Tag Archives: Italian cuisine

Loire Valley Wine Tasting in Chicago at the W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive

French red wine from the Loire Valley region o...

Image via Wikipedia

What a great day for the Loire Valley French Wine Tasting on the 33rd floor of W Hotel on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It was definitely a Vino con Vista opportunity with plenty of French wine and wine-makers. The central part of the  Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire in France was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List  in  2000.

 

The Loire is the longest river in France and it is characterized by elegant historic chateaux and 300 miles of distinctive terroir that supports numerous vineyards along the river banks. This region is the leading producer of white French wines. The region is cloaked  with lovely vineyards and microclimates that produce distinctive varietals and wine styles. It is one of the most diverse wine regions in France with 69 appelations that include red, white, elegant sparkling wines and refreshing rose wines. There are distinct climates and a variety of soil types that divide the Loire Valley into 5 distinct regions.

The first vines were probably planted during Roman occupation 2000 years ago. Afterwards, the Augustinian and Benedictine Brothers enhanced the wine-making practices in this region.

I tasted some interesting Rose wines and plenty of earthy 100% Cabernet Franc. Cabernet Franc is one of the world’s major red grape varieties and was introduced to the region in the 11th century. It  is frequently blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce a Bordeaux style wine. In the Loire region, it is  not blended with other grapes so it is lighter in color than Bordeaux blends. It is used in the development of Chinon and certain roses in the Touraine appelation.

Today I spoke to Philippe Porche, a charming wine-maker from the Saumur-Champigny region in Parnay located on the south bank of the Loire River decreed an AOC in 1957.  Cabernet Franc is the predominant grape in the area.  He and his viticulturist wife founded the estate in 2005 and produce some interesting Cabernet Franc wines. I favored the garnet-colored full-bodied and velvety  “Le Fou du Roi” that was aged in oak.  This lovely couple is looking for an importer @ www.domainederocheville.fr. Feel free to contact them if you are interested in importing  luscious wines from this region. Tell them that Vino con Vista sent you.

There is a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan, Navy Pier and Chicago’s Landmark high rises from the former “Pinnacle Room” of the hotel where I spent my Senior Prom.Chicago Illinois It’s always exciting to re-live your youth.

Chicago Architecture

Domaine de Roche Ville Winery

Lake Michigan

It was such a beautiful spring day that I decided to stroll down Ontario Street heading westbound after the wine-tasting. I longingly gazed at the wide array of restaurants on Ontario Street that I patronize. They run the gamut from divine to sublime. Here’s a sampling of my “Chicago Foodie Nation” favorites:

Les Nomades is an outstanding French Restaurant that offers a Prix Fixe menu of four courses for $115 in a swanky turn-of-the-century brownstones mansion on Ontario Street. It is the perfect place to enjoy French cuisine after a Loire Valley wine-tasting event at the W Hotel down the street.

Chicago Restaurants

Chicago French Restaurants

Another one of my favorites is the Capital Grille Steakhouse where I can’t stop eating the crunchy potato chips at the bar. I love the grilled salmon served over a bed of  veggies with a side of creamed spinach. They have an extensive wine list and have won numerous awards for their outstanding burgers!

Chicago RestaurantsOntario and St. Clair in Chicago

Capital Grille ChicagoChicago Restaurants

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Italian Restaurants in Chicago

Chicago Italian Restaurants

Across the street from the Capital Grille, I enjoy dining on the outdoor patio of the Coco Pazzo Cafe when the weather is nice. They have an outstanding lunch menu and recently won an award from the Italian government for their “Authentic” Italian cuisine. Quartino was another “Authentic” Italian-award winning restaurant. I took cooking lessons with the chef and he taught me to add some water from the pasta to my sauce–what a novel idea!! The Red Head Piano Bar is another one of my favorites night spots. They have great wine-tasintg events.

