Chicago >Food & Dining > Gioco
1312 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060541.865265 -87.625953
Neighborhoods: Central, Near South Side
One of the Best Italian Places in the city – One of the best Papardelle dish I have tasted. Come with delicious homemade pasta and wild boar for the meat. The atmosphere is great, not to stuffy and still very classy to impress any date.
Quite possibly the worst restaurant in the s loop – Prepare to sweat in your food! The AC system in this place is non-existent. The ambience is unoriginal and uninspired. Don't walk too far back in Gioco as the overwhelming smell of mildew will affect your olifactory experience. Cannot imagine how this gets a high score, there are so many nicer restaurants with better value in Chicago. These reviews must be written by employees. Do yourself a favor, skip Gioco.
A Vinocave for the masses – The delicious, fresh, crusty bread, and warm rosemary-scented oil for dipping caught my attention. But when the waiter returned with a $40 bottle of wine I realized that it was actually the right temperature! When asked, the waiter pointed me toward their Vinocave wine cabinet near the bar. These devices are not hard to find in higher-end restaurants but even there, only the big-bucks bottles see any temperature-controlled storage. I will be back, no doubt. People who love wines of all price points will love Gioco if for no other reason than Gioco understand the importance of cool reds, chilled whites and cold sparkling wines.
Good Contemporary Italian – Went there on Labor Day weekend 2004 while visiting for a convention. My wife and I showed up unannounced and they found us a table. Very good service, good food and fair prices. I liked the high energy atmosphere. We thought it romantic but it was also bustling.
same old same old – We had a large group of people for dinner. The portions were all very large but it's not like we would have left half the food if it was yummy. It's another American-Italian. a bit greasy at times. The risotto I had was a bit crunchy (i'm guessing the rice wasn't fully cooked). I don't understand why this place gets a high rating when the food is so plain.
Warm, inviting and trendy, this Italian restaurant draws a hipster crowd to the growing South Loop. – The Scene
Once deserted, this stretch of Wabash Street now positively pulses with activity. Gioco can take some credit, having opened up shop in this 'hood back in late '99. The space is stylish, comfortable and loud with the buzz of conversation from a hip, all-ages crowd.
Gioco's still got it, serving simple, excellent Italian fare with a contemporary twist. Nearly every dish scores: paper-thin octopus carpaccio, savory steamed mussels with white wine, seared sea scallops with crispy artichokes ... who needs entrees when you can choose from starters like these? A salad of buffalo mozzarella and tomato sprinkled with fresh basil is basic, and perfect. Pasta-lovers will swoon over the hand-rolled penne, light as air and bathing in a delicate cream sauce studded with peas and prosciutto. Or skip noodles and go for flaky, tender grilled salmon or whole bass with rapini, mouth-watering seafood options both.
great italian – Gioco is a restaurant I will return to often. Warm, casual atmosphere in an up and coming neighborhhood. Menu had a number of great looking items that made the choice hard. Everyone at my table loved their food and it came very hot. There are plenty of places to go where they try to create "funky" dishes but this place relies on great flavor. Wine list and service just average but food made up for it. Plan on spending $100 per person with tip and half bottle of wine.
olsonmd – Good restaurant - but a romantic spot??? Crowded, Very Noisy - to maintain a conversation at a table for 6 requires shouting. Food has been good to very good, reasonably pricey.
not worth it – I didn't find the ambience to be all that romantic as it's a little loud and cramped. Portions were pretty small for the prices. The pasta dish was good but the lamb was not.
Palate of Flavors! – My boyfriend and I showed up for dinner early without a reservation. The hostess was kind enough to fit us in after a short time at the bar. We started with the Carpaccio (Harry's) -- just as delicious as it is at Cipriani's in NYC with smooth homemade mayonaise and plump, tart capers covering the most tender thin slices of beef. I had the scallops and crispy artichokes for dinner which was an excellent combination of flavors and textures. The scallops were sweet and perfectly seared with a browned butter sauce. I also coudn't stop eating the bread. the service was attentive without being overbearing.
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