Sidestep the mob in front of Pizzeria Uno and slip into what may be the quietest steak house in River North. Chances are, you will have your pick of tables—a rather inauspicious start, but hang in there. De-stress in a leather-tufted booth and let your affable waiter talk you into the Blueberi Lemon Drop, a smooth-as-silk martini. Skip the mundane shrimp cocktail in favor of a spunky house salad with candied walnuts and dried cranberries—a pleasant prelude to a boneless, wet-aged, juicy New York strip.

Take the waiter up on his money-back guarantees on Fleming’s potatoes (sort of Southwestern au gratin) and garlic-laced sautéed mushrooms. And as you polish off your last bite of walnut turtle pie—arguably too chocolaty—wonder why a contemporary two-story steak house on a high-traffic stretch of Ohio Street isn’t crowded with carnivores.

Perfect for: People who haven’t scored a reservation at Bavette’s in time