Authentic Italian Restaurants in ChicagoRestaurants in Chicago

There are plenty of famous classic Chicago  “Steak-Houses” on Ontario. Lawry’s serves an incredible Prime Rib and I love the “Aged Filet Mignon” and mushrooms at David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel. The Chicago Chop House has a wide array of delicious “sizzlin steaks.”

You will never be hungry or thirsty on Ontairo Street in Chicago. This city is a haven for Foodies!

Chicago is a Haven for Foodies

Chicago Steak HouseDavid Burke's Primehouse

Stop in at the the Hard Rock Cafe if you’re up for some live music. There are also some landmark fast food joints on Ontario including “Rock and Roll” McDonalds with a Rock and Roll Museum filled with memorabilia that my guitar-playing son adores.

Portillo’s has a great Italian Beef sandwich and classic Chicago hot dog and the drive-thru is always packed. Make sure you try the decadent chocolate cake . Chicago DestinationsM Burger is another fast food option that people are raving about.

Chicago Hot Dogs and Beef Sandwiches

Burgers in Chicago

Plan a trip to the Loire Valley and explore some of the majestic castles with spectacular medieval architecture: Chambord, Cheverny, Villandry and Chenonceau.

 

1. Villandry was built by the same man that designed much of Chambord (François I Finance Minister Jean Le Breton). Villandry is actually most renowned for what is outside of the castle. However, while Chambord remains Le Breton’s main achievement in construction, it is Villandry where he used all of the Renaissance gardening tricks he had picked up while working as an ambassador in Italy. The castle remained in the Le Breton family until the early 20th century, when it was purchased by Joachim Carvallo, who spent a whole of time, money and devotion to rebuilding, expanding and repairing the beautiful gardens. Today the gardens at Villandry are considered one of the best examples of Renaissance style gardens in the world and boasts a water garden, flower gardens and vegetable gardens laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges—making it a must-see on any castle tour of the Loire.

2. Chambord is one of France’s most recognizable castles known for its distinct French Renaissance architecture, which blends late French Gothic and newer Italian Renaissance motifs. Chambord is also the largest castle in the Loire. Chambord was first built by King Francois I as a hunting lodge (I know you picture a hunting lodge as being more of a log cabin than a magnificent model of French Renaissance architecture, but it was a KING’S hunting lodge, after all).  Chambord has 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is most known for its façade, which through more than 800 sculpted columns was designed to look like the skyline of Constantinople, with 11 kinds of different towers and different types of chimneys. Chambord also has a double-helix staircase that serves as the centerpiece to the castle and was rumored to have been designed (or inspired) by Leonardo da Vinci during his time at nearby Clos de Luce.

4. Chenonceau is one of my favorite castles in the Loire Valley. Chennonceau was built in 1513 by Catherine Briçonnet and later embellished by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medici, the Chateau de Chenonceau contains exquisite interiors and has idyllic gardens that look over River Cher.

Originally a small castle along the banks of the River Cher, the castle got its current design in the 16th century when it was seized by the crown for unpaid debts. In 1547, King Henri II offered the castle to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. and she had Chenonceau’s  arched bridge built. It spans the river. She is also responsible for the gorgeous flower and vegetable gardens set in buttressed stone terraces.

Upon King Henri II’s death in 1559, his clearly bitter widow and regent Catherine de Medici had Poitiers expelled from the castle and she moved into the scenic spot herself, adding even more extensive gardens. Since then the castle was privately owned for years and even used as a make-shift hospital for soldiers during WWII; its gallery bridge’s southern door provided access to the unoccupied Free Zone while the castle’s main entrance was in the Nazi occupied zone. Chenonceau today is one of the most visited and popular of the Loire castles and its Renaissance architecture and well-lit gallery and beautiful gardens.

