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Gene and Georgetti vs Erie Cafe for steak

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I haven't been to Chicago or Gene & Georgetti's in years, but I will be there soon with someone I would like to show the kind of place that Gene & Georgetti's WAS. Can I trust that it is enough the same? Or am I better off at Erie Cafe, which I gather is run by grandsons of the Gene of G&G. I know there are all sorts of trendy new(ish) steak places in Chicago, but if at all possible I'd like to go to G&G's. What do you think?

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  1. I think you're better off at a place with better steaks. Such as David Burke's Primehouse.

    1. By all means go. If you want to waste money on crappy service and worse food.

      1. Never been to G&G's but so far as steakhouses go I love Bavette's. Sexy space, incredible food - not just the steaks but the seafood platter, sides even the non-steak entrees are amazing and friendly service. Lots of energy but not too loud or clubby. Generally you have to book somewhat far out - especially for weekends - but out of the Chicago steakhouses I have frequented Bavette's is in a different league.

        1. Burke's or Bavette. I wouldn't waste my money on G&G. Have no idea about the other place you mentioned.

          8 Replies
          1. re: HoosierFoodie

            I am aware that Burke's and Bavette's are, for example, currently numbers 1 & 2 on a list of "Best Steakhouses in Chicago"; however G&G comes in at #6 on the same list. So I ask, Have all these people dumping on Gene and Georgetti's been there?

              1. re: llwb

                Gene and Georgetti is terrible. All of those "Best Steakhouse" lists are paid advertising. Erie cafe is also overpriced, quite average, and really only decent if you get spot on the terrace or are in the cement business.

                1. re: jbontario

                  and yes, I live around the corner, have been there 5 times over 9 years and, after the first time, only because others insisted AND paid. Now I know that the Chicago Mag list puts G&G at number 6 but I really just can't see that. Seems almost one of those, put us on the list or miraculously our dumpsters will get emptied right on the front sidewalk at Chicago Mag's office.

                2. re: llwb

                  You asked for people's opinions and they gave them to you. Then you questioned whether those opinions were valid.

                  Many of us who have been to G&G in the last 10 years (once and I wouldn't go back) agree that it is not worth the time, the money or the meal. If you really want to take someone there, you should do that and see what you think. Let us know.

                  1. re: llwb

                    I've been there but the last time was about seven years ago. Friends raised in Chicago wanted to revisit a place they rembered as a great steak experience from their years living in the city. I went, very reluctantly, as my memories of eating there were not great. My memories were correct and none of us enjoyed our meal. I find it to be just awful both service and food. Back in the day (early mid 1980's) my boss used to treat us to a nice dinner after a late night working. His choices were usually Sage's restaurant which was within falling down drunk walking distance from his condo, something in Greek-town or the dreaded G & G. It became the dreaded G & G from multiple experiences over several years. My last experience was actually worse than I remembered.
                    If you crave a serious carnivore experience I concur with several other posters go to Bavettes it's even better than it sounds.

                    1. re: KateBChi

                      Thanks for elaborating. Like your friends I want to revisit a place I remember as being a great and very Chicago experience--I am probably talking about the '70s when we were last there. Of course places do change. But people and what they want/require also change. For instance, one of the criticisms I've read on line is that G&G has no single-malt scotch! I was looking for a good steak in an environment that I remembered as being perfect for a CC Old Fashioned. I live in NY so I am able to have a good steak when I want one.

                    2. re: llwb

                      A long time ago. Again, just too many better options. We went to Chicago Chop House for years. We started going to Burke's Primehouse b/c of their corkage policy (if that matters to you). Bavette's has a good corkage policy too. Its free as long as you share a glass with another table.

                  2. I used to be a regular at G&G but have stopped going there- except on the occasional Saturday afternoon.
                    Like others have said food & service is mediocre; the wine list is atrocious.
                    I would suggest either having some drinks at the bar or going on a Saturday afternoon when there is less of a crowd & more of the regulars. Food can still be uneven though.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jehflyer

                      > I would suggest either having some drinks at the bar

                      Great idea. I think that would satisfy me. Thank you.

                      1. re: llwb

                        Wow, I have never seen someone so determined to rationalize going to a poor venue with so many excellent choices nearby.

                        1. re: Gonzo70

                          But Gonzo, the OP has a nostalgic relationship with G&G and he's found a way to fulfill that without having a mediocre meal. I say good for him.

                          1. re: chicgail

                            "You can't go home again."

                            "It was all so different before everything changed . . . "

                            /\/\/\/\/\

                            Yeah, and I used to love a particular Chinese restaurant when I was a kid, too, but when I tried it as an adult -- gawd was it horrible!

                            Maybe I'm just spoiled -- my grandfather was a Kosher butcher when the stockyards were still in Chicago -- but I'd rather have a great meal than a mediocre one, just to wax nostalgic about what a great place this used to be . . .

                            Now, if the OP is *only* going there for drinks, that's a different story.

                    2. I have to be the dissenter on this. I've eaten at a bunch of steakhouses around town like Chicago Cut, Primehouse, etc. and G&G is still my favorite. Maybe this marks me as a beef eating rube but quite frankly the food at these high end steakhouses is all pretty much the same: a steak, a basket of bread, some crappy expensive sides. With dry aged meat I guess there's a little difference but I wouldn't want to try and pick it out in a blind taste test. As long as the kitchen knows how to hit that perfect medium rare with a nice dark crust I'll walk away happy. SO, to me, what you are paying for at a steakhouse is the atmosphere and the feeling, more so than the food itself. And in that respect the vintage dining room at G&G can't be beat.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                        >>> SO, to me, what you are paying for at a steakhouse is the atmosphere and the feeling, more so than the food itself. And in that respect the vintage dining room at G&G can't be beat. <<<

                        You've convinced me never to go there . . . when I go out to eat, it's ALL about the food.