Saute: 20 Essential Chicago Restaurants You Need to Try

Chicago: A Food Enthusiast’s Paradise

Until 1971, Chicago was known as a “meat and potatoes” kind of town. This could be attributed in part to the legacy of the famed beef stockyards adjoining the downtown financial district drawing royalty, captains of industry and countless tourists. Fabled steakhouses, not surprisingly, grew up and around it. Chicago was also and still is known as a “city of neighborhoods,” small cities-within-the-city defined by different ethnic groups.

Even with so much to explore, the Chicago of my childhood took a backseat to New York City and other East Coast metropolises when it came to dining. The Chicago of the 21st century, however, is more a melting pot than a patchwork. Gentrification has mixed the populations, and restaurateurs find new ways to celebrate the fruits, vegetables and proteins of America’s heartland. It’s a balanced city where old dining institutions and innovative concepts co-exist deliciously.

Standard Bearing Steakhouses
Gene & Georgetti
500 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654 | (312) 527-3718 |

Gene & Georgetti spans 75 years and three generations, making it a definitive Chicago steakhouse dynasty. Following traditions set by founders partner Alfredo “Georgetti” Federighi and Gene Michelotti in 1941, the family business thrives under proprietor Marion Durpetti and husband Tony Durpetti, and managing partners Richard Ciota and Michelle Durpetti. It stands as an ultimate embodiment of the Italian-American dream expressed in generous home-style food. The menu blends standards like Chicken Vesuvio and Veal Parmesan, enduring originals such as the Garbage Salad and Chicken Alla Joe (both inspired by actual regular customers) and unseasoned, wet-aged steaks. There’s a touch of Hollywood in the mix, with fans Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball lending their names to the legend.

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