5. Amboise is perched up on a strategic point along the Loire River and was originally built as a fort. In 1434, the castle was seized by King Charles VII after its owner (from which the castle got its name), Louis Amboise, was convicted and killed for supposedly plotting against the King. In the 15th century that the castle was lavishly rebuilt and added onto, starting with its late French Gothic architecture, until Italian builders were brought in and the castle’s style changed to Renaissance.While the castle became a favorite retreat for many French Kings (King François I was raised primarily at the castle), Amboise’s most famous guest was Leonardo da Vinci, who came to the castle in 1515 as a guest of the King and stayed in nearby Clos de Luce. What is most notable about Amboise, however, is known for its unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and large formal garden.

6. Blois was always a favorite getaway town for French kings; the castle in this quaint little Loire town is best known as the birthplace of King Louis XII as well as the primary residence for Henri IV’s exiled wife Marie de Medici, and later for the Duke of Orléans (brother of Louis XIII and uncle of Louis XIV). However, the castle has a long and prominent history and its Renaissance architecture and picturesque spot along the banks of the Loire make it a definite worthwhile stop on your Loire castle tour. In fact, the castle was the main resort for the French court during the 16th century and was also the location for the famed States General meetings held by Henri III in 1576 and 1588, where several prominent nobles were sentenced to death. The castle also plays a role in the famous Three Musketeers series by Alexandre Dumas as an important retreat for some of France’s most famous and powerful kings.

7. Cheverny was also given to Diane de Poitiers by her lover, King Henri II. Chenonceau was her favorite and primary residence. Poitiers sold Château de Cheverny to the former owner’s son who had originally built the castle between 1624 and 1630. The castle passed between owners until 1914, when the owner made it the first castle to be opened to the public; the family still owns and operates the castle to this day. The castle is renowned for its beautiful interiors and collection of furniture, tapestries and rare objects d’art. There is also a pack of about 70 dogs that are kept on the grounds and taken out for hunts twice weekly.

 

8. Clos Lucé is not really a  “Château de la Loire”; it is a large mansion located just 500 meters from  the Château d’Amboise by way of an underground passageway and is notable mostly for its most famous resident, Leonardo da Vinci. In 1515, King François I invited the Italian painter and inventor to Amboise and offered him the manor to use as a home and studio. When Da Vinci arrived in 1516 he came with three paintings, including the famed Mona Lisa, and lived in the mansion for the last three years of his life. Visitors to Amboise should not hesitate to hop on over to Clos Lucé, where you can peruse a museum that includes forty models of various machines designed by Leonardo.

9. Langeais is a perfect example of Medieval French architecture. It is located near the Brittany frontier and had a significant role in the battle between the French and English. The structure dates back to the 10th century and was built on a cliff which offered a strategic location overlooking the Loire River. The castle was actually fortified and expanded under the rule of Richard I of England (when English kings ruled this region of France) until King Philippe II of France recaptured the castle in 1206. The castle was also where Anne of Brittany and King Charles VIII wed, thus uniting France and Brittany. Today, the dark and ominous looking castle is replete with a great collection of Medieval tapestries.

Château de Langeais

 

 

Destinations in Chicago

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Taylor Street’s Taste of Italy at Festa Italiana 2015 in Chicago

Trevi Fountain - The fountain filled with coin...

Trevi Fountain – The fountain filled with coins, from another perspective. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are you going to Taylor Street’s Taste of Italy at Festa Italiana 2015 in Chicago?

Chicago’s popular Little Italy neighborhood will celebrate its history and heritage from August 13-16 2015 as the annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana returns for its ninth year.

The Taylor Street Festa Italiana is produced and managed by Star Events. Entry to the event is a suggested $5 donation with proceeds benefiting the University Village Association, a community development organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the Near West Side community.

