While we love to spend our time writing about the many amazing vineyards, craft breweries, and delicious offerings of those arenas in the United States, we also realize that pairing great brews with great food is another love of many of our readers. Today we want to focus on the food aspect of our desires, as without food we would have nothing to pair our brews with! One of the most robest meals to pair up our craft beers with is steak, and today we’re featuring the oldest steakhouse in Chicago.
Owned by Tony Durpetti, this steakhouse is located in a building built in the late 1800’s, shortly after the Great Chicago Fire that ravaged the meatpacking hub nearly two centuries ago. While Chicago is easily known for its position in shipping, many forget that it is also an integral hub for meatpacking, which makes it an amazing place to visit for restaurants!
This restaurant was opened in 1941 and Tony Durpetti has run it since day 1. He openly states that he learned the business from his employees, as he had no idea how to run a restaurant when he started. By listening to those under him, he created amazing relationships with his staff and they have shown a tremendous amount of dedication and loyalty in return. Each employee, upon retiring, is afforded a check and a plaque, and Durpetti treats every single employee like family.
When you include strong family values in a business, it shows in the quality of the food and the service, and that is more than apparent at this place. Where the quality of the food is concerned, we can see why the “regulars” became such! The steaks are amazing! Durpetti believes in a “pure steak” concept that means no salt, no pepper, just great steak. He’s so dedicated to this that he created a contract with a local producer shortly after opening and still sources his meat from the same producer to this day.
The staff at Gene & Georgetti, as we stated, are dedicated and loyal, and the service there is excellent. This place has next to zero turnover in their employees, which is something hard to say about any restaurant overall. According to locals, it is common knowledge that someone must die or retire for a position to open up. We find that to be outstanding, because seeing a company with such a reputation is what makes others strive to reach the same level of loyalty in their own employees.
As for the food, we can’t say enough! The steaks are absolute perfection at this restaurant. They’ve recently stopped dry aging their steaks, though it was their practice for many years. They are dedicated to their “pure steak” concept and we’re glad that they are. The flavor or their steaks speaks for itself and it is clear that their chefs are well-versed with many years of experience. We look forward to going back again, as we certainly can’t just walk out the back door to grab one of their steaks and that makes us sad.
Here in West Palm Beach, we hope to eventually reach the amazing level these folks have reached, although in our own industry of craft brewing and premium wines. If we can someday say we’ve been in business 70 years and have folks working with us that wouldn’t leave to save their soul, we’ll be proud of where we stand at that point. Tony Durpetti definitely has plenty of reasons to smile considering the level his business has attained and our hats are off to him and his staff for the great experience we had dining there.
If you’re traveling through Chicago, make sure to stop in at Gene & Georgetti and see what they have to offer. You won’t regret it and you’ll come away with an experience you’ll remember and a history you may never have learned otherwise.