Northwest Herald

Mystery Diner in Crystal Lake: Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub a tasty classic

Restaurant celebrates 20th anniversary in November

Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria & Pub, 75 E Woodstock St. in Crystal Lake.

Whether one’s looking for a casual date night or to catch a game or enjoy a family gathering, Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub in Crystal Lake is an appealing place to satisfy a hankering for Italian food.

Known for an expansive array of tasty Italian dishes, as well as salads, Buffalo wings and signature pizzas with heavy-handed ingredients spilling over and cooked to crispy perfection, the restaurant will celebrate its 20th anniversary in November.

Chopped Salad ($14.95) at Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria & Pub, 75 E Woodstock St. in Crystal Lake.

The chopped salad ($9.25/$14.95), loaded with crisp iceberg, romaine, cucumber, tomato, red onion, grilled chicken, mozzarella and bacon, topped off with honey Dijon, is a meal in itself or a first course that can be shared.

Bruschetta ($9.75), Calamari ($14.25), Buffalo Wings ($15.75) at Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria & Pub, 75 E Woodstock St. in Crystal Lake.

The menu highlights a savory selection of appetizers. On a recent night, two friends and I chose bruschetta ($9.75), featuring crispy toasts and a bowl of chopped tomatoes and fresh mozzarella; and calamari ($14.25), lightly breaded, fried to a nice crisp, and served with marinara, spicy ranch and cilantro lime ranch. We also selected Buffalo wings ($15.75), which turned out to be a fan favorite for a fun Friday night out.

The Papa Georgio pizza (thin crust $18.85, $26.85,  deep dish $24.85, $32.65) loaded with sausage, mushroom, onion, green pepperoni and bacon on a thin crust at Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria & Pub, 75 E Woodstock St. in Crystal Lake.

Then the main courses arrived. My friends ordered the Papa Georgio pizza (thin crust for $18.85/$26.85 or deep dish for $24.85/$32.65) listed under their “Specialty Pizza” banner – and it was special indeed. We picked the thin crust, and it came out crispy and loaded with sausage, mushroom, onion, green pepper, pepperoni and bacon (oh my – so much pepperoni and bacon). This pizza was absolutely amazing. My mouth waters just typing these words.

Fettuccini Alfredo ($14.95) at Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria & Pub, 75 E Woodstock St. in Crystal Lake.

So, even though I shamelessly helped myself to some of their pizza, I also ordered a delicious dish of fettuccine Alfredo ($14.95), starring fettuccine noodles, creamy Alfredo sauce and Parmesan. Let me say, I almost always order this dish at any Italian place I go to because it is a recipe I cannot make myself at home. Sometimes, even at the best Italian restaurants, I have been disappointed either by the lack of sauce or taste. This Georgio’s dish, however, was flavorful and perfectly doused in Alfredo.

One of my friends who joined me that night said, “The salad was delicious, and the wings were juicy, and the pizza was cooked to perfection.”

I absolutely agree. And, did I mention the pepperoni and bacon?

My other friend said, “Pizza was really good, one of the best thin-crust pizzas in the area. It felt like a great place to go out for pizza, wings and beers, like a good spot to go watch the football games with your friends.”

With so much food, there was no room for dessert, but the offerings on the menu include cannoli, traditional with chocolate chips ($5.75), triple layer carrot cake ($9.50) made from scratch and topped with a vanilla bean frosting, house-made cheesecake ($8.25) with vanilla bean, graham cracker crust and strawberry topping; and (had I had the appetite) the Mount St. Georgio ($10), a huge, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and cherries.

Georgio’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Orders for delivery or pickup can be made online by visiting Georgiospizza.com or calling 815-459-8888. A second Georgio’s is located in South Barrington.

• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Georgio’s Chicago Pizzeria & Pub

WHERE: 75 E. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake

PHONE: 815-459-8888

INFORMATION: Georgiospizza.com