As seen in
Quintessential Barrington |
QBarrington.com September/ October 2011
Restaurant Spotlight by
Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub
or James, Michael and Brian Coli, the smell of Italy in the air is nothing new. As young boys they were exposed to the pizzeria world while their father, Michael George, owned and operated Old World Pizza in Elmwood Park. Now, the brothers are business partners for their own Chicago pizzeria and pub, affectionately known as Georgio’s.
While the Crystal Lake location is celebrating its 9 -year anniversary, it is their new address here in South Barrington that is getting all the attention. What makes the new digs different? In order to appeal to the Barrington market, the brothers agreed this Georgio’s would need a new look.
They visualized an “Old World Chicago” theme that would come across as a sophisticated sports bar. They knew it would take more than some large flat screens and a fireplace. The dark wood, high ceilings, pendant lighting and an exposed kitchen contribute to the ambiance. The bar is separate from the dining room, and there is a meeting room complete with a projection screen.
Customers can watch their pizzas and other dishes being prepared by the chef and kitchen staff through a wall of glass that separates the kitchen from the dining room. There are stacks of white plates on stainless steel shelves. A pop of red comes from over-sized cans of tomatoes, piled up on overhead racks. It is a sign of a clean and seamless operation. The interior is built of reclaimed Chicago brick. Enormous vintage photographs of the city hang from the walls as well as Chicago World’s Fair travel posters. There is a “less is more” feel at work.
It is what comes out of the kitchen that consistently delivers. Fantastic pizza. But don’t let the name fool you, Georgio’s Pizzeria and Pub has a whole lot more to put on the table.
The QB team was invited to lunch. Upon our arrival, just about every table was seated equally with families, groups of friends, colleagues. We were greeted and sat immediately. Not a bad seat in the house. Within moments, easy-to-read menus were in our hands and glasses of water were poured. Our waitress was friendly and diligent. The meal started out with an array of appetizers, including Parmesan truffle fries, spinach artichoke dip, and the table’s favorite, bruschetta. Salads were quick to follow, with such a great selection it was hard to choose. The portions were generous without being obnoxious. It was clear to see and to taste the freshness in the ingredients and herbs.
And then came the pizza. We feasted upon both deep dish and thin crust, and it was a split across the board as to which was better. Both had just the right combination of cheese, sauce, and toppings. The deep dish was firm but plenty juicy, without feeling greasy. However it was the crust that made it extraordinary. “In the pizza world, dough is a science,” our host, James, explained.
“Everything has to be consistent. If it’s the slightest bit off, the pizza isn’t the way it should be.” So many things factor in to baking the perfect pizza, including seasoned pans and temperatures. It is something the Coli brothers have proudly perfected.
Other samplings included sandwiches such as a soft pretzel burger and a turkey focaccia. I would be remiss not to mention the sausage and vodka sauce pasta dish. Good manners was all that kept me from licking the bowl.
Many pizza places start off as a family business and then split off to third-party owner-operators. Not Georgio’s. The Coli family has been working together to build recipes for success. Each brother takes on his own role: Brian as the back office guru, James as the GM and face of Georgio’s, and Mike who oversees all kitchen operations. The overall goal is shared–to make sure everyone leaves as happy as possible, and that the Georgio’s experience was a good one.
Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub
100 W. Higgins Rd.
South Barrington, IL 60010
Dine-in or Carry out
Monday –Thursday, Sunday 11:30 am – 9 pm*
Friday & Saturday 11:30 am – 10 pm*
*bar is generally open for 1 hour after the kitchen closes. TBD nightly.