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David Lissner
for restaurants

First Taste: Nonna’s

First Taste: Nonna’s I take my eggplant Parmesan very seriously. Need I remind you about the come-to-Jesus moment I had upon eating a recent eggplant Parm sub in Chicago? It’s a food I hold especially near and dear to my heart, so I flip at the chance to try a new version when they pop […]

Star Chefs and Winemakers Are Coming to Town: Weekday Planner

Star Chefs and Winemakers: Guest Chef Italian Dinners at Joe Fish One of Italy’s star chefs is coming to town, traversing the city all week with a few special dinner events, two of which take place at Joe Fish. On February 11 and 12, Joe Fish’s executive chef Joe Farina plays host to renowned Italian chef […]

First Taste: Azzurra EnoTavola

In a neighborhood better known for tacos and vintage-store skinny jeans, Azzurra EnoTavola provides a rustic, transportive segue to the lush Italian countryside. The restaurant Azzurra Eno Tavola comes courtesy of Marty Fosse, a man renowned for his revered Italian restaurants in Andersonville, Anteprima and Ombra. Azzurra recalls much of Anteprima’s charm both in its decor and menu composition, giving Wicker […]

First Taste: Azzurra EnoTavola Italian Restaurant

Azzurra EnoTavola bolsters Wicker Park’s Italian cred with a bevy of authentic, invigorating dishes from one of Chicago’s preeminent Italian food veterans.

A Look Inside Cicchetti

(Cicchetti in progress. Photo: Cicchetti) Are you ready for some Cicchetti? Streeterville is about to get a serious infusion of Venetian-inspired cuisine as owner Dan Rosenthal and chef Mike Sheerin prepare to open one of the most important restaurants that neighborhood has seen in years. Due mid-December, Cicchetti draws its name from Venetian small plates, sort […]

Vivo Nabs a New Chef and New Menu

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. SEE FULL STORY  For […]

Friday food porn: Rossini-inspired repast

Made with carnaroli rice, shallots, champagne, fois gras, fresh porcini and seasonal truffles, this risotto, the weekend special at Merlo on Maple on the Gold Coast, is inspired by Gioacchino Rossini, the great 19th-century Italian composer. Rossini wrote nearly 40 operas, but in his time, he was as well known for his gastronomic events as […]

Friday food porn: Hail Spaghetti Monster

Anatra e bigoli, this weekend’s special at Merlo on Maple on the Gold Coast starts with fat bigoli pasta, a traditional noodle from the Veneto region of Italy. It dates at least to early 16th century, when it was mentioned in Libreto de Tutte le Cose che se Manzano by Johannes Michael Savonarola. Chef Silvia […]

Spaghetti and opera rock at Monastero’s

“Opera Rocks” at Monastero’s in Sauganash at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 7, when Verismo Opera Theater presents a gala operatic greatest-hits evening. The event features a concert of arias and duets from “Carmen,” “La Boheme,” “Madame Butterfly,” “Marriage of Figaro,” “Pearl Fishers,” “Werther,” “Susannah” and more, with singers including Verismo tenor Bradley Schuller, mezzo sopranos […]

Friday food porn: Fungified!

House-made linguine with freshly shaved French Périgord truffles, wild mushrooms, marsala, parmesan cream and fried mushrooms, $19, is part of Fresco 21 Chef Cameron Grant’s celebration of truffle season. The fungi also feature in Grant’s filet carpaccio tapa, $12, topped with arugula, walnuts, grapes and lemon aioli. The Rosemont restaurant will serve Périgord truffles on […]