Taylor Street Festival

Taylor Street Summer Festival

Taylor Street Summer Festival

Festa ItalianaFesta Italiana

Thursday, August 13 – Sunday, August 16, 2015

1453 W. Taylor St.

Chicago, IL 60607

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Trevi Fountain at Taylor Street in Chicago

Thursday, August 14: 5-10 pm; Friday, August 15: 5-11 pm; Saturday, August 16: 12 Noon-11 pm; Sunday, August 17: 12 Noon-10 pm

FREE Admission; $5 gate donation requested

Taylor Street in Chicago

Taylor Street in Chicago

Chicago’s popular Little Italy neighborhood will celebrate its history and heritage from August 14-17 as the annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana returns for its eighth year. More than 50,000 fest goers are expected to attend, saying “Ciao” to new neighbors, and “That’s Amore” about the authetic Italian activities, delectable (or “buono” Italian cuisine, and energetic live entertainment in three dynamic stages.

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival

Last year I listened to  Bobby Rydell perform  at the Italian Festival Taylor Street/ Little Italy in  Chicago IL.

at The Rosebud Stage  (Ashland  entrance of the festival).

Bobby Rydell

Cover of Bobby Rydell

Here’s the entertainment schedule:

http://www.festaitalianachicago.org/Entertainment.html

Here’s the official website: http://www.festaitalianachicago.org/

They will have a “Great Grape Stomp” at the Vintage Lounge. Last year, I took a picture of the replica of the Trevi Fountain and participated in the Meatball Eating Contest.

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

You have to go to Rome to see the real Trevi Fountain.

A 5x5 segment panorama taken by myself with a ...

A 5×5 segment panorama taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. Stitched with rectilinear projection to keep lines straight. This view is about 100 degrees horizontally, close to the upper practical limit of rectilinear projection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Italian neighborhoods in Chicago celebrate summer with annual traditions in historic Italian neighborhoods. Taylor Street was the port-of-call for many Italians who immigrated to Chicago from the shores of southern Italy.

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

In previous years, I saw the Legendary Drifters perform on Friday night and Sunday night! Listen to them play their famous repertoire including: “On Broadway”, “Dance with Me”, “Saturday Night at the Movies“, “Under the Boardwalk”, “There Goes my Baby”, “This Magic Moment” and “Save the Last Dance for Me”.  There were plenty of dancing opportunities at the annual event.

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters at Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters perform on Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Legendary Drifters perform on Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

On Broadway (song)

On Broadway (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hours:  Thursday 5 – 9 pm,

Friday  5 – 10 pm,

Saturday 12 – 11 pm,

Sunday 12 – 9 pm

Taylor Street Festa Italiana

The Drifters' Golden Hits

The Drifters’ Golden Hits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHERE:  Little Italy

Address:  Taylor St. at Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL 60606

In Little Italy, Chicago, some Italian languag...

In Little Italy, Chicago, some Italian language signage is visible (eg. Banca Italiana) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

taylor street

Taylor Street

There Goes My Baby (The Drifters song)

There Goes My Baby (The Drifters song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a link to the schedule:

There’s also a fun Italian Festival held annually over Father’s Day Weekend at 24th and Oakley in Chicago

For information on that Festival visit: http://wp.me/pRq9Q-3Ea

Here’s a short video of the Festival

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3laHrq66I

The Drifters

Cover of The Drifters

They anticipate 55,000 visitors to the historic Italian neighborhood over the weekend and many will be Italian American. Many suburban Italians, whose roots trace back to Taylor Street maintain a regular pilgrimage to “the old neighborhood” on the near-west side.

Taylor Street Italian Festival in Chicago

RoseBud Restaurant on Taylor Street During the Festival 2012

Many businesses have been in this neighborhood for many generations like Chicago’s legendary Gonnella bread family.

Alex Dana runs the famed Rosebud Chain in Chicago and has earned his own street sign in the neighborhood. The Taylor Street location has an incredible outdoor space for dining alfresco.

Another one of my favorite Taylor Street eateries is Tuscany with multiple locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Try the Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich or the Pork Chop Vesuvio.

