Food & Drink in Elkhorn

Select Local Merchants

In 1966, taxi drivers Sam Levine and Fred Bartoli finally became fed up with their stop-and-go lives full of honking horns and rush-hour traffic. So they shut off their engines, handed in their keys, and took root. Along with pal George Loverde, they invested in property just off the bustling Magnificent Mile, but then didn’t know what to do with it. According to a 2004 profile in the Chicago Tribune, they got their direction when someone finally said, “Put pizza in it.”

Though the rest is history, it wasn’t quite easy. Bartoli and Loverde came from Italian and Sicilian backgrounds, but neither knew the key to a good pizza. It wasn’t until they hired Alice Mae Redmond, the woman responsible for the dough at Pizzeria Uno, that the Gino's East Chicagoans know and love was truly born. Although Alice Mae retired back in 1989, the recipe for her flaky, golden deep-dish pizza crust lives on.

Today, Gino’s still stands at its original spot on Michigan and Superior but has also stretched to 10 other city and suburban locations. Whether dining downtown or in St. Charles, customers find Alice Mae’s signature crust piled with mounds of cheese, sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes, and plenty of fresh toppings—from sausage and pepperoni to jalapeños and ground beef. Hot from the oven, pizzas arrive at tables snuggled inside seasoned deep-dish pans, ready to welcome a fork and knife. Thin-crust varieties are also available for those who don’t know how to work silverware, as is a bounty of sandwiches.

300 Wrigley Dr
Lake Geneva,
WI
US

German-born chef Mike Richie surrounds his culinary stylings in the upscale environment of The French Country Inn on the Lake, a history-rich haven with ties to the Chicago World's Fair and gangsters of yore. The seasonal menu merges elements of European cuisine and contemporary American traditions to forge dishes that complement the dining room's rustic décor and view of Lake Como, which reflects the stars at night to keep them out of guests' soup. In fine weather, diners can enjoy their continental fare amid an all-natural symphony on the lakeside patio, while the music schedule regularly features manmade melodies to entertain those on the inside.

W1490 W End Rd.
Lake Geneva,
WI
US

At Corleone Sicilian Restaurant, guests dine on a spread of freshly made dishes inspired just as much by grandma's kitchen as by Sicily itself. The menu is chock-full of family recipes, ranging from lightly breaded steak and tender chicken cacciatore to hearty lasagna and pastas ladled with housemade sauce. Head Chef Matthew Fradera whips up elegantly plated feasts of lunch paninis and margherita pizzas or dinners of eggplant pasta and veal cutlets, paired with fine Italian wines.

N2062 South Lake Shore Drive
Lake Geneva,
WI
US

Gino's East's still stands at its original spot on Michigan and Superior but has also stretched to 10 other city and suburban locations. Whether dining downtown or in St. Charles, customers find Alice Mae’s signature crust piled with mounds of cheese, sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes, and plenty of fresh toppings—from sausage and pepperoni to jalapeños and canadian bacon. Hot from the oven, pizzas arrive at tables snuggled inside seasoned deep-dish pans, ready to welcome a fork and knife. Thin-crust varieties are also available for those who don’t know how to work silverware, as is a bounty of sandwiches.

300 Wrigley Drive
Lake Geneva,
WI
US

It's not every day that a dinner with friends risks a murder accusation. That's a good possibility for the guests of The Murder Mystery Company, who find themselves in the middle of a investigation for which any one of them could stand accused by a hapless detective. During each interactive dinner, the company's troupe of professional improv actors ignites the dining room with entertaining outbursts and hilarious one-liners in an effort to divulge clues and redirect guilt. Meanwhile, guests work together to sniff out the real culprit, which is definitely not the school janitor in a mask. Birthday parties, bachelorette celebrations, and corporate events can also get in on the interactive action by scheduling a private murder-mystery dinner.

327 Wrigley Drive
Lake Geneva,
WI
US

On first glance, it’s hard to imagine that the charming French Country Inn was once a haunt for such notorious gangsters as Bugs Moran and Baby Face Nelson. But the century-old bed and breakfast, which sits unassumingly on a quiet street on the banks of Lake Como, served as a discreet getaway for gangsters during the height of Prohibition.

After walking into the main building, you immediately get a sense of the inn's rich history. Parquet flooring leads to an intricately carved staircase made of solid oak imported from Denmark. In the other buildings, period furnishings and hues of warm crimson lend the accommodations a homey feel.

In keeping with this hospitable spirit, the innkeepers lay out a complimentary breakfast spread each morning. As the day winds on, guests can venture out to nearby downtown Lake Geneva to browse its antiques stores, art galleries, and curio shops.

W4190 W End Rd
Lake Geneva,
WI
US