Eight great steakhouses
David Burke’s Primehouse Has star chef David Burke given Chicago a steakhouse like no other? Let’s put it this way: We’ve never come across a crab cake quite so deliciously unique, the popovers that stand in for bread are a nice twist, and we found the filet to be unstoppably tender and rich. So is it different? Yes. But not so different that your parents won’t like it. Which is good, because you’ll want them to take you here again and again. 616 N Rush St (312-660-6000). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 2, 3, 125. Breakfast, brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Mon–Sat), dinner. Average main course: $40.
Gene & Georgetti If it gets any more old-school than this circa-1941 steakhouse, we haven’t seen it. Servers range from formal to gruff, but they mean well and they deliver the goods: textbook veal Vesuvio, a “garbage” salad fit for four, broiled chops and garlicky shrimp de Jonghe that the veteran staff swears the joint invented. Believe ’em—these are the Chicago old boys you don’t want to piss off. 500 N Franklin St (312-527-3718). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 65, 125. Lunch, dinner (closed Sun). Average main course: $30.
Gibsons Steakhouse There’s almost nothing wrong with the $47 porterhouse at this legendary meat emporium—it’s impeccably seasoned and boasts warm layers of sumptuous fat running through the full-flavored meat. But compared to the prize-size ratio of the rest of the food at Gibsons, even 26 ounces of beef can seem kind of small: Sweet lobster cocktail easily satiates two, and the endlessly juicy prime rib comes in a hefty portion typically reserved for the Flintstones. 1028 N Rush St (312-266-8999). Bus: 36, 70, 145, 147, 151. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $50.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steaks and Stone Crab When you’re paying through the nose for a steakhouse experience, the service should be top-notch, the atmosphere classy and the food stellar. This place hits each mark. Start with one of the sweet, cool, signature stone crabs, the sugar prawns and a delicious chopped salad. Go straight to the top with the bone-in New York strip, perfect when ordered charred medium-rare. 60 E Grand Ave (312-379-5637). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 29, 36, 65. Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch, dinner. Average main course: $30.
Kinzie Chophouse Don’t be alarmed by the guys in the corner wearing jeans and T-shirts; unlike at a lot of steakhouses around town, it’s perfectly acceptable to dress down here. As for the rest of the typical steakhouse formula, everything is pretty much in place: Choose from several cuts of savory steaks presented on a tray before your meal, and juicy herb-crusted lamb chops fill in for those who aren’t in the mood for beef. 400 N Wells St (312-822-0191). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart. Bus: 125, 156. Lunch (Mon–Fri), dinner. Average steak: $35.
Myron & Phil’s If you’re under 50 and don’t belong to a North Shore synagogue, you may feel a little out of place at this throwback steakhouse. But don’t let that stop you from indulging in the splendor of the chopped liver with bits of hard-boiled egg, fresh challah rolls brought to the table when you sit down, iceberg-lettuce salad with green goddess dressing and the famous skirt steak with burned onions. It’s all well worth the heartburn. 3900 W Devon Ave, Lincolnwood (847-677-6663). Bus: Pace 210. Dinner (closed Mon). Average main course: $25.
Pueblito Viejo Once the music starts playing at this Columbian steakhouse, crowds young and old hit the dance floor. But you’d be wise to stay put and take in the action while feasting on arepas, fried white-corn pancakes filled with ingredients like cheese and sausage. Also try one of the typical Colombian combo plates, most of which include nicely spiced fried flank steak, pork or pork rind, plus melt-in-your-mouth plantains and cassava. 5429 N Lincoln Ave (773-784-9135). Bus: 11, 49, X49, 49B, 92, 93. Dinner (closed Mon). Average main course: $15.
ristorante we Steakhouses—if you’ve been to one, you’ve been to them all, right? Well, no, but if you’ve ever felt that way, chef Trevor Hoyte’s Tuscan take on beef should prove refreshing. Steak comes plated on a pile of arugula and crusted in your choice of Parmesan, Gorgonzola or roasted garlic. You can also forgo a crust in favor of four sauces (we fell pretty hard for the horseradish cream), but why not just order both? 172 W Adams St (312-917-5608). El: Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Quincy. Bus: 1, 7, 151, 156. Breakfast (Mon–Fri), brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Mon–Fri), dinner (Mon–Sat). Average main course: $25.