The festival is a mecca for foodies who want to enjoy Italian cuisine and listen to live entertainment on multiple stages.

This weekend when you attend the annual event on Taylor Street on the near-west side of Chicago, you can enjoy treats from the food booths of legendary establishments like Rosebud, Pompei and Francesca’s as well as new-comers like Ethyl’s Beer and Wine Dive.

Trattoria-style restaurants, the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and the historic Roman Catholic churches like the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii and Holy Family populate Chicago’s most popular Little Italy precinct.

Visit Joe DiMaggio Piazza with the fountain. Enjoy a frozen lemonade from Mario’s Italian Lemonade or an Italian Beef sandwich. I enjoyed the “Juicy” (dipped in gravy) combination beef/sausage from The Patio food booth and the baked clams from Pompei.  All of my friends that are not from Chicago make fun of the way I say “saaaa-sage.”

Buy some olive oil from the “Italian Iron Chef”. The Conte di Savoia Italian grocer and deli are offering meatball sandwiches, Italian subs and Italian desserts. Scafuri’s bakery will all be offering tasty cookies. Don’t forget to take a stroll in Arrigo (Peanut) Park to see the statue of Columbus.

Piazza DiMaggio on Taylor street in Chicago

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Here’s a list of Italian Festivals around the country: http://www.niaf.org/research/festivals.asp

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

The Bronx Wanderers on Taylor street in Chicago

Live Music on Taylor Street in Chicago

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Little Italy Fest-West 2015 in Addison Illinois

 

This One's from the Heart

This One’s from the Heart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

James Darren

Cover of James Darren

 

 

Make plans to see the Bronx Wanderers at the Little Italy Fest-West in Addison. In previous years, I have seen James Darren,  Louis Prima Jr. and The Bronx Wanderers at Little Italy Fest-West.

Onesti’s Little Italy FestWest in Addison on August 20-21-22-23, 2015

FREE ADMISSION!

 

Description
“Onesti Entertainment has taken years of research and countless European travels to bring a fresh authenticity to its self-produced Italian festivals. Statues, fountains, cultural exhibits, mouth-watering Italian food specialties, imported merchandise and a variety of unique entertainment make up a home-made recipe for an amazing festival experience Chicago’s West Suburban Italian Festival is a celebration of the Italian American culture and heritage. Festival goers will enjoy beautiful European décor, delicious Italian foods from the region’s best Italian restaurants, top-notch entertainment – plus much, much more!”

 

 

 

Venue
Centennial Park

 

 

Directions
Centennial Park is located on Lake Street, just south of Route 53, across from Best Buy & WalMart.

 

 

Times
Thur. 5:00-11:00 pm
Fri. 5:00-11:00 pm
Sat. 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sun. 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

 

 

Admission & Parking
Parking Available

 

 

 

 

Bronx Wanderers in Addison Illinois

Bronx Wanderers in Addison Illinois

 

Louis Prima Jr. in Addison Illinois

Louis Prima Jr. in Addison Illinois

 

James Darren in Addison Illinois

James Darren in Addison Illinois

 

WHEN: August 07-10, 2014

 

WHERE: Centennial Park at Rt. 53 Rowling Road at Lake Street in Addison Illinois.

 

Bronx Wanderers Band

Bronx Wanderers Band

 

Bronx Wanderers in Addison Illinois

Bronx Wanderers in Addison Illinois

 

 

 

For the full entertainment schedule visit  www.oshows.com or the Little Italy Fest West FB page for complete fest details.

 

Moon Doggie in Addison

Moon Doggie in Addison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Darren in Addison Illinois

James Darren in Addison Illinois

 

James Darren in Addison

James Darren in Addison

 

From left: Trudi Ames as Libby Bennet, Cindy C...

