Gene & Georgetti's is Chicago's most famous steakhouse. Some of the best
meat and potatoes in town are to be found within its dark, classic setting,
which explains why on the Tuesday night when we dropped by for dinner, the wait
for a table was more than an hour. To meet the demand, the new owner, Tony
Dupretti, just added more seats so that he can now accommodate 300 patrons.
Even though the restaurant is known for steak, those who do not eat red meat
will not be disappointed, as the menu includes an extensive selection of
Italian specialties, seafood and pasta. We started with excellent fried ravioli
that were made from scratch in-house. For entrees, we ordered filet mignon, one
of the best we've ever tasted, and lobster tail de jonghe, which was
beautifully prepared and very garlicly. Their tiramisu also hit the spot.
Although Gene & Georgetti's is not inexpensive, the food was delicious and
the portions were generous, making it an excellent value.
Gene & Georgetti's, 300 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610. Tel.
312-527-3718. Open Monday to Saturday, lunch and dinner.
The Cape Cod Room, as would be expected from its name, specializes in seafood.
Just off of the lobby in the elegant Drake Hotel, it opened originally for the
1933 Chicago World's Fair and remains one of the best places in the Windy City
to eat fish and shell fish. Its interior is modeled after a ship's and its
walls are lined with nautical paraphernalia and fish caught and mounted by
patrons. We began our meal with red snapper soup, laced with sherry, and
followed with blackened swordfish and lobster thermidor. The thermidor sauce
was delicate, creamy and brought out the natural flavor of the catch. The
coating on the swordfish was properly crisp and spicy. The desserts, which are
made in the restaurant's bakery, included a raisin-studded, delightfully sweet
Cape Cod Room, Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Place, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel.
312-787-2200. Open daily, lunch and dinner. Expensive.
Spiaggia, an award-winning Italian restaurant, is located on the second level
of the One Magnificent Mile Building. The dining room is elegant and because of
the floor-to-ceiling windows, almost every seat looks out onto a beautiful view
of Lake Michigan. We were fortunate enough to enjoy Chef Paul Bartolotta's
tasting menu of seven courses. Among the dishes were rabbit, duck, octopus,
pasta, snapper, salad and a dessert of marscarpone torte. The sommelier chose
three bottles of wine, a Gewürztraminer, a Chardonay and a Teroldego
Rotaliano and wrote the significant information about the vintages on a card
for us to take home. Both the food and wine were extraordinary. For those who
want to sample the same ambrosial fare, albeit in less formal surroundings,
Cafe Spiaggia is next to the main dining area.
Spiaggia, One Magnificient Mile Building, 980 North Michigan Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60611. Tel. 312-280-2750. Open Monday to Saturday, lunch; daily for