Meet Donny Greco: chef, singer and everybody's friend

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By Melissa Elsmo

Food Writer

Since opening in January of 2019 Donny G's Ristorante and Bar has been offering traditional Italian specialties in a welcoming environment with more than a a few songs on the side. A local in the truest sense, Donny Greco grew up in the Elmwood Park area before finding his way to Chicago to make a name for himself in the restaurant world.
"I was pretty high profile in the city and it feels really good to come back to my roots with the support of new and old friends," says Greco of his new restaurant venture.

Greco's own community of friends and family encouraged him to open an Italian restaurant locally as they all knew firsthand that Donny G's is as much about the man behind the moniker as it is about the food. In addition to being a classically trained chef, Greco has a background as a Vegas-style lounge singer. "If I couldn't be a full-time lounge singer, I knew I had to marry my love for food and cooking with my love of singing!" he laughs.

Greco is a man of action and his restaurant already offers a throwback "one-stop dinner and show" experience on Saturday nights. Reminiscent of 1950's dinner-theaters, the evening of live music begins with instrumental tunes while guests enjoy a meal from the menu. As the night progresses patrons are known to take a twirl, as Greco entertains with lively songs by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and others. Reservations are a must on Saturday evenings at Donny G's, as Greco has been playing to a packed house since starting to offer live entertainment. 

The kitschy throwback theme makes use of the recently renovated 80-seat space and fills the 10-seat bar on a weekly basis, but guests are encouraged to take advantage of the robust menu for lunch or dinner any of the week. 

Greco collaborated with Chef Miguel Rosales to bring Donny G's menu to life. In addition to offering traditional seafood, pasta, chicken and veal dishes, the duo serves up a notable "Sunday Dinner" of rustic neck bone gravy and rotini pasta. Diners receive a bib to wear while eating this soulful meal featuring meatballs and Italian sausage doused in house-made tomato- based neck bone sauce.

"The focus of the cuisine at Donny G's is home-style Italian," says Greco, "we serve the authentic recipes we grew up on everyday."

Whether you are stopping by Donny G's for dinner or lunch, if Greco is on-site he is bound to throw in a song when the mood strikes!

Donny G's Ristorante and Bar
7308 W. North Avenue, Elmwood Park
Closed Mondays
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday: 11:30 a.m-11 p.m.
Saturday: 4 p.m.-11 p.m. Reservations recommended *Live music
Sunday: 2 p.m.-9 p.m.

Contact:
Email: melissa@oakparkeats.com

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