Vivo may be the older sibling on Restaurant Row, but it's certainly not devoid of new tricks. The wine-focused Italian staple recently appointed a new chef, who managed to update the menu to reflect his Italian upbringing and imbue a heightened sense of authenticity to the restaurant. Say hello to Alessandro Nalbone.
(Alessandro Nalbone toiling away with pasta at Vivo)
Born in Sicily, Nalbone developed a passion for the culinary arts early on. When traveling through his home country, he would garner inspirations and learn different techniques and specialties of the Italian kitchen. It helped that his family owned successful bakeries and specialty food shops throughout the country, providing him with special insight into the industry and raising him with an innate love for it. He eventually attended the Academy of Italian Cuisine in Bardolino, officially taking his passion for cooking to the next level. The burgeoning chef resided in different regions of Italy to further his education, including Umbria to learn the art of fresh pasta and handmade bread, Veneto to learn about wines and traditional methods for making risotto and polenta, and Verona to work as executive chef at Ristoasi and Le Cantine de l'Arena. Now that the chef is in the states, it's Chicago's gain.
As the new executive chef at Vivo, Nalbone breathes fresh new life into the longstanding Italian restaurant. The pairing of the chef and the wine-centric Vivo is one of perfect symmetry, considering his background is so evenly aligned with Vivo's philosophies. Both the institution and the chef adhere to authentic preparations and fresh ingredients. The partnership can only lead to bigger and better things, as proven by Nalbone's newly implemented menu, which boosts Vivo's authenticity even more with the inclusion of more handmade pastas, house-baked breads, wood-fired meats, seasonally pristine salads, and more.