Josef Barbados Steakhouse & Oyster Bar

4.8
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230 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
From the freshest seafood to prime grilled steaks and chops, Josef's Steakhouse & Oyster Bar is THE destination in Rockford. A hidden jewel at Spring Creek and Perryville, Josef’s is a welcoming and elegant white tablecloth restaurant and bar. Enter through an antique arched doorway with subdued lighting and soft music. Everyone is treated like a regular in our cozy BAR which is a destination in itself. Josef’s BAR is a must-stop for guests for a pre-dinner cocktail or a fun casual meal like our Josef Burger. The bar features granite tables, an oyster bar and the largest selection of wines and spirits in town. Your host is award winning Austrian Chef, Josef Schwaiger. Josef still oversees his thee Barbados restaurants from afar and he's won Caribbean Restaurant of the year on two occasions. After opening 13 restaurants around the world, Chef Josef brought his unique talents to Rockford in 2005 with his first U.S. location.

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Mon 5:00PM - 5:00PM 8:00PM - 9:00PM

What 230 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JN
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good and service were excellent! Will definitely be back.

CG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time the service was wonderful from the moment we walked in, the hostess and our waitress was phenomenal. The food was great, it was truly a great dining experience. We had the Crab cake, Chilean bass and rosemary chicken with the sampler for dessert. Everything was so flavorful and exquisite. The dinning room was intimate it gets a little loud but that’s what happens when people are enjoying themselves!

GK
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always my favorite, never disappointed... Seafood is excellent, but have had a filet which was outstanding.

JM
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic restaurant. Just moved from NYC to rural Illinois. Best restaurant, hands down in the area. Could easily thrive in NYC!!!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was blown away by the amazing service. I made a reservation online using this app and in the comment section notified that it was my girlfriend's birthday in which we were celebrating. They set us up in their private library room. The ambiance, wait staff and food were all amazing. I could not have asked for a better experience, especially the first time going to the restaurant.

D
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant exceeded my expectations on all accounts.

C
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated our 14th wedding Anniversary with my wife. The food selections were plentiful and the entree’s we chose were very, very delicious. Our server was incredible. He was warm, funny and there for whatever was needed. At the end we were surprised with a free anniversary desert that came out to us with a sparkling fire decoration. Thanks to making our anniversary date special.

j
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

great food, something for everyone, very well prepared, excellent ingredients

SC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time is it, and a score. Awesome food, service , atmosphere & value. Great drinks. My new go to Rockford spot with clients. There is also a private room available that I will be using in the future.

P
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 4ambience 2

I have always heard good things about this restaurant. It was clean and the staff were all nice. The food is lacking, especially for the price. I would not recommend this restaurant based on the food.

PW
Chicago
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was good. Chair covers were white and needed washing. We had to ask for bread. Our waiter said it was in the oven, although other tables all had bread even the tables after us. Never came back till we were done eating to ask us how our food was.

CG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

I enjoy the ability to have a nice conversation in the dining room. It is quiet with enjoyable background music. Meals are not rushed. Wait staff are knowledgeable and personable. Presentation of food is beautiful and food is delicious. Always a nice selection of entrees, wonderful wine list. A favorite place to share with friends and family.

K
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always an amazing meal at Josef’s! Our waitress was great, the food was outstanding! Definitely our favorite place for a special dinner!!

s
Chicago
76 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The nicest place in Rockford for sure - it was GREAT...we loved it - definitely just special occasions though (not inexpensive). We had the fish specials (walleye and trout) and my parents had the prime rib.
They are definitely setup for parties (many room configurations are possible). Our waiter (I don't remember his name) was outstanding though!!

BH
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our first visit to Josef's and look forward to returning. The ambience of the calming white dining room was perfect for our birthday celebration. We ordered steak, salmon and scallops. Everyone enjoyed their delicious meal. The attentive service from Mark is what really made our visit special. We have not enjoyed that level of service in a long time. Thank you so much Mark!

Josef Barbados Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Responded on June 4, 2019

Thank you for the review! We are delighted you enjoyed your dining experience at Josef's and hope to have the opportunity to serve you again.

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BB
Denver
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

After reading some tremendous reviews, my wife and I were excited to try Josef Barbados. However, upon entering the door, we immediately started off on the wrong foot. We patiently waited for six minutes before anyone even acknowledged us and at that particular time, there was minimal customers. Our waiter was inexperienced, forgot our appetizer completely, inattentive and continuously leaning on the back of a chair at our table try to carry on a conversation while we were just starting to try and eat. That being said, he was a very nice young man and I believe wasn’t trained properly. Our food was moderately at an appropriate temperature, which cooled quickly. My filet was ordered at medium and came out well done and the flavor was surprisingly bland. I generally do not write reviews but when a meal for two costs more than $135 , I would expect for everything else to be more than satisfactory. Unfortunately this night, everything was unsatisfactory... We WILL give it another chance in the near future...

