Family owned and operated since 1969, this Old Town institution has something for everyone. The ski lodge-esque space, complete with wood paneling, dim lighting and (surprise, surprise) a fireplace, makes for comfortable business lunches, family dinners and romantic dates. An outdoor patio cafe, functional year-round thanks to its retractable roof, has a full-service bar and the same terrific menu as the indoor dining room. What's more, it's the ultimate place to watch a game, boasting roughly 30 TVs and a 70-inch big screen. We're talking multipurpose dining at its finest, people.
Barbecue baby back ribs are the house specialty; get a combo with ribs and chicken or broiled lobster tail if you're in the mood to indulge. If you're not a fan of ribs, don't be deterred. You'll find plenty of steaks, chicken, seafood and sandwiches to choose from.
For lighter fare, try one of about a dozen salads (the house dressing, a red wine vinaigrette, is exceptional). Carrot cake, cheesecake and key lime pie are front-runners in the dessert category. Wash down your meal with a 16-ounce vodka lemonade for $6, or a 32-ouncer for $12 if you're feeling crazy.
If you're lucky, you may run into one of the many Chicago athletes that have been known to stop by for some of that famous BBQ sauce. Even the one-and-only Liza Minelli made a recent appearance.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Natalie Goldstein