I'm embarrassed to say that I only recently heard of Gene & Georgetti, Chicago's oldest steakhouse. This year actually marked this classic establishment's 70th anniversary, opening its doors in 1941. The epitome of "old Chicago," Gene & Georgetti is the godfather of Chicago steakhouses.
The steakhouse was founded by Italian immigrants Gene Michelotti and his partner Alfredo Federighi, who was nicknamed “Georgetti.” The two owned the restaurant until both died. The restaurant is now owned and operated by Gene's daughter Marion Durpetti and her husband Tony.
The building that houses Gene & Georgetti was built one year after the Chicago Fire in 1872. Even though an ordiance was establshed after the fire that there would be no more wooden buildings, this building was put up right before that was put into effect. It was meant to only be a temporary structure, but over 100 years later it's still going strong.
The city's rich and famous have been dining here for decades and so have big time celebrities. The Chairman of the Board, Mr. Frank Sinatra was found here quite often, as was Lucille Ball and Bob Hope. Today, international celebrities are often found dining at Gene & Georgetti.
If you ever find yourself in the Chicago room of the steakhouse, check out the mural of an old time Illinois Street block. That's the block current owners Marion and Tony grew up on. They met as children and have been married for 40 years.
Now, I'm not a steak person, but apparently you'll get one of the best steaks in the city right here. Steaks are cooked the old-fashioned way; a lot of heat and no seasoning.
You won't find 22-year-old "I'm only doing this until I find a real job" waiters here. The staff has been with the restaurant for decades and have perfected the art of steakhouse service. You know you'll get the same delicious steak every time since the current chef has been working there for 35 years!
Have you been to Gene & Georgetti? What did you think?
(P.S. I just found out about Meatless Monday....after this went live. Oops.)