From left: Trudi Ames as Libby Bennet, Cindy Carol as Frances Lawrence aka Gidget, Peter Brooks as Clay Anderson, James Darren as Jeffrey Mathews aka Moondoggie, and Noreen Corcoran as Lucy McDougall; in a promo clip from a tv broadasting of the film (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

James Darren, William Shatner, and Heather Loc...

James Darren, William Shatner, and Heather Locklear, in a fifth season publicity shot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This One's from the Heart

This One’s from the Heart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

 

 

 

Hotel Ca' Sagredo - Grand Canal - Rialto - Ven...

Hotel Ca’ Sagredo – Grand Canal – Rialto – Venice Italy Venezia – Creative Commons by gnuckx (Photo credit: gnuckx)

 

 

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Italian Festa Pasta Vino 2015 For Father’s Day in Little Tuscany in Chicago

Bronx Wanderers in Addison Illinois

Bronx Wanderers in Addison Illinois

Bronx Wanderers Band

Bronx Wanderers Band

Plan to attend Chicago’s Festa Pasta Vino Italian Food and Wine Festival on Father’s Day Weekend. Taste the flavors of some of Chicago’s most authentic Italian restaurants:  La Fontanella, Bacchanalia, Ignotz’s, Il Vicinato and Miceli’s Deli. They will be offering tasting portions of their Italian cuisine from their street booths.

Yummy cannoli

Yummy cannoli

FRIDAY ARCADA THEATRE MAIN STAGE
5:30-7:30 Project 2…Broadway Live!
8:00-9:30 The Tony Ocean Show
9:45-10:45 Four C Notes Starring Former Jersey Boy Cast Member John Michael CoppolaLARRY MAGGIO / ALBERT ONESTI STAGE
5:00-7:00 Johnny Maggio
8:30-9:30 Johnny Maggio
10:00-11:00 Johnny Maggio
RESTAURANT ROW
7:30-9:30 Joe DeLuca Accordionist ExtraordinaireSATURDAYARCADA THEATRE MAIN STAGE
2:00-4:00 Jack Miuccio
4:30-6:30 Full Circle Blues…Neighborhood Rockers!
6:45-7:30 The “Old Neighborhood” Comedy of Pat Capuzzi
7:45-8:15 Ron Onesti Pays Tribute to Jerry Vale with Johnny Maggio & Jack Miuccio
8:30-9:30, 9:45-10:45 Bronx Wanderers from NYCLARRY MAGGIO / ALBERT ONESTI STAGE
2:00-4:00 Johnny Maggio
4:00-5:30 Mike Valentine’s LEgends
5:30 -6:30 Johnny Maggio
7:00-8:30 Jack D-Amico Trio…Tribute to Tony Bennett
9:00-11:00 Johnny Maggio
BandNoon Father’s Day Mass…Remembering DadRESTAURANT ROW
4:30-6:30 Joe DeLuca Accordionist Extraordinaire
7:00-10:00 Rockford’s Vince Chiarelli…Songs my grandfather taught me

SUNDAY

ARCADA THEATRE MAIN STAGE
Noon Father’s Day Mass…Remembering Dad
1:00-2:30 Joe Martino and the Volare Dancers
3:00-4:15 Nick Pontarelli Swingin’Band
4:30-5:45 Father’s Day Tribute to Frank, Dean & Sammy with the Chicago Rat Pack
6:00-6:55 Diva Montell & Jeorge Holmes
7:15-8:00, 8:15-9:00 Bronx Wanderers from NYC

LARRY MAGGIO / ALBERT ONESTI STAGE

Noon-3:00 Johnny Maggio
4:30-6:00 Gigolo Johnny’s Lounge
7:30-9:00 Johnny Maggio

RESTAURANT ROW
3:00-5:00 Joe DeLuca Accordionist Extraordinaire
5:30-8:30 Rockford’s Vince Chiarelli…Songs my grandfather taught me

See More

WHEN:  Father’s Day Weekend, June 19-21st 2015

Fri. 5:00 pm -11:00 pm; Sat. 12:00 pm -11:00 pm;  Sun. 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

WHERE: Oakley Avenue and 24th Place just south of Cermak in Chicago, Illinois

Here’s a link to the entertainment schedule http://www.oshows.com/#!festivals/c6c5

Onesti Festa Pasta Vino Chicago

Onesti Festa Pasta Vino Chicago

France Summer 2014 4915 France Summer 2014 4916

The Bronx Wanderers will be performing!!! Don’t miss their show!

