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Aug 20, 2004 04:22 PM

El Biancos Italian Restaurant

  • j

I remember dining with my family about 35 years ago at a restaurant in Chicago that I believe was located on the South Side by the above name or close to it.

All I remember is that it was a massive ten course meal that came out in seemingly endless courses of Italian dishes. Being a young teenager with quite a ravenous appetite, I remember being full after about the fourth course.

It was an unforgettable dining experience that to a fourteen year old is indelibly etched in my memory bank.

Does anyone else remember this place and the exact name?

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  1. Club El Bianco was at 2747 W 63rd Street, at California. I never went but from what I understand it was sort of Chicago’s equivalent of Mama Leone’s in New York. They were known for their "Fiesta Dinners" which is almost certainly what you remember. I don’t know their exact years but they were in business in the 1950s, extending at least into the 1970s. The building now houses one of the Lalo’s Mexican restaurants.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rene G

      Thank you for the response to my e-mail.

      For whatever reason, I'll never forget that "Fiesta Dinner" at the Club El Bianco. I suppose it is similar to today's "family style service", but what most impressed me about the dinner was that the multi-course service was stretched over for what seemed like three hours or more - something that in today's more fast-paced restaurant service you do not often experience.

      I'll have to try that Mama Leone's in NY to re-live this childhood experience once again!

      1. re: Rene G

        Actually, it was very similar to Febo's (Famous for Nothing) which also was "famous" for its fiesta dinners. My recollection is that the restaurant relocated for a short time to Skokie without success and then returned to 63rd street with a somewhat scaled-down version of the fiesta dinner. We went there several times in its heyday--a wonderful place for impressing visiting friends and parents. Their final course, a whole pineapple completely hidden by a medley of fresh fruit chunks blew my Mom away and assured them of a repeat visit.

      2. My memory is as a guest of an Italian family lots of times during my high school years 1945-1949. I was a blonde with blue eyes so I claimed I was adopted from Northern Italy. It was aledged it was mob place but it made no difference to me. Great times and wonderful servers.
        Jerry Hammes