You'd think Chicagoans had never seen good steak before. The crowds that populate this joint never thin out (er, no pun intended, considering the meals they're served). Even after 20-plus years in business, this Gold Coast establishment manages to lure masses of carnivores night after night, but this is one place that doesn't have the "overrated" rep of so many other hour-long wait spots.
Your best bet for securing a seat is to make a reservation. Even with a linen-topped table marked for you, chances are you'll still have to wait a bit when you arrive. Take the opportunity to look at the restaurant's celebrity guest retrospective, which decorates the walls: You'll feel in fabulous company knowing that Jack Nicholson dug into a filet mignon inches from where you stand. The wait for your table also provides a perfect excuse for you to saunter on over to the bar, where you'll find the whole roster of classic cocktails and live piano music to sip by.
But the meat of the place rests in the menu, so gear up for a hearty meal. Appetizers like spicy lobster cocktail and stone crab claws pave the way to filet mignon, bone-in sirloin, London broil and big porterhouse steaks. Spicy pork chops with applesauce, veal chops and double lamb chops are also available. If you can save room for dessert, satiate your sweet tooth with chocolate mousse pie, a giant ice cream sundae or the LUXBAR cookie jar, a cute-as-kindergarten assortment of treats. Tabs average $55 and up.
Average cost: $31+
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg