1701 S Neil St, Champaign, IL | Directions 6182040.096089 -88.245128
Strongly not recommended. – My husband and I are new to the CU area, and we've been checking out reviews of restaurants to decide where to try. I'm honestly shocked at the 4+ star rating for The Ribeye, because I found it a huge disappointment.
From the moment we sat down and saw the vinyl booths and miniature drink glasses, I had a feeling it might be a cheap place, and unfortunately, I wasn't wrong.
This is a restaurant that has only a few things on the menu, which should mean that it does those things superbly. It doesn't. The 10 oz. ribeye is priced where many other restaurants have 14 oz. steaks. This would be forgivable if it was a really tasty steak, but it honestly tasted like supermarket sirloin. The add-on mushrooms suffered the same problem, they had no seasonings as far as I could tell, and a handful of hot, flavorless button mushrooms really added nothing to the meal.
I also really disliked how they serve their steaks- on a sizzling hot cast iron pan. Cast iron is great. It's not great for serving the steak to the customer, because my "supposed to be medium rare" steak was medium when it got to me, and medium well by the time I finished eating it. I look at this like, however you like your steak done, you're going to be disappointed.
There were some good things about the restaurant. Our waitress was very nice and never left us waiting long for drink refills, the check, etc. The salad bar was decent, with enough of a choice that I think most people could easily find something they liked.
But a pleasant waitress and a serviceable salad bar don't redeem the food, which is the number one reason to go to a restaurant. I would give The Ribeye 2 stars for the food, but the price for it, and the old, faded ambience it's served in, brings the complete experience down to 1 star.
Bottom line: We wanted to find a hidden gem, but would have been far less disappointed with a chain tonight.
Best food and service in years! – My son and daughter in law took my husband and I to the Ribeye on sat night. It was the best experience we have had in many years! The place was wonderful, salad bar was well filled and delicious. Cloth table cloths and napkins and good acoustics, we could actually hear each other speak, unlike some other places. The food was out of this world, sizzling hot steaks and hot baked potatoes! It is really hard to get good hot food served to you anymore. Our server was great- attentive and good personality. She made sure we had drinks and checked on us often but wasnt a pest! She gave us her name so next time we go we can ask for her......and we will! Anyone who like good food and service should really try this place. Hope there are more soon! Yummy!
Best ribeye steak I've had in three states – The ambience of the Ribeye is in keeping with most steakhouses; it's dark and has that definite steaks-are-serious-business look. It does not, however, make you feel out of place for wearing jeans as some Chicago steak places do. In fact, you usually find a lot of older people there and alumni in town for a game (dressed as you'd expect). If you want a ribeye, this is the place to go. If you want a really good salad bar, surprisingly, this is also a great place to go. The ribeyes are served on a sizzling platter and usually come with some sort of potato and multiple trips to the salad bar. The wait staff are usually older than the high-school summer job crowd and know what they're doing. In case you're wondering, the three states are Texas, Illinois, and California.
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