Osteria Trulli - Arlington Heights
Situated in a tiny, unassuming strip mall in an affluent area of Arlington Heights, Osteria Trulli could easily be overlooked as well. Its modest exterior belies what's inside: an authentic Pugliese restaurant owned by one of Chicagoland's most beloved Italian chefs.
Chef/owner Giovanni DeNigris--who says he's retired yet he works at the restaurant seven days a week--is originally from the Puglia region. The area's known for fishing and farming, and he regularly imports wine, seafood and vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, olives) straight from his homeland to incorporate on Osteria Trulli's menu. You'll also find the likes of imported burrata, ricotta forte and specialty extra virgin olive oil.
Though the menu is ever evolving, hand-made pastas, wood-fired meats, seafood and vegetables as well as pizzas cooked in the wood-fired oven comprise the menu at Osteria Trulli. Signature bites range from insalata di mare with marinated shrimp, calamari and octopus to Tartufo fave risotto with black truffle puree, green fava beans and ricotta salata.
Osteria Trulli's interior reminds one of the type of restaurants you'll find in the Pugliese region. Much of the foundation has been imported from the region, from the bricks on the walls to the hardwood floors.
Vintage photos throughout the space come directly from the region as well. They're Chef DeNigris' personal photos, and he says they make him feel like he's always home.