The Gage – The Loop, Chicago

One of the very best things about living in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood other than my proximity to the beautiful lakefront, is that The Gage is located just 1 mile from my apartment.  

The Gage Michigan Avenue

I have been dining and libating regularly at The Gage since owner, Billy Lawless,

opened its doors in 2007.  Today, I met my dear friend, Anca, for lunch there.  Although The Gage is within walking distance to my place, it was quite frigid outside today.  So, I hopped the CTA Green Line to the Madison/Wabash ‘L’ stop which is just 1 block west and 1/2 block north of The Gage.  

Madison/Wabash stop near The Gage


If there is a more friendly, charming and hands-on restaurateur in this town than Billy Lawless, I have not met him/her yet.  Mr. Lawless, or Billy, as he will have you call him, also owns Acanto, the rustic Italian restaurant next door to The Gage which replaced the former Henri in the same space less than 1 year ago.  Billy is also co-owner of The Dawson in the West Town neighborhood.

Here is how our lunch went down:

I was looking for some comfort food.  I thought I would go with the gorgeous looking lamb pot pie which I eyeballed at the next table.  However, I was feeling super spicy today and I wanted my lunch to match my mood 😉  So, I ordered the traditional Creole gumbo.

The Gage's creole gumbo

Traditional Creole Gumbo with Andouille sausage, shrimp, Tasso ham, okra and warm baguette slices.

I know!  And, because I care about you all, here’s another peek as I started to dig in.

The Gage's gumbo

Go ahead…Take a bite!

The shrimp was plump, juicy and tender.  The Tasso ham, Andouille sausage and okra were delicious.  If I wasn’t trying to keep my carb intake under control this week, I would have asked for extra toasted baguette slices to mop up the spicy Creole sauce.  So delicious!  It definitely satisfied my craving 🙂 

Anca ordered a beautiful salad of winter greens, Maitake mushrooms, toasted hazlenuts, sherry vinaigrette and a poached egg.  Very nice, light and flavorful dish.

The Gage's salads

Winter greens with Maitake mushrooms, toasted hazelnuts, sherry vinaigrette and poached egg

In addition, Anca and I split The Gage’s Fennel and Orange salad which came with a lemon-poppy seed mousse over a bed of arugula with Grana Padana cheese, toasted pepitas and an apple pink peppercorn vinaigrette.  We were so busy catching up on our latest shenanigans that we inhaled this pretty salad before I could snap a photo.  So, you will just have to head on over to The Gage to try it for yourself 🙂

In addition to sharing my birthday, Anca shares my love of all things lemon.  She had room for dessert and she chose the the Meyer lemon cream pie.  Great choice!  It was made with a sugar cookie crust, lemon curd and orange blossom cream.  I am happy to report that I exercised considerable self-control and took just one bite.  But, I cannot say I will be as stoic next time.  Take a look at this beauty!

The Gage's meyer lemon cream pie

Meyer lemon cream pie with sugar cookie crust, lemon curd and orange blossom cream – Yum!

As I mentioned earlier, I am a regular customer at The Gage.  Some of the other dishes I enjoy here are the Vindaloo mussels, the Scotch egg, the House Poutine and the diver scallops.  I had the scallops over the weekend when I took myself out for a solo dinner here.  I washed them down with a lovely Scarpetta wine.

Thirsty?  The Gage has a full bar with great cocktails and an even greater beer selection.  This bar is definitely a fun, boisterous place to play in The Loop while people-watching along Michigan Avenue.  The Gage is located directly across the street from the beautiful Millenium Park, so it is a perfect dining destination.  It is loved by Chicago residents and visitors alike. 

Also, The Gage is an incredibly beautiful space.  There is a long and winding bar, as well as seating up front in the way of high tops and separate booth seating which is sectioned off further from the main bar.  As you walk further back in the restaurant, you can choose to dine in a couple of different cozy and more intimate spaces.  One area has a fireplace.  Another is set in beyond French glass doors.  The latter area is where Anca and I enjoyed lunch today.

The Gage's bar

The Gage's seating

The Gage's long bar

The Gage's fire place

Cozy fireplace!

The Gage's dining rooms

The Gage's dining room

The Gage is both rustic and casually elegant in its decor. Love these French sliding doors!

The Gage's bar

The bright bar area faces out onto bustling Michigan Avenue and Millenium Park.

The Gage's booths


I would like to give shouts-out to Executive Chef Chris Gawronski and Executive Pastry Chef Kym DeLost who always deliver delicious fare.

The Gage is located at 24 South Michigan Avenue.  It is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner.  Brunch is available on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit,

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown, Orange, Green, Purple, Pink Lines to The Gage.  Save on gas.  Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!