Saturday at 8:30 pm

Sunday at 7:45

Giuseppe Garibaldi - Portrait of an Italian Pa...

Giuseppe Garibaldi – Portrait of an Italian Patriot with Red Wine & Cabbage (Photo credit: Nino.Modugno)

The Heart of this Italian neighborhood was settled around 1900 by the northern Italians from regions of Tuscany and Piedmont; the southern Italians settled primarily in the Taylor Street area.

A 5x5 segment panorama taken by myself with a ...

A 5×5 segment panorama taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. Stitched with rectilinear projection to keep lines straight. This view is about 100 degrees horizontally, close to the upper practical limit of rectilinear projection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This annual festival transforms this Italian neighborhood into the streets of Italy with columns, fountains and statues. There will be a working scale replica of the Fountain of Trevi.

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Trevi Fountain

Giuseppe Garibaldi as a symbol of Risorgimento

Giuseppe Garibaldi as a symbol of Risorgimento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Spaghetti all' arrabbiata

Spaghetti all’ arrabbiata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Ospitalita Italiana: Top Chicago Italian Restaurants certified “Authentic”

Equestrian statue representing Garibaldi, La S...

Image via Wikipedia

English: Italian statesman Giuseppe Mazzini

English: Italian statesman Giuseppe Mazzini (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1866, four years after s...

Giuseppe Garibaldi in 1866, four years after surviving a bullet wound misdiagnosed by Partridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonardo da Vinci replica at Fabio Piccolo Fiore in NYC

Leonardo da Vinci replica at Fabio Piccolo Fiore in NYC

Rome: Spanish Steps

Rome: Spanish Steps

 

phil stefani's 437March 17th was the official date of the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification (1861-2011).

Happy Birthday Italy

Chicago celebrates Italy's 150th birthday

The Risorgimento was a movement led by heroic Italian patriots like Camillo Cavour, Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Their efforts resulted in the establishment of the Italian nation. Although Napoleon attempted to unify Italy, his defeat led to oppression and dismal economic and political turmoil. Today Italian national brands like Armani, Versaci and Ferrari are a reflection of Italian ingenuity and quality craftsmanship.

Thank God they didn’t unify the culinary traditions that celebrate the diversity of the historical influences and regions of Italy. The cuisine is the cornerstone of signature dishes around the world.

Coca Pazzo's Tarimi Su

On March 17th,  Fulvio Calcinardi, the executive director of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Milan Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International awarded 18 Chicago-area restaurants with the “Ospitalilita Italiana Quality Seal.” Here’s a video from the Chamber of Commerce that describes the Award Criteria http://youtu.be/NFzOZmZ-a0I

Chicago Osptalita ItalianaThe Italian Quality Seal Award recognizes authentic Italian Restaurants and is granted by the Italian Government. This honor is bestowed for their authenticity and culinary contributions to Italian Culture. I love that this event took place on St. Patrick’s Day. Did you know that St. Patrick was the son of a Roman?

The Quality specifications are determined by Italy’s National Institute of Tourist Research and was launched in Italy in 1997.  The project was extended beyond Italy’s borders and each establishment must meet 10 stringent criteria and submit proof of their authenticity.

The award ceremony took place at the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Little Italy on Taylor Street in Chicago. Participants were able to taste the cuisine of many of Chicago’s premier Italian restaurants where the chef’s lovingly prepared some of their signature dishes.

