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Solo steak on Sunday - Murray's, Manny's or something else?

I'm going to be on my own on a Sunday night in downtown MLPS next month and, being a Chicagoan, want some steak. I love old-time traditional steakhouses, but also want to get the best steak for my money. Where should i go?

Apr 06, 2013
gimpeaux in Minneapolis-St. Paul

seafood dinner at 6 pm to entertain tired client staying in Loop

I am taking a client to dinner next Monday night who will have flown in from England and is staying at the Hilton on Michigan. He says that after a long flight something light such as seafood might be best, but likes a variety of cuisine (although he didn't pick up on my suggestion of sushi as an option). We will be dining around 6:00 after taking a cab from his hotel. I need to impress him without wearing him out and it would be best to eat somewhere we can talk without needing to yell. I've thought of Shaw's, Hugo's, Catch 35, and McCormick & Schmidt's, akthough the first two can be kind of noisy. Any ideas or recommendations? Thanks!

Aug 02, 2011
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

25th Anniversary - Romance and Memories

My 25th anniversary is coming up May 29. I'm surprising my wife by taking her back to Chicago - even staying at a small hotel near the area where we lived back from 1980-85 (New Town, as it was then called - just west of Sheridan between Belmont and Diversey). Now, going to Chicago is not a long trip to a place we rarely see or eat (we live in Highland Park), but I'd like to find a restaurant that is special. I've thought of Tru or Charlie Trotter's (the latter of which we've eaten at a few times, but not in the last 10 years), but for this dinner, I don't really want a meal that involves studying and observing the food, if you know what I mean. We both like virtually every cuisine. It certainly doesn't need to be anything that was around way back then (is anything?), and anywhere in the city is fine. Warm service, a place where we can have a good conversation, a beautiful view wouldn't hurt -- and, of course, great food. Thanks for any ideas.

May 01, 2008
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

Non-Thanksgiving Dinner

Three of us are looking to eat dinner out on Thanksgiving early evening but not have the usual Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, stuffing, etc.), which we are planning on having on Saturday instead when more family can join us. Ideally we'd be looking for something in Chicago or (even better) the north suburbs. Italian/steak/prime rib would be good, but probably not Asian or Indian. Does anyone know of a place that is open that day but not serving turkey and the trimmings? Thanks!

Oct 28, 2007
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

Lunch in or near Cadillac, Michigan?

We're driving from Chicago to Northport, Mich. (north of Traverse City) next week and expect to be somewhere around Cadillac for lunch. Do any of you fellow Chowhounds have any recommendations? Thanks!

First trip to Michigan

If you head west a bit over to Barryton, on State Route 66, there's a diner called Williams Cafe which has terrific baked goods, so if you get a sandwich or hamburger it's on fresh homemade bread or a homemade bun. I haven't been there in about 3 years, but it used to be very good.

Indigo - Springfield, IL

On a weekend trip to Springfield, we decided to enjoy one "nice" meal, and based on Indigo's extraordinary menu (available online, but only with Windows Explorer), we made reservations here for a Saturday night at 6:30. Our reservations proved unnecessary, as when we arrived only a couple of other tables were occupied (although by the time we left around 8:00, the place was about three-quarters full). The look of the place is very classy and "hip," with nice lighting, a very nice looking bar in the back, and pictures (fakes, not real ones) of the Rodrique "blue dog" all over the walls. [For the real thing, see


Our server was very good, although she had a peculiar habit of announcing everything she was going to do before she did it (e.g., "I'm going to take your napkin and unfold it and hand it to you." I don't know... maybe she'd once startled someone with a sudden move.)

As noted, the menu offers quite unusual dishes for this neck of the woods, including sushi and several gourmet items -- not just your steaks and seafood. We started by sharing two appetizers -- the fried calamari on a bed of julienned jicama and carrots, and the "Godzilla-tini" -- sashimi on rice in a Martini glass with "atomic" hot sauce on top. I guess we should have known -- the latter dish sounded better than it was, as the hot sauce drowned out almost any taste of the fish (the texture of which, however, was good). And it's completely impractical to use the chopsticks provided to try to eat rice out of a Martini glass. The calamari was good, although the light sauce it was in was way too salty.

