Gene & Georgetti - Rosemont
Gene & Georgetti conjures visions of Chicago’s best steak, served in rooms dripping with history, a slice of city life and outstanding meat.
Gene & Georgetti in Chicago is the oldest family-owned restaurant and the oldest steak house in the city. As the family explains on their site, “In celebration of Italian hospitality we offer huge portions of prime steaks, chops, and classic Italian fare. We proudly maintain the tradition of quality food and service that has defined our beloved restaurant for more than seven decades. Here you’ll find only the best, premier grade steaks in Chicago, which are hand selected from the top of all beef in the U.S. We broil our steaks to perfection until a delicious crust is formed. They’re so tender, juicy and flavorful; they don’t require any seasoning, although we’ll certainly customize your order upon your request. In fact, we’re so committed to customizing your order, two of our most popular dishes were created by customer requests: the famous Garbage Salad and Chicken alla Joe. Our fresh, hand tossed house salad is complimentary, as are our cottage fries, which are hand sliced and pan fried just like Georgetti made them.”
With all that tradition going for it, there was a bit of a risk for the family in pushing out to the Western suburbs to develop a new location in Rosemont. No doubt, the original Gene & Georgetti has a lot of personality and old-timey cred, as Gayot breathlessly reports, “What a story this place could tell --- ones of the politicians, the movie stars and the celebrities who have dined here. (And what a story the waiters could tell, should they deign to talk.) Steaks take center stage, and the silver-haired set in particular partakes of the aged, Prime cuts. All the classic steakhouse fare --- shrimp De Jonghe, broiled mushrooms and creamed spinach --- are well represented. This is a Chicago institution.”
The original location, still in operation beneath the El tracks near Merchandise Mart, is a far cry from the wide-open spaces of Rosemont, but the family seems to have captured and carried forward the familiar Gene & Georgetti vibe to this new location.
A big part of the Gene & Georgetti tradition is the excellent red meat, and the menu in Rosemont is pretty much the same as the menu in Chicago, which helps a lot because people go to Gene & Georgetti for the traditional foods, the foods they know and love.
Gene & Georgetti is a beautiful example of how the Italian culinary tradition merged, in places like Chicago and Manhattan, with the tradition of the great American steak house. At Gene & Georgetti, there’s both great steak and great Italian food, exemplified by the weekend specials of lasagna and roast prime rib of beef.
The red meat portion of the menu focuses on a few good cuts, portioned out in varying quantities: broiled filet mignon comes in 7, 10 and 14 ounces, with or without the bone in; broiled strip loin steak comes in at 14 and 20 ounces, and there’s also a 12-ounce skirt steak, 20-ounce ribeye, 24-ounce broiled porterhouse, and 32-ounce signature broiled t bone. All these outstanding pieces of meat are available with Béarnaise, red wine reduction, peppercorn and Dijon demi-glace sauces.
The Italian portion of the menu has loads of pasta but also chicken, either limone or Marsala or Vesuvio, as well as chicken and eggplant Parmigiana. The veal – a traditional Italian favorite – is available as scaloppini, Parmigiana, limone or Marsala. Pasta makes an appearance in a big way: there’s angel hair arrabbiata, spaghetti with meatballs or simply marinara, linguini in red or white clam sauce, homemade meat or cheese ravioli, mostaccioli with meat sauce or Ferrara style (with creamed spinach) and garganelli (tube-shaped pasta) served with peas, mushrooms, white wine and olive oil.
Located near Rosemont’s convention facilities, and a short way from the many Western Suburban corporate buildings, Gene & Georgetti in Rosemont is the ideal meeting place for business lunches. The lunch menu is only slightly smaller than the dinner menu, offering many of the same meat and pasta dishes, and even some lunch specials like the filet medallions in peppercorn sauce and the cavatelli in tomato vodka sauce.
As this is an Italian restaurant as well as a steak house, there is a healthy wine list. A great many red and white wines are offered by the glass, and the sizeable list of bottles includes several notable reserve reds, including an Antinori Tignanello and a Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.
Many people who come to the Chicago area for a convention in Rosemont fly into O’Hare and may never make it into the city. For those and others, Gene & Georgetti gives a taste of old Chicago in the suburbs, and it does not disappoint.