The long and lingering question--when, if ever, will Gioco reopen?--is finally answered. It's open. Open for dinner tonight, just the way it said it would be. I was over there a little while ago, peeking in the windows--and it looks like old times, just the way it always did, with the same sort of people peppering the tables, just the way it used to be.
So here's what I want to know. How come the closing--and reopening--of Gioco, albeit for the reason that they were behind on their state taxes, was such a big and compelling story? Why is everyone from Crain's
to Channel 5 News
on the case? I can see why the local press
was interested. It's an attractive and semi-popular neighborhood hub. But why was everyone else so involved?
I never saw so much media interested
in such a story as the fate of Gioco. It's not a historical restaurant like The Berghoff
. It's not even an upscale spot that you can't get into like Tru
. It's not super expensive or creative and run by a foodie rock star like Alinea
. People don't stand in the street trying to get in for the great food at reasonable prices like they do at Cafe Iberico
Some people in the neighborhood don't even like Gioco--some are indifferent. Very few people--like me--love it. I am partial to the roasted brussel sprouts and complimentary olives. I have always liked Gioco
. But many times I've been there in a sparsely populated atmosphere.
I went there during the first week or so it was open more than a decade ago. I went to a very wonderful wedding there, as well, about nine or so years ago, too. The backroom was dark and dungeon-like but very interesting and the food was great that night.
So what's the scoop? Why so much interest? Owner Jerry Kleiner
much of a superstar. He's no Grant Achatz
. What's going on in the newsrooms? Who's doing Gioco's PR?
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