My first thought when I walked into the shiny, sparkling new structure at 233 N. Canal was Gibsons Restaurant Group has done it again! It's latest restaurant venture, Gibsons Italia, is so fabulous on so many levels--four to be exact, with each one more elegant and chic than the next! (To see video, click here!)
Situated at the bend of the Chicago River, it has a catbird seat onto our dramatic skyline--river views with drop-dead gorgeous decor. I felt like a kid in a candy store...The third level, the dining room, featured a huge terrace, where I can only dream about sitting in the summer. It opens out onto manicured lawns and uplit trees with the river stretching out endlessly beyond that. On both sides, buildings glittered in the darkness. You can get lost in these views. And many guests did, lingering longingly on that terrace--the optical illusion with the clear glass balcony was magical.
Spacing of the huge, comfy booths and tables, topped with white tablecloths, kept guests at a respectful distance from one another and yet the room still felt cozy. An area beyond that held comfortable seating for cocktails with a fireplace blazing cheerily. Colorful abstract art filled the cocoa colored walls making you feel like you were ensconced in a protective cocoon.
The fourth floor features a roof deck with a retractable roof for inclement weather that can seat up to 150 guests. A private dining room, which accommodates 30 seated or 40 for a reception, also overlooks the river and offers state of the art audiovisual equipment for parties or meetings.
A white marble bar on the 2nd floor will, I predict, be packed to the gills on any given night. On this night, a DJ added even more excitement along with great beats. Another bar on the first floor stretched down the length of the room with seating behind and in front with, again, those views!
The soft opening, on Monday, October 16, brought out many familiar faces. Each floor was packed with friends. Nelly Moudime, the rock star director of hospitality for Ralph Lauren NY Polo Bar, even flew in for the occasion! Other notables included Chicago Magazine's Susanna Homan, Michigan Ave Mag's Dan Uslan and JP Anderson, Mickey Siegel, Tina and Jeff Weller, Jerry Nunn, Marco Foster, Vince Anzalone and his beautiful wife Jessica, Sylvia and Kurt Muller, Chicago Tribune's Amy Carr and so many others. Owners Steve Lombardo and his daughter Liz Lombardo Stark were bombarded with congrats in the throngs.
Gibsons Restaurant Group has a total of nine concepts in 14 different locations. Besides three Gibson steakhouses, the group also owns Lux Bar, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House and Quartino Ristorante and helped introduce the Polo Bar in New York and RL Bar & Grill in Chicago, which we all love.
Gibsons Italia is described as "a modern steakhouse featuring a world-class tour of beef and authentic Italian pastas and risottos." In short, this restaurant experience offers something for EVERYONE and I can't wait to go back when it opens to the public on October 23! (For more info, click here or call 312.414.1100!)
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Filed under: Chicago dining scene
Tags: Amy Carr, Chicago dining, Dan Uslan, Gibson's Restaurant Group, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, Gibsons Italia, Hugo's Frog Bar, Jerry Nunn, Jessica Anzalone, JP Anderson, Kurt Muller, Liz Lombardo Stark, Lux Bar, Marco Foster, Michael Lombardo, Peg Lombardo, Polo Bar, Quartino Ristorante, river views, RL Bar & Grill, Steve Lombardo, Susanna Homan, Sylvia Muller, Tina Weller, Vince Anzalone