• Choose between the Gold Coast’s two best steak houses—one classic, one contemporary
• Sing along with the Sinatra-crooning pianist at Gibsons
• Mingle with the beautiful people at Maple & Ash
Look, you’re in Chicago; you’re absolutely going to need steak. Happily for you, two of the finest steak houses in town—and, ergo, the whole country—are just a short walk from the Conrad in the tony Gold Coast. One’s timeless, one’s trendy, both are fabulous. If you prefer old-school, make it Gibsons. While it’s quieter in the formal dining room, we like to join the regulars eating in the bar, where the pianist plays Sinatra tunes every evening. Go large-format and share the massive USDA Gibsons Prime Angus tomahawk chop, or play solo with a 12-ounce marinated skirt steak with snappy giardiniera (Note for late-flight arrivers and other night owls: Gibsons serves dinner until well after midnight, in a part of town where it’s tough to find a late kitchen.) If you’re after a more contemporary vibe, head to nearby Maple & Ash, which opened in 2015 to rave reviews and some raised eyebrows (the $145 tasting menu is cheekily called “I Don’t Give a F*ck”). With its glammed-out interior lit by chandeliers and flickering candelabras, Maple & Ash draws a stylish clientele, and has brought in talent to match: Renowned sommelier Belinda Chang is in charge of the wine program, and Danny Grant, a Food & Wine Best New Chef winner, is behind the wood-fired grill. If Gibsons is a burly guy with a cigar, then Maple & Ash is a svelte young woman in Jimmy Choos. How to pick between them? Our advice: Choose both.
Gibsons and Maple & Ash are located a block apart, at the northern end of Rush Street (near Bellevue Place and Maple Street), a 12-minute walk from the Conrad Chicago.
GIBSONS BAR & STEAKHOUSE: 1028 N. Rush St.; 312-266-8999; gibsonssteakhouse.com
MAPLE & ASH: 8 W. Maple St.; 312-944-8888; mapleandash.com