Omaha may be known for its classic steakhouses, but there’s always room for the right new neighbor. And J. Gilbert’s, a Kansas City export, fits that bill. The upscale steak and seafood restaurant opened in mid-November in the Capitol District, next door to the Marriott Hotel at 10th and Capitol.
With a menu featuring USDA prime beef and fresh seafood, J. Gilbert’s immediately challenges Omaha’s steakhouses for quality food and service. Offering a large selection of fine wines and spirits, the restaurant is an excellent watering hole for a social get-together or a dining experience.
The Leawood (Kansas)-based Houlihan Restaurants Inc. expanded from its original location in Overland Park to four locations nationwide, including Omaha. The other locations are in Glastonbury (Connecticut), Columbus (Ohio), McLean (Virginia) and Des Peres (St. Louis, Missouri). Houlihan’s decided to expand the J. Gilbert’s brand, named after longtime Kansas City restaurateur Joe Gilbert, after 26 years in business. Each steakhouse has enjoyed success with its opening.
Business has been brisk since opening just before Thanksgiving, said Roland Day, one of the restaurant’s managers. The crowd built slowly, but consistently, during our two-hour visit. We were invited by the restaurant to sample their menu and drinks.
We each ordered a drink from J. Gilbert’s unique drink menu. The drinks are listed on an empty whiskey bottle. Very cool idea. Lisa ordered a pineapple martini that had an amazing pineapple taste without being overpowered by the gin and vermouth. I went with a Boulevard Wheat beer from the Kansas City brewery.
Our appetizer included two impressive jumbo lump crab cakes. With a tropical salsa, remoulade and mustard aioli, the crab cakes were delicious. You could also see chunks of crab in the appetizer. They don’t spare the details in creating quality dishes.
The entrée menu offers a variety of dishes, ranging from a wagyu beef burger to fresh fish to steak and chicken. You can also create a combination entrée with your steak by adding items such as jumbo shrimp and scallops. Additionally, J. Gilbert’s offers a “pre fixe menu,” where you can choose a three-course meal for $45 or $55, depending on the main course.
We each chose a steak combo meal. Going with a six-ounce filet, Lisa added scallops while I went with the jumbo shrimp. The add-ons were large and delicious. You can choose two sides for your entrée from about a dozen options. Lisa chose a wild mushroom risotto and grilled asparagus. I picked a loaded salted baked potato and cream corn. We each enjoyed our dinners. The cream corn tasted fresh. I must admit I’m not a salt fan, so I found the baked potato a little saltier than I would have preferred. But, I know a few people who love that potato.
We found the steaks were cooked precisely as we like them (medium rare). You can watch the kitchen staff preparing meals through a large window near the back of the dining room. That’s one of my favorite things to do when visiting a restaurant.
An interesting perk of dining at J. Gilbert’s is choosing which steak knife you want to use. Offering a variety of knives in a carrier, you can choose your personal favorite.
Dessert was amazing! We split a slice of cheesecake.
In addition to an impressive dining experience, use the valet service at the Marriott Hotel. Remember to have your ticket validated at the hotel’s front desk to receive free parking.
For a look at J. Gilbert’s hours and menu, please visit www.jgilberts.com.