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  • Gioco

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Gioco Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.giocorestaurant.com
  • Email: food@giocorestaurant.com
  • Phone: (312) 939-3870
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Steak, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Danny Sweis
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Gioco offers rustic Italian fare in a chic Urban setting.
  • Private Party Contact: CeCe & Sara (312) 226-8878
  • Special Events & Promotions: Wedding rehearsal, Meeting,

Getting there

  • Cross Street: E 13th St.
  • Public Transit: Red line train
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: $10
A word from Gioco
Gioco pioneered the retail development of the South Loop when it opened in September of 1999. The restaurant has been a mainstay in the neighborhood as other restaurants and stores have opened up over the years. Gioco is located in an historic building built in 1890 and is one of the few remaining buildings in Chicago from that era. The Gioco space features the original old brick and plaster walls, an old wooden walk-in cooler and a walk-in safe built into the wall, used by the Chicago gangsters (Al Capone, Frank Nitti, George "Bugs" Moran and Earl "Hymie" Weiss ) for one of the gambling and/or brothel houses that dominated the area in the early 1900s. Designer Jerry Kleiner designed Gioco restaurant to retain these old world elements and to feature them in his modernization of the space. Cuisine: Gioco's menu offers rustic Italian dishes prepared with the finest available seasonal products. The menu features homemade pastas and wood-fired thin crust pizzas.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "We just moved to the South Loop, and thought we'd give Gioco a try. We were very pleased with the authentic Italian food, and will be back!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Excellent food and service. Portions are a little small but very good. Meals are served quick, I mean very fast and very tasty."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "I did NOT have a good experience here for a weekday business lunch recently. Our reservation was for 12:30 (prime lunch hour), and they were not ready. Bread was not ready until after 1 p.m. When I was told that my sandwich had to be modified due to lack of an ingredient, they would not let me change my order. The chef was very stubborn. I will not be going back here again."
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "The food was excellent but we were disappointed that "sweetbreads saltimbocca", which had been praised (and pictured) in Phil Vettel's Tribune review quite recently, has been removed from the current menu."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We went here on a Friday night and were seated immediately even though we were early for our reservation. There's more to the menu than whats printed. The crab cake and pappradelle were not on the menu but they were offered as specials. The wild boar pappradellewas great. The crab cake was great too but for $19 we should've gotten more than 1 small cake"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This place is simply the best! Whenever you are in the South Loop it is a must do for a really wonderful dining experience. The fish here melts in your mouth and is always decadent. Plates are not large so go for apps and entrees and dessert. Highly recommend Gioco to anyone who loves quality food!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "loved the chef, who took time with us and made recommends of the food...very pleasant......his recommend of the veal chop was very appreciated and very good but pricey at 50 bucks ( not mentioned when being pitched)......cocktails were 12 dollars but not top shelf liquor ...though made well.....salads were fairly pedestrian.....apple tart dessert quite nice......overall tab of 200 almost seemed too much for what we got....."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "This great find in the South Loop is not something we would have found without a newspaper reco. The food is outstanding, the service was the best we have had in a long time, the wine list was priced right and diverse and the actual restaurant is a history lesson. The chef/owner Gaetano Ascione took the time to tell us about his past (cooking for Presidents and Nelson Mandela) and his worlds travels Make sure you get to meet him. We will come back again and again"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Great South Loop Italian food. Very authentic and simple, not filled with a bunch of unnecessary ingredients that mask the true flavor of the food. Great service and wine selection."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We recently moved to the South Loop and had our first experience at Gioco on Valentine's Day. What a wonderful surprise. The waitstaff was very knowledgeable and attentive. Our waitress recommended the crab cake appetizer. It was almost all lump crab meat and (just as she described) the best I have ever eaten. Our whole meal was simply scrumptious and a flavor treat. The history behind the building is fascinating as was the story of the resident ghost who only likes Jim Beam or Jack Daniels. Good food and great stories made for a simply delightful evening! We can't wait to return."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Gioco never disappoints. Food, service, atmosphere...all outstanding. Every time we've eaten there, we've been completely pleased. A gem."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This is the neighborhood place we go to for special occaisions. Gioco lived up to our expectations this Valentine's Day. The lamb chops were wonderful. Chilean sea bass was the fish special, and it was also very good. We also split a salad that was a good starter. The service was good, but we had to wait for our bread and olive oil. The setting was intimate and good for a romantic dinner."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Great location in former speakeasy. Prices were a bit steep for the food quality."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Always a treat. Always a great dining experience. Love the small size and cozy atmosphere!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Food was good, but not outstanding. My issue was primarily with value. They would be better served by a complete written menus that included pricing for drinks and daily specials. On the recommendation of the waiter, I ordered an appetizer and after-dinner drink, neither of which appeared on a menu. Since the waiter did not mention their prices, I think it was fair to assume that the pricing would have been in line with other menu items. Instead, the appetizer was $27, more than the cost of most entrees; moreover, it was more than double the cost of an appetizer to which the waiter suggested it was similar. Similar with drink costing $17. Also charged for soup my wife sent back. Felt ripped off on prices and small portions."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "It's always great when the chef-proprietor welcomes you, and also walks you through some of the specials. Great personal touch."
