26th, 2008, 10:14 am
    That dry aged K.C. Strip @ Saloon is probably the best steak i have ever eaten.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #25 - July 26th, 2008, 9:27 pm
    Post #25 - July 26th, 2008, 9:27 pm Post #25 - July 26th, 2008, 9:27 pm
    YourPalWill wrote:I should note that those in our party who ordered the Wagyu seemed disappointed with their selections. One who ordered the prime bone in filet pronounced it perfect. My recommendation would be stick with the regular prime and dry aged steaks over the Wagyu at Saloon.

    I mostly find Wagyu and Kobe (and yes, I have eaten real Kobe beef in Japan) has less depth of flavor than American-style beef. The meat can be meltingly tender, but it somehow tastes less "beefy" to me than even regular prime or choice beef, let alone dry-aged beef.
  • Post #26 - July 27th, 2008, 12:21 am
    Post #26 - July 27th, 2008, 12:21 am Post #26 - July 27th, 2008, 12:21 am
    LAZ wrote:
    YourPalWill wrote:I should note that those in our party who ordered the Wagyu seemed disappointed with their selections. One who ordered the prime bone in filet pronounced it perfect. My recommendation would be stick with the regular prime and dry aged steaks over the Wagyu at Saloon.

    I mostly find Wagyu and Kobe (and yes, I have eaten real Kobe beef in Japan) has less depth of flavor than American-style beef. The meat can be meltingly tender, but it somehow tastes less "beefy" to me than even regular prime or choice beef, let alone dry-aged beef.

    I really appreciate the flavor, texture and aroma of Japanese Wagyu, which I've been fortunate enough to have on a few occasions. But LAZ is right, it's typically too expensive to age and as such, the flavor is less deep than other cuts typically available at decent steakhouses.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - July 27th, 2008, 12:52 am
    Post #27 - July 27th, 2008, 12:52 am Post #27 - July 27th, 2008, 12:52 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:But LAZ is right, it's typically too expensive to age and as such, the flavor is less deep than other cuts typically available at decent steakhouses.

    Aging! It hadn't occurred to me that would be what causes the difference, but I'm sure you're right.
  • Post #28 - January 28th, 2009, 12:44 pm
    Post #28 - January 28th, 2009, 12:44 pm Post #28 - January 28th, 2009, 12:44 pm
    Long-time lurker, first post on LTH, and I don’t like that it’s a negative review, but I'm in complete dismay...



    We ate at the Chicago Chop House on Ontario last night. This is supposed to be the real-deal... right? I had a business lunch there about 7-8 years ago and it was lovely. Last night’s dinner...not so much. I've recommended this place so many times, I’m ashamed now. (Worse yet, the dining companions were pushing for Ruth’s Chris, but I insisted on Chop House. R.C. may have been the better choice.)



    Every dish suffered from fatal under-seasoning, but the real flaws begin and end with poor ingredients.



    Last night’s dinner was $250+ for 2 people and the only thing that didn't disappoint was the wine. It was my mistake ordering a whiskey sour, but I was in the mood. Got a glass full of chemical-y sour mix with a splash of Maker’s floating on top.



    Oyster's Rockefeller—chewy, flavorless bacon, limp, disintegrating spinach, weak cream/butter sauce, and a rubbery, foul oyster. Completely under-seasoned and texturally funky.



    The meat, 64oz. Porterhouse for 2, had very little marbling and was flavorless—nary a bit of char, nor hint of salt or pepper. It looked and tasted like it had been "holding" for hours and reheated—which is not unheard of or a crime if the meat is seasoned and seared right to begin with.



    A side of mushrooms—watery and, again, flavorless.



    The, "oh you have to get...", 4 Cheese Truffle Macaroni—dry and bland.



    There are a bunch of steak houses in Chicago doing things oh so much better. A T-bone at Gene and Georgetti's last week was as close to orgasmic as a steak gets. Please tell me there are more of these old school steak houses that are doing things right.
  • Post #29 - January 28th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #29 - January 28th, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #29 - January 28th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    SouthernMan wrote:I've recommended this place so many times, I’m ashamed now. (Worse yet, the dining companions were pushing for Ruth’s Chris, but I insisted on Chop House. R.C. may have been the better choice.)

    Isn't that frustrating? It's a terrible feeling when a place you've recommended doesn't come through. No reason to feel ashamed, though. You weren't in the kitchen and it had been a long time since you were there. At least now you know to stop touting it . . . at least for the time being.

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

    Welcome to LTH, btw. :)

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #30 - January 28th, 2009, 1:34 pm
    Post #30 - January 28th, 2009, 1:34 pm Post #30 - January 28th, 2009, 1:34 pm
    We ate at the Chicago Chop House on Ontario last night. This is supposed to be the real-deal... right? I had a business lunch there about 7-8 years ago and it was lovely. Last night’s dinner...not so much. I've recommended this place so many times, I’m ashamed now. (Worse yet, the dining companions were pushing for Ruth’s Chris, but I insisted on Chop House. R.C. may have been the better choice.)


    Around the 1st of the year the Chophouse was sold to a restaurant group out of Nashville. I've heard the sentiment above echoed a few times since the change over.

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