Need recs to impress Dad
My dad is coming into town this weekend, and I want to take him somewhere really great Sunday night. He is a big Italian buff, and previously I have taken him to Cafe Spiaggia, Piccolo Sogno, and Merlo on Maple (all fabulous). Can anyone recommend another great Italian? I would like to take him to Little Italy - Davanti Enoteca is not the style I'm looking for. Any recs would be greatly appreciated!
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
464 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60622
Have you considered Spiaggia? It's easily the best Italian restaurant in Chicago, and the only truly high-end restaurant specializing in Italian. It's in a class by itself. That being said, it's also very expensive, and formal (jackets required). But it's the ultimate, most impressive Italian restaurant in Chicago.
>> I would like to take him to Little Italy
If you would like to take him to Little Italy, you can do so. However, I think our best and most creative Italian restaurants are elsewhere. In addition to the ones you mentioned and Spiaggia, I would add Vivere, Cibo Matto, Coco Pazzo, and Pane Caldo. I have not yet been to the Florentine but Todd Stein's cuisine when he was at Cibo Matto was equally worthy, so I'm going to guess the Florentine merits consideration as well.
>> Davanti Enoteca is not the style I'm looking for.
I'm not sure what you mean by that. I haven't been to Davanti Enoteca but from reading its menu, its "style" seems to be consistent with the three places you think were fabulous.
Scarola is an always very good to great old-school italian joint. Make sure to call ahead or you will be standing outside (or what we do is give our name to Hernando and then go over to Emmits of Ocean's 11 fame for a drink). For a dad, this would be great. Tons of italian american regulars.
La Scarola Italian Restaurant
721 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
Duh, go to Richard's bar instead of Emmits if you're waiting for La Scarola (which is a great restaurant). Best crooner juke-box in the country, pics of famous Italian Americans (and infamous...), the oldest bartender in the city, I could go on... had many a drink there ...
Or just blow off the crowds and go to Bella Notte a little farther down Grand Ave. it's as formal as you want it to be and just as good as Scarola.
I'm a fan of Tuscany on Taylor, but my uncle knows the guy so we get "specials" that maybe the tourists don't.
Tuscany on Taylor
1014 W Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Bella Notte Restaurant
1374 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
A Tavola claims "Italian" but I would categorize it as that. Very good, just not "Italian" all the time. What about Rose Angelis on Wrightwood? More traditional but amazing, affordable, unique specials.
2148 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
1314 W Wrightwood Ave Ste 1, Chicago, IL 60614
Andersonville is about 7 miles from downtown Chicago - 20-25 minutes by cab, 40-50 minutes by el (including a 10-minute walk from the Berwyn station), and even longer by bus. That's an awfully long way to go, especially when there are so many great Italian places close by in the downtown area.