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12. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

At right, the 24-ounce bone-in rib eye at Gibsons   Photos: Anna Knott

Gibsons is not a steak house. It’s a force of nature, a cash cow, pure manna to conventioneers and tan people and athletes and aldermen. Unfortunately, being all things to so many people for 24 years means that certain elements have slipped. There’s nothing especially wrong with the minerally porterhouse or bone-in rib eye—both are admirably charred and peppery—but neither tastes better than scores of other steaks in town.

Maybe we expect more from Gibsons because the joint delivers so much: a punchy crabmeat and avocado appetizer that improves on the usual crab cake cliché, an unparalleled generosity of spirit, and an infectiously fun lounge. But something’s wrong when your table is full of red meat and everyone is talking about the sautéed spinach.

Perfect for: High rollers and high-roller wannabes

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