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "This place is something special. They stress only authentic Italian dishes. Sorry, that means no Fettuccine Alfredo. Don't even ask for it- apparently the cook will get mad. Having said that, everything was delicious and the service was top-of-the-line. Be prepared to spend at least $60 for two."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "I made a reservation days earlier for a dinner for 2 at 6:00 PM on a Saturday night. I made it known my guest was a special woman in my life and requested a more "romantic table" where we could be seated next to each other as opposed to across. It also makes it easier for me to hear her in a crowded restaurant. We were seated at a small table for two across from each other in the bar though approx 60% of the restaurant was still empty. When we left at 8:30 PM the restaurant was still 20% empty. The food was good but nothing excellent and the wine list very small with little to offer. Our server was outstanding; very attentive and efficient. I guess for $265 I expected it to be just a little better than the average restaurant."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Went on a date here with my boyfriend. We ordered the prosciutto and melon as an app, ravioli, and the sea bass special. With a lovely bottle of wine, it was a fantastic dinner and we really enjoyed it. Finished with the apple tartin dessert and we left very satisfied. The service was friendly and attentive. We will definitely go back and highly recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "We had a fine dining experience combining excellent food, welcoming environment and great service, complete with a visit from the chef. I had a Veal Chop stuffed with cheese and prosciutto, my guest had lamb chops. Our side was asparagus. All beautifully prepared. Don't live in Chicago, but will return when I do visit."
    Dined on 1/7/2014
  • "we have a condo in the south loop and we love going to Gioco. i have noticed over the last year that the prices have gone up but the portions are getting smaller!! They have great food - just order some courses."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I've been going here for years and the food keeps getting better and better"
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "Took staff to Gioco for a holiday lunch for the second straight year because they enjoyed it so much the previous year, and it was great again. Terrific food, beverages, and service. Chef Gaetano came to our table to visit and suggest some appetizers to get us started. Delicious crab cakes and burrata. He even offered parking in front of the restaurant when part of group was a bit late, trying to find a spot on the street. Also have been here for dinner in the past and had a similar positive dining experience."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "The food was ok. I went with a co-worker for an early lunch. We were the first in the restaurant. Someone came over and asked us if we were cold and then walked away. We were cold the entire time. During our lunch, the open kitchen began playing club music. Very odd for lunch at an Italian restaurant. The waiter couldn't answer my co-workers question on her gluten allergy and when I asked about a vegetable substitution, the answer was "No". We both had the scallops and they were ok. The best part of the meal was the asparagus appetizer."
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "My friend had asked for her pasta to be aldente. The chef was rude and gave us attitude. He told her to get a different dish. Once upon a time, this place was the IT place. It's too bad that over time it has declined to just a run of the mill pasta place... Maybe about the level of Olive Garden, just trendier."
    Dined on 11/26/2013
  • "Weel executed. The place was crowded so it took a bit fro ouor main courses to arrive, but otherwise FANTASTIC!"
    Dined on 11/23/2013
  • "First time dining at Gioco - we now live in the neighborhood and would love a "go-to Italian". We had a 9:00 reservation (Friday night) and there were still a good number of tables with diners around us but all 4 of us felt the service was rushed - like they wanted to close the kitchen and pressed us to order too early and too often. That having been said, some dishes were excellent and one (short rib "Special") was clearly the last of evening and had been under the heat lamp too long (dry). Decor/atmosphere was nice for a neighborhood place and, ultimately, the staff was pleasant (chef talked to us a bit). We will go back and try a slightly earlier time..."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "Walking into Gioco is such a pleasure... The aroma of the open fire cooking in the kitchens is so pleasing and yummy. We were greeted at the door by the Chef and the hostess. The Chef a very friendly man. We sat down and were promptly waited on by the server who was very nice. We orders wine and an appetizer which was delicious. Two of members of our party ordered the oxtail entree and I had the spinach tortellini. The dishes were wonderful and nice portions for men. Myhusband orders this dish almost every time... he loves it! A great restaurant! The of Gioco is also very interesting."
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "Greetings: It's always nice when the chef comes out to every table, knows his stuff, and can charm your guests. This makes all the difference in the world!"
    Dined on 11/5/2013
  • "The service was quite awful and the food was average and overpriced for that. The wine was the best part. The restaurant is bustling and looks great inside though."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "We have been to Gioco before bit it had been a while . It remains one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Chicago with excellent authentic Italian food and a lovely , vibrant atmosphere And a good win and beer list without exorbitant prices."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "The food was very good and the service was incredible. However, we were disappointed that when we asked the waiter if the meatball appetizer was large enough to be shared, he said that there were only two meatballs, and it wouldn't be enough. There were only three of us, and the meatballs were HUGE - we could've easily shared them. We ordered 2 meatball appetizers and another appetizer, again, thinking that the meatballs wouldn't be sufficient. This of course made the whole meal, which was expensive to begin with, even more expensive than necessary. Everything was delicious!"
    Dined on 10/19/2013
  • "The food is NEVER disappointing and the service is exceptional."
    Dined on 10/17/2013
  • "This is a great spot for a business lunch alternative to staying at McCormick center. Its a short cab ride, the food is amazing, service great and noise level low enough for business conversation."
    Dined on 10/15/2013
  • "Recommended here for a work dinner. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and kept raving about the food. Hopefully I'll be able to go back in the near future!"
    Dined on 10/14/2013