After a day at The Field Museum we took a bus back to the Water Tower on Michigan Avenue. From there, we walked over to Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse (1028 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL) about seven blocks away. We were a little concerned at first about clothing because we weren't wearing anything nice (I was wearing a T-shirt and REI convertible pants with tennis shoes) and the woman at the information desk of the Chicago Visitor's Center had recommended both reservations and business casual clothing (neither of which we had at the time). It turn out that neither of those were a problem. When we arrived at 6pm (on Monday night), we were greeted with smiles and immediately shown to a table in the main dining hall.
Our server, started off by telling us that they are the only restaurant group in the United States to be "awarded" their own USDA Prime certification. (But, Harris Ranch has a USDA Prime certification and they have a restaurant...) The corn fattened beef is wet-aged for 40 days providing "maximum flavor and tenderness". When I asked, they told me they don't serve dry-aged beef. Sounded like a sales pitch or pep talk, but all I was looking for was if the beef really would be flavorful and tender. (I eat a lot of steak... I have probably prepare a steak dinner every week or two for the last several years and have learned to cook it perfectly several different ways. One thing that I've learned over the years is that the quality of meat isn't as important as how the meat is cooked. Of course, when cooked the same way, a USDA Prime rib eye will be richer and a little more full flavor due to the distribution of fat through the muscle. We're always wary of eating at steakhouses because they tend to disappoint us.) She even asked us where was the best steak we've had before, and, when we said the best steak we've had was at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn, she said, "Well... I'm sure you'll find ours better." We got the distinct impression she wasn't familiar with Peter Luger's, but I wouldn't have expect that (except for the fact that she asked us where the best steak we've had before was).
We ordered the W.R.'s Chicago Cut (a 22 oz bone-in ribeye steak) cooked medium-rare ($43.75) to be split between the two of us. For starters, we chose the Split Pea Soup and a House Salad (both included with our steak). We then ordered a baked sweet potato ($6) and a half order of sauteed spinach & mushrooms with garlic ($7.50).
|Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Split Pea Soup|
|Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - House Salad|
|Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - W.R.'s Chicago Cut|
|Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Medium Rare Steak|
The next problem was that they failed to season the steak with salt or pepper (at least not enough that we'd be able to taste it) and a lot of salting was needed at the table. (Later, when I examined the photographs, it looks like there is kosher salt on the steak, but we really could not taste it.) If their meat really is as good as they claim, then it's a shame that it wasn't prepared better.
|Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Half Order Sauteed Spinach & Mushrooms with Garlic|
|Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse - Baked Sweet Potato|
Based on this meal, I would recommend skipping Gibson's Steakhouse.
For ease of navigation and to keep the page sizes down, I've split the trip report and reviews into multiple pages:
Chicago 2011 Part 1a - Overview
Chicago 2011 Part 1b - Overview
Chicago 2011 Part 2 - Shui Wah, Santa Anna Bakery
Chicago 2011 Part 3 - Pizzeria Uno, Giordano's
Chicago 2011 Part 4 - Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse (this page)
Chicago 2011 Part 5 - Frontera Grill, Xoco
Chicago 2011 Part 6 - Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi, Frontera Fresco, Marc Burger
Chicago 2011 Part 7 - Alinea
Chicago 2011 Part 8 - Vienna Beef Factory
Chicago 2011 Part 9 - Girl and the Goat