Gioco
Gioco

Gioco

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.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: Steak, Seafood, Italian
  • 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 3122268878
  • Special Events: 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.
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Gioco reviews from OpenTable diners
52 reviews since August 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (29)fit for foodies (21)good for groups (16)romantic (15)special occasion (15)notable wine list (8)great for lunch (5)great for outdoor dining (4)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Great food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/26/2014
    Had the crab cakes that were a special and they were the best I have ever had.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    My husband and I were visiting Chicago and I was craving authentic Italian. When I opened my open table app there was a place less than a block from us serving handmade pasta. We walked into a beautiful small restaurant with an open kitchen. The menu was full of authentic Italian choices including an entire row of handmade pasta dishes, as if the choice wasn't hard enough our waiter approached and listed all of the specials and if I hate the appetite I would have ordered one of everything!! We ended up ordering the burrata cheese special as an appetizer and two pasta dishes which were warm and hardy for the cold rainy night. The handmade tortellini with a black truffle fondue sauce was incredible and will be one of the highlights of our trip!! An amazing and truly authentic restaurant that I will hunt down every time I am in the city.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best kept secret in Chicago
    sharky
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Love this place. Very romantic. Historic. Quiet. Chef/owner always comes out to greet and offer suggestions. Some items aren't on the menu. Ask for crab cakes...honestly the best I have had anywhere in the world.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • rushed
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    This was the second time (first two years ago) that we visited Gioco. This time the service was good but we felt rushed. Entire meal took less than 40 minutes and as such wasn't very relaxing. Maybe they needed the table? The food was so-so. I had the scallopini marsala. The veal was three small dry pieces on mash-potatoes that tasted microwaved. Similar comments from two other guests at the table. The fourth had the pizza and he really enjoyed it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An off night?
    J60654
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    I had been before and expected another great experience. The space is still nice, host was personable, table was fine. Service was off. I started with iced tea - glass cleared, no refill offered. The busser brought bread with with a smaller plate for olive oil. Oil was never brought, bread eaten and more was never offered. We placed the oil plate on the bread plate, as it seemed useless. The busser took the small plate off the larger and placed on the table, never saying a word, never clearing or refilling. Weird. The $9 Caesar salads were small with limp yellow romaine. Pasta and risotto were monochromatic. I did not see that a clam shell in my risotto fractured. I twice chewed fragments. Not happy, but teeth are fine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Buyer Beware
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Be wary of the specials offered that evening. The price difference between many of the listed menu items and the evening's specials noted by the server are significant. Overall, the food tasted great but quickly soured at the sight of the check.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A lovely place for celebrations
    Chloe
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    My fare: Totani - grilled baby calamari, panzanella Grilled calamari was perfection - cooked just right and presented on a deliciously fresh bed of lettuce. Followed by Branzino, similar to white fish, two fillets roasted on a puttanesca sauce. Creme Brûlée had a thin, crispy delicately sweet crust with a creamy, light but rich custard.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My sausage entre had a lemon rind in it. They brought the salad before the appetizer. Service was swarming all over you or non-existent. Could not hear yourself talk.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Business Dinner
    BiggJilm
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Very nice atmosphere and lovely smells wafting from to on site kitchen. Service very agreeable. Wines are priced high and somewhat limited to Italians. Meal was delicious. Would return for sure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic & consistent!
    LD203VIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Excellent AUTHENTIC Italian cuisine - the delivery and quality of the food and service is very consistent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good ambience but Overpriced
    shaneVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The restaurant has a cozy feel to it, a reasonable wine list and a selection of food suitable for vegetarian or other choices. Portions are not particularly generous for the price. Unfortunately service starts off with a bang and then tapers to a whimper. Also, be wary of overpriced items as you're lured by the ambience or you'll leave with a $200+ bill (for two). As it was a celebration we decided to treat ourselves to a bottle of wine but were caught completely off-guard by a $55 entrée "special" when we were presented with the check. We had a good time at the restaurant but probably won't be back in a hurry because of this.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bruce Hirschel
    OvercookedVIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Food is great and the service very good. This I my 5th time eating there. GREAT
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Felt Rushed But Food Was Good
    EmilyKitten
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Even though the restaurant was not very crowded, I felt as though the busboys and waiters could not wait to take our plates from us; they even grabbed one plate as my boyfriend was still chewing the last bite he hastily ate so he could give them the plate. The food grew better as we progressed through courses. The Oxtail was wonderful. My boyfriend thought the portions were a bit too small but overall it was a nice experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Italian Delight
    bobbyggraham
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    I've felt like I was in mom's kitchen tasting her best italian flare. The owner/chief made my family and I feel like we were dignitaries, even my three year old daughter was captivated by their engagement, questions, and conversation—most of the night. Until the most delectable chocolate cake was specially made for her, with a bit size cookie on top. My wife and I shared dishes and spectacular wine suggested, that was fairly priced. I can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Memorable!
