**** (4 stars)
I’ve tried nearly all the independent steakhouses in River North so that you don’t have to. This is the one you’re looking for.
Gibsons is a very old school steakhouse. The classic starters and sides are here, without any pretensions. And Gibson’s is all about the meat. Their meat isn’t just prime, it is their own designation of Gibsons USDA Prime, the only restaurant in the US to have one. So of course the meat is very flavorful and tender. As you would expect, the sirloins and the sirloin sides of the T-bone and Porterhouse have all the flavor, while the filet sides are very tender but comparatively bland. My steak was beautifully seasoned and seared, but cooked a bit beyond the requested medium rare. Of course, my server would have been delighted to replace it, but I can’t stand to waste a perfectly good $52 steak. By the way, I had the T-bone, which is essentially a baby porterhouse.
But what about the other dishes? My favorite item was actually the crab and avocado appetizer. The very generous serving of delicious crab was lightly dressed and served with creamy avocado slices. Really nice.
I was going to order a half salad, but my waiter suggested I go with the complementary house salad that comes with all the steaks, and it was a great suggestion. Crisp lettuce and tomatoes were topped with an excellent creamy blue cheese dressing.
I did have a half order of creamed spinach with my steak. I liked the fact that it emphasized the spinach, with just enough cream to give it a smooth consistency, but allowing the focus to be on the flavor of the spinach.
Service was both friendly and professional, a delicate balance. Pricing is fairly reasonable considering the inclusion of a salad, and wine prices aren’t unreasonable either.
The place is very, very popular and therefore packed at all hours, so be sure to make reservations. Ask to sit in the “porch”, a side room with windows looking out on the park; it’s much quieter than the main dining room or deafening bar.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
1028 N Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611