October 22, 2015
Where top execs go for steak
By: Monica Ginsburg for Crain’s Chicago Business
We asked local business and governmental leaders: What’s your favorite steakhouse? Here’s what they told us.
“While I dine at and love all the Chicago classics, my favorite is Gene and Georgetti. I order a garbage salad, Lyonnais potatoes and either the small filet or strip steak. I love the history, memories and atmosphere. There is no bad time to go to Gene and Georgetti and I use it for business lunches, pre-sporting events or theatre, special family occasions, Saturday nights, and with out-of-town guests and relatives. My fond memories of Gene and Georgetti include lengthy lunches with the late Sun-Times political writer Steve Neal, lunches with the Chicago Tribune’s legendary columnist John Kass and a longstanding holiday season lunch with buddies from over 20 years in government service which last many, many hours due to the same old stories and laughs! Finally, Gene and Georgetti is located alongside the el train. What better place to dine for the chairman of the RTA!” — Kirk Dillard, chairman, Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago
“If I have out-of-town guests, I take them to Gene & Georgetti for the old-world Chicago atmosphere and terrific steaks. The nicest place in town is Chicago Cut, and I have lunch there probably three times a week. It’s an incredibly good meal and a well-run place. Gibsons has a great Sunday brunch and it’s less see-and-be-seen and just a really nice, relaxed atmosphere. John Colletti (Gibsons’ managing partner) does a nice job of giving back to the community, and that means something to me. You may not call Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf a steakhouse in the classic sense, but the food is out of this world and the service is impeccable. It’s great on Valentine’s Day or for a nice romantic dinner.” — John Simpson, partner, Broadhaven Capital Partners, Chicago
“I have been to virtually every steakhouse in Chicago and, although there are many fine ones, my favorite is Gene and Georgetti. I almost always order the small strip steak (they do it to perfection), the lamb chops (best in the city), or the chicken vesuvio (make sure you don’t have a date that night–the garlic is generous!). I like the restaurant because they know me as a regular customet–I have been going there for only 44 years. I go frequently with clients, with my family and have celebrated many birthdays and anniversaries at Gene’s. Gene’s treats its regulars very well. For years, (former Cook County board president) George Dunne had his favorite table at Gene’s and went there every Tuesday. George passed away (in 2006) after a long and good life. The night of his wake I went to Gene’s and the maître de said: ‘Congratulations, Jim.’ I said, ‘For what?’ And he said, ‘You now have George’s table, you were next in line.’ It’s that kind of place. I negotiate labor contracts. Years ago I went to Gene’s with the union negotiator and after a long night discussing the contract, we finally wrote our agreement on the tablecloth. The problem was that the next morning neither of us could remember what we had agreed to. In a panic, I called Gene’s to see if by some miracle they had saved the tablecloth and, sure enough, they had and our contract was saved.” — Jim Franczek, founding partner, Franczek Radlett, Chicago
“Gene and Georgetti. My second favorite is the Original Morton’s The Steakhouse on State Street. At Gene and Georgetti, I usually order the bone-in strip sirloin. I like the restaurant because I have been going there over 40 years and it’s ‘old’ Chicago–a lot of history. I dine there at least two to three times a month.” — Norm Bobins, president, Norman Bobins Consulting, Chicago