About Gioco

Gioco pioneered the retail development of the South Loop when it opened in September of 1999. The restaurant has been a mainstay in the neighborhood as other restaurants and stores have opened up over the years. Gioco is located in an historic building built in 1890 and is one of the few remaining buildings in Chicago from that era. The Gioco space features the original old brick and plaster walls, an old wooden walk-in cooler and a walk-in safe built into the wall, used by the Chicago gangsters for one of the gambling and/or brothel houses that dominated the area in the early 1900s. Gioco Restaurante was designed to retain these old world elements and to feature them in a modernized space.


Gioco's menu offers rustic Italian dishes prepared with the finest available seasonal products. The menu features homemade pastas and wood-fired thin crust pizzas.

About The Chef

Chef Gaetano Ascione is a citizen of the world. A native of Naples, Italy, his culinary career began when he was awarded a Masters Degree in Hotel Training from Istituto Alberghiero di Stato in Salerno, Italy. He began his practical experience working as Chef de Partie in Italy, Germany, the UK, and the Bahamas. He was a finalist in the Chef of the Year competition at the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore in 2001. He is fluent in five languages: Italian, English, Spanish, German and French.

Some of his career highlights include serving two U.S. Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, as Chef de Cuisine at the Georgetown Club in Washington DC. He also served as Executive Chef for the Inaugural Banquet for President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa. He has been Executive Chef in such diverse places as the NATO Allied Officer's Club in Naples, Italy; the Paradise Beach Hotel and Casino in Busan, South Korea; the oldest private club in Singapore-the Tanglin Club; and the Palace Hotel and Casino in Sun City, South Africa.