Josef Barbados Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Responded on June 4, 2019

Please accept our sincere apology for the unsatisfactory experience you encountered at Josef’s. We have taken action to correct the issues and retrain our staff, particularly regarding wait time in the lobby, server interaction at the table, food temperature, and overall attentiveness to guest needs. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in a manner that is more in-line with the high level of service and guest experience we value at Josef’s. Thank you for your valuable feedback.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

I’ve been at Josef’s before, and it was great. Not so, last Saturday night. The food was great as usual, but the wait staff was untrained for fine dining. It was my best friend’s birthday and I had hyped up Josef’s...the waiter couldn’t figure out how to open a bottle of wine. Because of the occasion, we bought a very nice bottle, yet he didn’t know how to serve a $100+ bottle of red wine. The rest of the dinner was one miss step after another. He was trying, but he isn’t cut out for the hospitality business

Josef Barbados Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Responded on June 5, 2019

Please accept our sincere apology for the unsatisfactory dining experience you had at Josef’s. We have taken action to correct the issues, particularly in terms of proper wine service and overall guest attentiveness. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in a manner that is more in-line with the high level of service and guest experience we value at Josef’s. Thank you for your valuable feedback.

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LD
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved my Friday night with Enrique and Isabel providing wonderful service. I took a friend, she really enjoyed the total experience. Thanks, Liz Dickinson

Josef Barbados Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Responded on June 4, 2019

Thank you for the review! We are delighted you enjoyed your dining experience at Josef's and the service you received from Enrique and Isabel. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again.

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LD
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Extraordinary wait staff, great menu and delicious food

C
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Had an awesome experience here soon as we walked in asked my name an got seated really quick an the service was excellent had an awesome waitress an the food was beyond good we will be back

D
Tampa
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service always a 5 star!
Josef gave us special attention talking of his roots in Austria 🇦🇹

k
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Costly, but worth it. the food looked and tasted great. Very nice place to go for a celebratory type meal!

LS
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an early reservation and enjoyed the experience. The food was excellent, the service was superb and I will definitely return for my next special occasion.

DN
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding as always!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on April 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome food! Great service! Josef’s never disappoints!

GJ
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

This was our first time dinning at Josef's what a disappointment. As we were taken to the very back room to be seated, we find our table is so close to the next table that it is uncomfortable. We wait the next 1/2 hour with no one coming to our table. When the waitress finally came for our drink order , she wanted our appetizer order so she didn't have to keep coming back to our table . Her words not mine. So set the tone for the rest of the evening. Barely seen the waitress, and when she did appear , did not clean away appetizer plates, or soup bowls or empty glasses. The food was not good enough to over look the poor service.

LL
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to Josef's for my boyfriend's birthday, and everything was perfect. The food was delicious, and the service was attentive without being overbearing. They made his birthday dinner exactly as I hoped it would be.

TK
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food and service. Not overly crowded or load, so easy to have table conversation

JM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place to go I alway take my wife here on date nights

BM
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. I had the blackened pork chop & my wife has scallops. Cooked perfectly. Wait staff was A+. You won't be disappointed.

LM
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is a gem. I would recommend to anyone to make a special trip to eat here. The bar has a nice ambience and great selections. Our food was outstanding in taste and presentation.

BL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Food fair, service sporadic and poor. Overall not that good for price. Dinner and dessert huge time investment, took 2.5 start to finish. Not impressed.

BB
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was fantastic and very well priced! Haley our server was outstanding and very knowledgeable about all of the options!

WS
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The lobster was chewy! Both my wife and mother-in-law had the lobster tails, both were tough or chewy!

LS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was delicious
The only reason I didn’t gave them 5 star was that waitress had way to many table to serve by herself and we had to wait starting from the drinks and first course till the deserts

PT
Salt Lake City
10 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and the ambiance is just as wonderful.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Service was good but forgetting drinks multiple times during a slower part of the evening, with 2 servers, is kinda unacceptable.

I’d go back and would like to see the service improve.

JP
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 1

The table they sat four people at was meant for eight, so we could not talk without the hole restaurant hearing our conversation so they moved us to the lobby (YES THE LOBBY)......... sad way to treat your quest no apology did not even offer a drink or desert to makeup for a expensive valentine's day dinner. The owner was right there and walk bye the table a number of times and never once stopped to say anything........

RE
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

I have enjoyed Josef's many times and find it painful to be less than positive. Probably a matter of over scheduling for Valentine's day...the tablecloth drape dirty with some form of red sauce, the hour and twenty minutes between appetizer and meal, lukewarm food. Not their usual standard; the escargot and the wine were excellent. Enrique is such a class act, he did not serve at our station that night, but he was apologetic and seemed to understand the challenges of the meal and evening without us having to give a litany of complaints. Let's call it an opportunity rather than a problem

LA
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent in every way. Asked music to be softer. It was turned down. Thank you.

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