    pabeerman
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    From the outstanding hostess, who asked about our timing (going to the Symphony) and got us a cab, to the incredible burata and tomatoes, perfect pasta, heavenly molten chocolate cake, superb sangiovese by the glass and the very friendly wait staff, this was an excellent, memorable dining experience. We will go back the next time we are in Chicago and will recommend Gioco to all of our friends.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Wonderful…..received very personalized service from the Chef and the wait staff. Outstanding food and lots of great vibes in the place. A favorite when we bring family, friends or professionals to the table. Always outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Chef is creative, meticulous, and hands on. Great menu, my new favorite place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memories of Italy
    Dave
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Delicious food and attentive service. Reminded me of our trip to Italy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a pleasure
    GregVIP
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Amazing Italian food in a great space. Keep up the good work!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice neighborhood Italian Food
    Joel
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The ravioli, seafood linguini and thin crust piazza were all excellent. My only complaint is that the portion size of the ravioli was way to small for a main course dish. The hot lava cake for desert was fantastic as well.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Love this place, unique dishes always great service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Classic Italian Gem
    JAMTVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Traditional Italian restaurant with very high quality food and service. Chicago South Loop neighborhood vibe. Worth a visit.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A nice evening
    JanPVIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    I held a book club meeting here with a large group. Our waiter was very attentive but not obtrusive in any way. The specials were well described, but it's a pet peeve of mine when the price of specials is not mentioned. My pasta special was delicious, but the serving of pasta was quite small and there was so little salmon in my 'pasta with salmon' that I would describe it as a condiment rather than ingredient. The Caesar salad was pretty pedestrian. All in all we had a nice evening with tasty food, but at this price point, especially with pasta, I expect a little more food on my plate.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent
    marc
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Real home made Cook from Italy in a warm ambiance for a reasonnable price. What can you can more? A very good adress in south Loop
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Highly recommended!
    tsacso
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    This may have been the best restaurant experience my family and I have ever had. The staff was friendly, attentive, and accommodating to my children (ages 10 and 13). We shared a variety of pastas and their bone in fillet and everything was amazing. Highly recommended!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • another nice lunch at Gioco
    jimmVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Always have a good lunch here. Asked for Chef's recommendations and had crab cake and octopus for appetizers, orrechiette for main. An Italian red (first one on the list) was awesome.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 26 ratings-only reviews submitted since August 1, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1011 reviews are from the Gioco reviews archive.
  • A Great Evening
    foodieprof
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    The evening was great and my party and I were treated like royalty. I had indicated in my reservation that two of the members were celebrating their college graduation, so I had asked if we might have the occasion treated as something special. The folks at Gioco went above and beyond the call of duty. We were greeted by the chef owner, who made sure the entire evening was fit for royalty. Special attention was provided to one member because she is gluten free, which they handled with such ease (not always true for other establishments). All of our dishes were delicious--from the steak to the fusilli. And don't forget about dessert: the warm chocolate cake is heaven.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Like Being in Italy
    Lenox
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Gioco resembles restaurants in Tuscany and smaller towns in Italy. Its warm, friendly, the food is exceptional, the staff are outstanding. The owner walks around checking on patrons and stops to chat. Great wine list. Its a perfect neighborhood authentic Italian restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    Onislandtime
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Hostess sat us on time. Waiter seemed to have an attitude from the beginning. We tried to order caprese salad and he kept trying to talk us into the special smoked caprese salad. I told him we didn't like smoked cheese and he kept going on and on about it. We asked for sparkling water which we did get promptly. After drinking two sips of it, the waiter came back and refilled our glasses with still water. The food came in small portions. The Chilean Seabass was incredible. The pasta dish was almost tasteless and had 3 pieces of calamari. Waiter was in attentive despite know we were attending a concert at soldier field. Would not go back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Italian I have ever had
    scjansen
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The four people in my party ordered four different salads, entrees, and desserts. We all sampled everyone else's food and all agreed this was the best Italian food we had ever had. The pasta was stellar, and I ordered the tuna which was served on arugula and the flavor combination was incredible. The head chef is present in the dining room expediting the orders which made the service move quickly. I would go back to Gioco every week if I lived in Chicago.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a pleasure
    CarolsulliVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Gioco has been my neighborhood friend for many years now. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The service is attentive but not overbearing. I enjoy everything on the menu, but the real delights are the daily specials. There is a price point for every diner. When my out of town relatives come into town, Gioco is our first dining stop, and they are welcomed like old friends. Keep up the fine work!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for a Business Lunch
    LynnS
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Ideal spot for a business lunch. The service was impeccable and the food was fantastic!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Italian in the South Loop
    bs093070VIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Been going to the South Loop for a while, this was my first trip to Gioco. The food was terrific. The staff was very accommodating in allowing me and my guest to share plates. Started out with the Caesar Salad, also ordered the Veal Chop which was presented beautifully. Desserts and wine list impressive. Really enjoyed it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Will come again
    Murph353VIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    For appetizers we had the prosciutto and melon-excellent and the meatballs-good. Our main courses were fantastic. My wife is of Italian heritage and grew up with a born in Italy mom who knew how to cook. My wife said her fettuccini Bolognese was excellent. My younger son whole heartily agreed. My adult son, who can be very particular, said his ravioli was the best he ever had. I had the pork chop, which was very good. The potatoes that came with them were okay. Our deserts were wonderful. I had the crème Brule-the best I ever had. My wife and sons had the tiramisu-they all agreed it was the best they ever had.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We'll be back!
    Mmmolly
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Found this restaurant just south of center city. Food is very good with a nice wine list or wine by the glass. I plan return next time I visit Chicago and would recommend to anyone.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice place in the south loop
    PickyL
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    The convention center is no longer on a wasteland-- this is a lovely neighborhood restaurant with nice food
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Evening
    Lola
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    The service is top-notch and the food was delicious. We had a wonderful evening there and really enjoyed the wine, food and atmosphere. Never felt rushed and our server was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome -- as usual!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    You can always count on Gioco for a wonderful dinner and dining experience! We missed seeing the Chef, though :( Until next time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Screaming child from start to end
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Shame on us for staying but the food IS very good. I don't know if the restaurant was indifferent to the fact that one or more young children's screams could be heard throughout the meal, but we made it clear to our server that was why we were going elsewhere for dessert.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Chief
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Jose our server was fantastic and made the experience wonderful. Food was equally as good. Best crab cake in Chicago! Veal chop special was pricey but awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.