A Chicago suburbs native is now cooking up his take on his hometown's Italian beef sandwiches in the Financial District at Hank’s Juicy Beef. Henry "Hank" Tibensky soft opened his restaurant on Thursday at 84 Chambers St., offering the slow-roasted beef sandwiches that are ubiquitous in Chicagoland but rare in New York. A more official opening will be happening in the next couple days, Tibensky says. The beef is sliced thin, seasoned with Italian spices, marinated in an au jus, and topped with giardiniera, and Tibensky serves his version on bread from a family friend’s bakery in Chicago, shipped and then baked in New York.
Tibensky, who’s been popping up at festivals with the sandwich before, will be keeping the menu short — just the Italian beef sandwich, Italian ice, an eggplant Parm, and an Italian sausage from a company in Chicago. Diners will be able to order a sandwich "combo"-style, with the beef slung on a sausage, and the low-carb set can order a "Juicy Beef Bowl," beef topped with giardiniera and sweet peppers. A Chicago dog made with Vienna beef will be added to the menu as well.
Tibensky lived in New York for a decade before deciding to take the plunge and get into the Italian beef business. He’s new to the restaurant industry, but the recipe is old. His aunt’s family owned a beef and pizza place for more than 35 years, and Hank’s Juicy Beef sandwiches are based on a recipe from his family, only with beef from a sustainable farmer, he says. "We’ve sort of reinvigorated Italian beef with a cool atmosphere and some really nice beef," Tibensky says.