What’s good here | Il Giorgione Pizzeria and Wine Bar on Devine Street

What’s good here | Il Giorgione Pizzeria and Wine Bar on Devine Street

Special to The StateApril 10, 2013 

Monica and George Kessler, owners of Il Giorgione, a pizzeria and Italian cuisine restaurant on Devine Street

SPECIAL TO THE STATE — Deena C. Bouknight

  • Il Giorgione Pizzeria and Wine Bar 2406 Devine Street

    PRICES: From $5 to $12 on the menu; specials are slightly higher.

    HOURS: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; 4-11 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

    INFO: (803) -521-5063 or www.ilgiorgione.com.

What’s good here?

Quite simply, a taste of Italy.

The menu is in Italian, the ingredients are Italian, and the preparation is Italian. Mozzarella is made in-house each week – as are desserts by a USC hotel and restaurant management student who spent a year in Florence, Italy, studying the art of Italian pastry making.

There are fresh gelatos, sorbettos, cannelloni and Italian apple cake. However, this is a pizzeria and the owner, of Italian descent, doesn’t serve the standard American-interpretation of pizza. The dough for the crust is made locally and then “doctored” with special ingredients by the owner/chef George Kessler. The crust is thin and flavorful. Some of the herbs for the pizzas are grown in the restaurant’s courtyard herb garden.

Toppings are simple and fresh. For the “Siciliana”: mozzarella, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and oregano. For the “Quattro Stagioni”: mozzarella, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, house-made sauce, and the unique touch (optional) of a fried egg on top – which blends with the cheese and provides a creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture.

There are also a few pasta dishes. Spaghetti alla Carbonara is made with butter, egg, pancetta, red onion, Pecorino Romano cheese and cracked black pepper. Sometimes the pasta is made in-house.

How did Il Giorgione Pizzeria and Wine Bar get its start?

Kessler grew up in New Jersey steeped in Italian culture, food, and traditions on his mother’s side. While at USC, he began studying Italian. His professor, with whom he has maintained contact, gave him the nickname “Giorgione” which means “big George.” Kessler studied Italian language, history, film and culture, and spent a summer in Urbino, Italy. “He was hooked,” says his wife, Monica, also an owner of the restaurant.

Kessler worked for many years in the hotel and restaurant industry, always wanting to own his own truly authentic Italian restaurant. Last year, the couple decided to take a chance.

They did some slight renovations to a building next to Dianne’s on Devine (which recently closed), established a menu, and opened in September. Kessler is the head chef. Monica, an accountant by trade, assists wherever needed – and spends time educating customers about the menu and the wine.

What does the place look like?

In an older brick building with an awning entrance, sidewalk seating, an accessible side courtyard and windows that provide natural light, the setting is sophisticated yet casual. There is seating for 40 inside, as well as a 10-seat bar.

The front sidewalk space accommodates three tables next to a fountain, while the side courtyard holds six tables.

Who eats here?

“We get a tremendous amount of business from Shandon residents,” says Monica, “but it’s a great date night place and families come on weekends.”

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service