Gioco Announces New Executive Chef and Menu

Gioco, an Italian restaurant in the South Loop, announced new Executive Chef Jim Kilberg and his new menu. Chef Kilberg is back at Gioco, where he spent three years as a sous chef before traveling back to Italy to immerse himself in Italian culture and cuisine and returned to Chicago as Gioco's chef de cuisine and later as executive chef.

Menu highlights include:

  • Grilled Baby Octopus
  • Braised Duck with House Made Pappardelle
  • Wood-Fire Grilled Veal Chop
  • Whole Roasted Branzino with Tomato, Olive and Caper
  • Linguini with Clams, Shrimp and Calamari

Chicago restaurateurs Jerry Kleiner and Howard Davis opened Gioco in 1999 and pioneered the retail development in the South Loop and inspired future restaurant groups and Chicago's culinary scene. Kleiner and Davis opened Vivo, Marche and Red Light on West Randolph before today's popular Restaurant Row in the West Loop, where Kleiner had a knack for creating the next hot spot.

"We are delighted to have Chef Kilberg back at Gioco," says Howard Davis, owner. "Chef Kilberg's love for Italian cuisine and culture provides our guests with one of the best authentic Italian dining experiences in Chicago set in a warm rustic space in an historic building in the South Loop."

Kleiner and Davis' talent for creating Chicago's restaurant destinations proved valuable for finding the best talent, including Kilberg, who had multiple roles at Gioco over the years. Chef Kilberg studied at Le Cordon Bleu and has worked at various fine restaurants specializing in Italian cuisine, including Bice at Portofino Bay Hotel in Florida and Nico Osteria at the Thompson Hotel in Chicago, creating art using the finest ingredients to craft vibrant Italian cuisine at top-end restaurants in the U.S. and Italy. He has also appeared on television preparing recipes and has consulted at numerous restaurants.

"Gioco has always remained in my heart for both its creative and intimate atmosphere, and for its owners' dedication to the best food prepared with sustainable ingredients," says Chef Kilberg. Something about my connection with this place is pure magic."

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