Gene & Georgetti overall score: 77
Another old timey Chicago joint that my wife and I hit on our trip was Gene & Georgetti.
This Italian place has been slinging food since 1941 with steak as their specialty.
The air conditioning was indeed comfortable, as the front of the menu suggests. In any case, we did a somewhat smaller meal here, as we were still a bit full from lunch and I knew I wanted to get another Italian beef sandwich later that night.
We shared the smaller cut porterhouse, which is generally meant for one. I think it was 24oz.
It was cooked nicely to medium rare throughout, and it was tender. Every bit of it was devoured. The down side was that it didn’t have a great char on it, and the flavor was a little weak, though it was indeed properly seasoned. There is certainly potential here.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 8
This place covers the four steakhouse basics and then some, with different sizing of each. Most of the beef is wet-aged, with the exception of the tomahawk special.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions are good here. No complaints whatsoever. I think the plating is typical of old time steak joints: a semi-fancy plate with the item plated neatly in the center. No fluffy bullshit; I respect that.
At this point I was starting to get used to Chicago steakhouse pricing. The marked up items are generally the dry-aged stuff or the specials. The single cut porterhouse came in at about $55, which is closer to NYC pricing, but it did come with a soup or salad as well as a potato. Not too bad.
The bar here is a mid-century modern stretch at which I would be happy to sit and have a drink.
There’s a great plaque on the wall at the bar with an excellent quote:
And as for the drinks themselves, they’re nicely mixed. I had a negroni since this is an Italian steakhouse. It was delicious.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
They had a few items on special. Let me grab the menu for you:
Maybe we should have tried that tomahawk.
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 7
Aside from dessert, we really only tried the soup, salad and potato that came with our entrees. They had a shrimp appetizer that sounded like scampi that seemed interesting to me. Next time.
Nothing too impressive here, but all of it reminded me of what my mom used to make at home when I was growing up. Just not quite as good. Their “Garbage Salad” sounded way more appealing, and we should have ordered that instead. It has all sorts of meats and cheeses in it, which would have been exactly like my mom’s. The potatoes were just under-seasoned and under-crisped. Mom’s are better than these too.
Dessert was great, and it was a much appreciated gift on the house.
That’s pistachio, coconut, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Keeping it simple! I like it.
Seafood Selection: 8
There are a bunch of seafood entrees here, but we decided to try a seafood pasta for our second main course. A classic: linguini with white clam sauce.
This was great. Not only was there an abundance of clams in the shell, but the sauce was also made with minced clams as well. Very flavorful, with perfectly cooked pasta.
Top notch service here. Attention to detail, nice staff, and they pay attention to what you write on your OpenTable reservations. I was also a huge fan of their bread sticks.
I love the old feel to this place, but I think it might be time for an update. The original touches and details can definitely remain, but maybe some spit shining can happen. I wish I was able to check out the upstairs, but it seemed like there was a private event going on up there. The two dining rooms downstairs were nice though.
GENE & GEORGETTI
500 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654