Lettuce Entertain You’s first steak venture is far more modest than the typical Chicago steak house (and the company’s forthcoming sure-to-be-glam RPM Steak).

The chain’s River North flagship manages to be utterly approachable yet not lowbrow. This is a place where 20-something couples can afford the perfectly pleasant broiled New York strip ($30.95) and dessert, kiddos in booster seats munch mini-filets and mashed potatoes, the gluten-averse get their very own menu, and, heck, you can show up in jeans without being scorned.

Colossal side orders (and the corresponding price tags) are nonexistent; in fact, your entrée includes the accompaniment of your choice. Imagine that! Dessert? You know you want it. So spring—unabashedly—for the oozy skillet chocolate chip cookie.

Perfect for: Those who crave steak without going broke