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J. Gilbert's, Steakhouse on Route 123 and Old Dominion Drive in Downtown McLean - Owned by Houlihan's


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I ate there for a rehearsal dinner a few years ago. The service was very good for the size crowd we had (and the restaurant was packed) and the food wasn't bad. Obviously nothing I've gone looking for since but nothing I can remember wrong with it.

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The service was very good for the size crowd we had (and the restaurant was packed) and the food wasn't bad. Obviously nothing I've gone looking for since but nothing I can remember wrong with it.

This took a surprising amount of digging for me to find, but the J. Gilbert's chain (there are four of them nationwide) is owned by Houlihan's.

Cheers,

Rocks

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I've had a few wonderful meals at J. Gilbert's. Their Kansas City Strip has always been perfectly cooked & seasoned, the wood fired grill adds additional flavors that other steakhouses have a hard time replicating. The Monday-Thursday daytime bartender "Jerry/Jerbo" is a NOVA institution, one of the funniest people I've ever met.

And the bar offers full Maine lobster at cost on Wednesday evenings during happy hour. Last time I checked, it was like $12 for 1 & 1/4lbs.

I'll support locally owned & operated restaurants over corporate chains any day of the week. But, with Gilbert's, I'm not holding the Houlihan's affiliation against them. Let's not forget that The Capitol Grille is owned by Applebee's, and that's two very contrasting experiences. Same with J. Gilbert's.

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Their Kansas City Strip has always been perfectly cooked & seasoned, the wood fired grill adds additional flavors that other steakhouses have a hard time replicating.

...

I'll support locally owned & operated restaurants over corporate chains any day of the week. But, with Gilbert's, I'm not holding the Houlihan's affiliation against them. Let's not forget that The Capitol Grille is owned by Applebee's, and that's two very contrasting experiences. Same with J. Gilbert's.

NB - I wasn't trying to knock J. Gilbert's; merely trying to add some insight (as I was working on the Dining Guide). Don't forget also that Houlihan's is based in Kansas, which is where I suspect the original J. Gilbert's was opened, so that may explain their Kansas City Strip (at least on paper) - I suspect they have pretty good buying power.

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I had the sad misfortune of having lunch here today. While the room is nicely arranged and decorated and staff is cheerful and responsive, the food was decidely mediocre. NY Strip at $32 is billed as prime quality - tough, flavorless and nowhere near the quality of The Palm or Mortons. Or Clydes! This was one of the worst steaks in the area I have had. Butchering on the meat was odd - a nerve ran through the center of the strip. "Flakes" were sprinkled atop the steak which added no flavor (msg?) but created a strange impression. A $10 hamburger was also tough and flavorless, the bun more so. Big piece of lettuce and tomato.

Highlight of the lunch was Cesear salad. Entree salad options were littered with unappealing ingredients (salsa, corn nuts - geesh). I get it - grilled slabs of beef and potent drinks in the center of McLean is why JG is popular. The bar area is inviting - tv, airy room, comfortable stools - so for a "conservative" club-like sensibility in McLean to drink and drink heavily, this may suit you.

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If you want to people watch in downtown M-town, the choices are anemic save for here.  Various muckety mucks of national repute drift in for breakfast and lunch - Powell, Begala, Newt, Keating and gents from that guarded complex up the road on 123.

J. Gilbert's even more so....

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I generally like this place.  We had a group lunch here last Christmas season and they gave us a nice private room in the back.  I was lured back  Saturday with the offer of $25 off for $75 food purchase.  What a good time for us to order 1/2 lb. lobster tail.  Lesson learned:  unless you are in Maine, ask them if the lobster is fresh.  This was not.  I guess I subconsciously thought if it costs $40 it must be fresh.  Nope.  Was tasteless.  The sides were good though and I am in love with their biscuits.  Avoid the lobster!

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A: Tom Sietsema

If you end up returning to a previous favorite, I'd vote for J. Gilbert's in McLean, where my family took me for my birthday earlier this month. The hospitality, the crab cakes and the cocktails were all impressive.

 

I live in McLean but I can't drag my ass a mile to eat at this joint. 

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Extremely underwhelming for the location - I would expect for it to have lasted this long, it would be pretty good.  That place has been many different restaurants over the years. but J Gilberts the longest run of all.  Just goes to show you how starved people are for a local restaurant.   Easy to get to, and seems pretty busy on weekend nights.

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