When one thinks Chicago steakhouse, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse is usually top of mind. Gibsons is just as synonymous with Chicago as deep dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and polar vortexes. It is also the top-grossing independent restaurant in Chicago, and ranks number eight in the nation. Obviously, Gibsons is doing something right, and has been for the past 25 years. I recently joined John Colletti, Gibson’s long-time managing partner, for dinner, and I learned not only about the fantastic food, but also about the restaurant, itself, and the loyal employees that service diners day in, and day out. Gibsons has just as much pride in its service as it does in its USDA prime beef program, and it shows.
In talking with Mr. Colletti, he explained that the secret to Gibsons’ success and longevity is the affordability of a dinner there. While it may sound surprising, given the expensive steaks, lobster, and wines found on its menu, servers encourage sharing, as the portion sizes are quite large, and never try to up-sell diners or mislead them, as happens elsewhere more often than it should. Many of the servers at Gibsons have been working there for almost as long as the restaurant has been open, and their professionalism and experience results in great and seamless service.
Gibsons is obviously known for its steak. In addition to featuring USDA Prime Angus Beef, it is the only restaurant group in the country to be awarded with its own USDA Prime Certification. Gibsons’ beef is region specific to upper Midwest sustainable farms and is breed specific Black Angus. It is corn fed for 120 days and aged for 40 days providing maximum flavor and tenderness.
Since Gibsons obviously does steak well, I wanted to try to other menu items, such as the seafood and vegetables. Let’s just say, I was impressed.
We started with a phenomenal 2010 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, California. Steakhouses are known for their impressive wine lists featuring big, bold California Cabs, which are my favorites, and Gibsons did not let me down. I was impressed by the wide variety of options at all price points, as well, making it extremely approachable.
We then enjoyed a trio of seafood appetizers, including the shrimp cocktail, spicy lobster cocktail, and crabmeat avocado. The quality of the seafood was superb in each dish, and I absolutely loved both the spicy lobster, which was served inside of a steamed artichoke, as well as the crabmeat avocado, which was dressed very nicely. The shrimp were also delicious, plump, and refreshing.
For my entree, I ordered the Chilean sea bass, served with Hon Shimeji mushrooms and peas. The fish was perfectly cooked and just melted in my mouth. I enjoyed it with a side of fantastic sauteed spinach, grilled asparagus, and a very flavorful roasted cauliflower gruyere.
Desserts at Gibsons are notoriously large (see my previous post from Cabernet Day with WineChannelTV and St. Supery). Instead, we went with the much more modest slice of pumpkin pie. The cinnamon and clove shone through and I already placed my pre-order for one of their limited pumpkin pies available for Thanksgiving!
Not only was my entire meal delicious, but it was bolstered by the friendly and knowledgeable service, as well, that know many of the restaurant’s regulars by name. In addition to being a hot spot for business dinners, Gibsons is also perfect for family outings, date nights, or just a drink at the bar. Gibsons is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, and has three locations, including one in Chicago and two others in the Chicago suburbs of Rosemont and Oak Brook.
1028 North Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611
5464 North River Road, Rosemont, Illinois 60018
2105 South Spring Road, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Unless otherwise noted, photographs provided by Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse. While my meal was complimentary, all opinions expressed herein are my own.