After a house salad (very good, a house vinaigrette, with Craisins and sliced almonds, atop field greens), I had a New York strip, while was served in a chipotle butter sauce. Both the steak and the sauce were good, not great. The salad came with an unannounced plate of sliced pita bread, hummus, olives, and roasted garlic -- which was good, but had we known that was coming we might have ordered differently. Although my entree was described as being served with garlic mashed potatoes (which it was, and which were excellent), and grilled asparagus, there was no asparagus, no substitute vegetable, and no explanation for the missing item. When I asked, the waitress recalled that the menu had promised it, but said they were allout. She offered to get me another vegetable such as broccoli. I agreed, but I was instead served sliced red and green pepper and onion in butter -- odd.

My wife had a Caesar salad (which, despite being described as "not too big" turned out to be entree-size) and the duck enchiladas appetizer, which she described as also good, not great. We were too full to even think about dessert.

All in all, the descriptions on the menu and the ideas they reflect indicate a chef whose intent exceeds his reach.

Looking for great food in Springfield, IL

Thanks to you both. My bad for not having caught that recent thread.

Looking for great food in Springfield, IL

My wife and I will be in Springfield on a Saturday and Sunday night in June, and are looking for great food -- both nice place and some "get down" food. Italian, American, Mexican, steak, you name it. Neither one of us has ever been there before. Thanks!

Looking for informal place near Martyrs (3855 N. Lincoln)

Well, I ended up at Cafe 28. Thanks, lbs -- excellent choice! Very comfortable sitting at the bar solo and enjoying a couple of mojitos while waiting for my luscious blackened duck with a wonderful portobello sauce and jalapeno mashed potatoes. Boy, that place is hopping on a Friday evening! I got there around 6:15 and by 6:45 the place was full with a 45-minute wait for a table. It made a great prelude to the show.

May 06, 2007
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

Gibson's Last Night (Long)

Thanks for such a pointed and accurate review of this wildly overrated place. If you are not a celebrity or on the "A" list, the staff at Gibson's treats you rudely and with utter disdain, making clear they do not really care whether you are there. I take complete umbrage at a place that demands reservations, yet always makes you wait at least 20-30 minutes -- sometimes an hour or more -- after you arrive on time for your dinner to get around to seating you. The steaks and martinis are very good, but I can get others that are at least as good at several other places in town where they manage to act as though they are pleased you chose to patronize their establishment.

Apr 24, 2007
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

Looking for informal place near Martyrs (3855 N. Lincoln)

Thanks to you all for these great suggestions! I'll report back on where I went and how it was.

lulubelle, I'm seeing Donna The Buffalo on May 4.

Apr 19, 2007
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

Looking for informal place near Martyrs (3855 N. Lincoln)

I'm going to be going to Martyrs in a few weeks for a Friday night show that starts at 9:00. I'll be catching some dinner solo in the neighborhood beforehand, say around 6:30 or 7:00. I looked at what's around there and saw Sola (which sounds great, but kind of fancy for a concertgoer like me me who will be in jeans), Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro, Katerina's, El Llano, Cafe 28, and some Asian places (which, other than sushi, I prefer to avoid). An Italian place that is about one-third mile away which sounds goos is Terragusto. Any recommendations, either as to any of those or anywhere else? Thanks!

Apr 18, 2007
gimpeaux in Chicago Area

Best Steakhouse on North Shore or NW Suburbs?

I live in Highland Park and would be interested in fellow hounds' take on the best place to go for a great steak on the North Shore or nearby NW suburbs (e.g., Wheeling), considering not only the steak itself but the atmosphere and service. I'll be going there for my birthday next month with a family group of four ranging in age from 12 to 76. The place doesn't have to be a steakhouse per se, but looking for a nice, comfortable atmosphere with friendly service where you can carry on a conversation without yelling. (A decent but not ridiculously overpriced wine selection doesn't hurt, either.) I've eaten at Wildfire in Lincolnshire, Ruth's Chris in Northbrook, Don Roth's Blackhawk in Wheeling, and Di Pescare in Northbrook (not a steak place but had a very good steak there), but would be interested in hearing about any of those. I haven't yet been to The Palm in Northbrook, Pete Miller's in Evanston or Wheeling, Stoney River in Deerfield (word on that place is everything is too salty), or the new Morton's in Northbrook. Thanks!

Oct 15, 2006
gimpeaux in Chicago Area