Best Chicken Vesuvio in Chicago?
I am entertaining a friend next weekend who wants to eat the best regional dishes. I am suggesting Chicken Vesuvio, but wondering where to take him for it....
Pluses for a romantic atmosphere and a quaint neighborhood or family type place.... (I will have a car)
Sabatino's on Irving Park Rd has it. I don't if it's good but other things on the menu are so I would imagine that it's a safe bet. It has a romantic atmosphere (think strolling musicans). Easy to get too via car or public tranporation.
4441 West Irving Park Rd
I don't know who has really good Chicken Vesuvio in Chicago right now, but I do have Fritzel's (an old and largely forgotten Chicago classic) recipes for Chicken Vesuvio and Steak Diane. And they're good.
Fritzel's gave them away when the restaurant closed in the early 70s and I was lucky enough to inherit them. Even their famous dishes date them, but it was the place to see and be seen at one time.
I found it!
It's pretty spare and basic and you'll have to determine when it's done, but here goes: I sometimes add fresh lemon juice, but that's not true Vesuvio. Notice as well, that chickens used to be a lot smaller than they are now.
Fritzel’s Chicken Vesuvio
2-2 ½ lb chicken cut in pieces
4 garlic cloves minced
2 oz chopped parsley
large pinch oregano
Heat olive oil. Dredge chicken in flour, shake and add to pan. Sauté. Add potatoes to pan; add garlic, parsley, and oregano. Bake at 325 until potatoes are cooked
Il Vicinato, at Western Avenue & 23rd Street fits the bill for you. The chicken is delicious, and it's made properly, i.e., without peas. You can get it on the bone, off the bone, all white meat, or all dark meat. While you're at it, try the fried ravioli and a big salad for the table, with meat and cheese. The restaurant is a local neighborhood joint in the old Little Italy. Not a tourist in sight.
1. La Scarola on Grand; old school italian place
2. Erie Cafe on Erie and the Chicago River; More expensive; great old-school steakhouse atmosphere (great cottage fries too).
3. Or try the lemon chicken (not exactly vesuvio) at Tufano's on Vernon Park in Little Italy. Family owned place that goes way, way back. Chicken is served with cottage fry style potatoes (but they are baked, not fried). Prices are very reasonable, and great fried calamari too.
These are my best picks for what it's worth.