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Restaurants & Bars 2

Gene and Georgetti

Seth Zurer | Nov 5, 200310:09 AM

My mother is in town for the week, and she doesn't get red meat at home, except when my father is out of town, so we decided to splurge on a steakhouse outing -my first despite having been in the city for 9 years. We started the night with a drink on the top of the Hancock Tower - at the beginning of our drink it was clear and gorgeous, you could see the lights stretch down michigan ave all the way to chatham. By the time we finished our drinks, the storm had rolled into downtown, and we could barely make out the outline of the sears tower.

After a cell phone consult with Vital Info, we made a play for Gibson's, but it was mobbed, and would've been an hour and a half wait for the two of us.

So we went down to gene and georgetti, which was very good. Our server was gracious and brisk. We were seated downstairs, even though I was soaking wet and in jeans. The room is bizarre. Red pleather settees a large mural of a faux-pastoral roman coutryside, with a greek temple in the middle, that upon close inspection bears the legend "gene and georgetti". A miniature painted temple of beef. There were both high-roller politico lawyer looking types in pinstripes and families out for birthday dinners. The average age of the waitstaff was 70.

I tried shrimp de jonghe for the first time and found it very nice, if not a revelation. My mother was transported to the restaurants of her youth by the iceberg salad with oil and vinegar; I was less transported. And the steaks were very good- my mother had a strip no bone rare. I had a t-bone, ordered slightly more cooked that rare, but which came to me sangue. Both were excellent - gigantic slabs of meat with fabulous char. My mother's was a solid two-inch thick bright red slab of goodness. i like the small side of the tbone better than the big side - it was tenderer and fattier and juicier. It took all my mother's willpower to keep her from grabbing up my bone and gnawing away at all I'd left.

I'm no dry-aged beef expert like Steingartne and many of the board luminaries here, but we both enjoyed our meal alot and my mother was delighted with the opportunity to eat red meat. Next time though, I want to get the lamb chops which I saw an expense account type guy eating with alternate bites of mint jelly. And the creamed spinach, which every other table had and looked like the thing to order.

Now I think Chicken Vesuvio is the only chicago-invention that I haven't yet partaken of.

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