Dear Chicago Reader,
This is regarding your restaurant review “The Evolved Pizza” [Section 2, September 22]. I don’t see how it is possible to review Chicago thin-crust pizza without mentioning Edgewater’s hidden jewel, Gino’s North (not affiliated with Gino’s East) on 1111 W. Granville Ave. under the Red Line el stop. Don’t let the bars on the windows and dark exterior fool you, because the interior has all the elegance of its original art deco fixtures and decoration, like the historic Green Mill, but juxtaposed with a casual neighborhood “dive” atmosphere radiated by the customers. Gino’s is run by George, the tough barkeeper, and Peggy, the sweet pizza mistress. There is a television at each end of the bar, always tuned to a detective show.
The pizzas are just as contradicting as the surrounding environment. Handmade by Peggy, every slice of every pizza is the perfect mix. The crust, thin as it is, has a hint of butter flavor and is crispy on the bottom and semisoft where it comes in contact with the sauce. The sauce has the right balance of herb sweetness and tomato tart. The not-too-salty cheese (a crime committed by many local pizza makers is having an overly salty pizza) is distributed evenly and melted completely, with a slight browning on the top around the edges. I’ve been told the sausage is to die for, but I always go veggie, with peppers, mushrooms, black olives, and onions applied generously over the top and baked until soft into the deliciousness below.
It’s possible that due to Gino’s hidden location your reviewers didn’t know the place existed. But being professional reviewers, they should have discovered it.
The editors reply:
The capsules we printed were a selection of the more than 140 pizza places listed in our online database. For more click on Restaurants at chicagoreader.com.