Crain’s Chicago Business : Best New Restaurants for Business 2016
By: Joanne Trestrail February 12, 2016
Spreading like an unstoppable, delectable ivy, foodie-ism has taken root in every imaginable cranny. Our annual list of best new restaurants for a business lunch shows that good food has found its way into the way-back of a Michigan Avenue second story, the 18th floor of a Northwestern Memorial Hospital building and inside a Restoration Hardware. It’s even reaching through the fourth dimension into the past, resurrecting and reclaiming dishes such as chicken liver on rye with brandied prunes and name-checking Nonna on her meatballs. Good thing foodies know steak and seafood never go out of style. Here are nine restaurants, presented in alphabetical order, that opened or started serving lunch in 2015, all with service, ambiance and food that key into the delicious revolution.
Gene & Georgetti Rosemont
9421 W. Higgins Road, Rosemont | 847-653-3300
If we had business contacts flying into or out of O’Hare International Airport on a tight deadline—but with just enough time for lunch—we’d invite them here. If they appreciate vernacular Chicago food and atmosphere, so much the better. This outpost of Gene & Georgetti, a downtown stalwart since 1941, has most of the merits of the original and few of its downsides. It’s bigger and brighter than the first one, admittedly less of a charming time capsule but with the advantage that you don’t have to be a big shot or a customer of decades-long patronage to be warmly welcomed.
Rosemont’s Italian-inflected menu is as straightforward and unfussy as River North’s, but with more to choose from, including such 21st-century touches as arugula salad with shaved fennel, oranges and walnuts ($9.25) and, on the pasta list, garganelli with peas, mushrooms, white wine and olive oil ($13.25). But there’s nothing wrong with rocking it old school: Start with shrimp de Jonghe ($19), segue into anything from calf’s liver, bacon and onions ($17.25) to a broiled petite filet ($32.25) and finish, satisfyingly, with cannoli ($6.75).