Taylor Steet in Chicago

Italian American Sports Hall of Fame

The seal was created in 1997 and generated a list of criteria that includes proof of authenticity. It is like a “Baldrige Award” for authentic Italian restaurants and esteemed Italian chefs. Each restaurant must employ at least one Italian speaking employee and the menus must be written in proper Italian. At least 20% of the wines must be DOP-certified and the head chef must be proficient in authentic Italian cooking . They must submit at least five recipes with the region and ingredients that inspired the menu.

The 18 Chicago-Area Restaurants that earned the coveted award are:

Ospitalita Italiana Chicago

I love these Italian Restaurants!

  • Spiaggia Restaurant, 980 N. Michigan (Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano)
  • Piccolo Sogno, 464 N. Halsted (Chef/Owner Tony Priolo)

Piccolo Sogno in Chicago

piccolo sogno quality award

  • Coco Pazzo, 300 W. Hubbard (Executive Chef/Partner Chris Macchia)

Coco Pazza Quallity AwardCoco Pazzo in Chicago

  • Merlo on Maple, 16 W. Maple (Chef Luisa Silvia Marani)

    YUM!

Merlo on Maple in Chicago

  • Tocco, 1266 N. Milwaukee (Chef/Owner Bruno Abate)

Tocco in Chicago

Tocco Restaurant in Chicgo

Porchetta cooked to Perfection at Tocco

Vivere at The Italian Village, 71 W. Monroe

Taylor Street Italian Festival 2012

Taylor Street Italian Festival

Italian Expo 2011 121

Volare, 201 E. Grand (Chef Massimo Campagnini)

Volare Restaurant in Chicago

Volare Restaurant on Grand in Chicago

  • Pelago Ristorante, 201 E. Delaware (Chef/Owner Mauro Mafrici)
Pelago Ristorante in Chicago

Mauro’s Pelago Restaurant is one of my favorites in Streeterville on Delaware

Pelago Restaurant in Chicago

Mrs. Mafrici from Pelago Restaurant in Chicago

  • Quartino, 626 N. State (Chef/Partner John Coletta)
Quartino Restaurant in Chicago

John wrote a great CookBook

Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, 437 N. Rush (Executive Chef Federico Comacchio)

  • Riccardo Trattoria, 2119 N. Clark (Chef/Owner Riccardo Michi)
  • 312 Chicago (Chef Luca Corazzina)

312 Chicago's Chef Luca Corazzina

  • Via Carducci La Sorella, 1928 W. Division (Chef Luis Hernandez)
  • Vivere (at Italian Village), 71 W. Monroe (Chef Robert Reynaud)
  • La Cantina (at Italian Village), 71 W. Monroe (Chef Robert Duerscheidt)
  • Ristorante Agostino, 2817 N. Harlem (Chef Anna Fiasche)
  • Sergio’s Cucina Italiana, 280 N. Rohlwing Rd., Itasca (Chef Sergio Abate)
  • Gaetano’s, 7636 W. Madison, Forest Park (Chef Gaetano Di Benedetto)
Ravioli at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush

Ravioli at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

Linguini at Phil Stefani's 437 Rush

Linguini at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

 

The wine and Prosecco were provided by Casa Vinicolo Zonin

Italian Wine and Prosecco

Italian Wine  A great time was had by all!!!

Here are a few Italian restaurants that I like with alfresco dining that were not recognized with a formal award:

1. Anteprima is located at 5316 Clark Street in Andersonville

http://www.anteprimachicago.net/

2. Zia’s in Edison Park and Zia’s Lago Vista on Ashland in Lakeview are both outstanding! The latter has plenty of outdoor seating

http://www.ziaslakeview.com/

3. Club Lago’s northern Italian cuisine has been around for over 60 years at 331 W. Superior in River North.

http://www.clublago.com/

4. Viaggio At The Park on Fullerton in Lincoln Park also has an outdoor seating area

http://www.viaggiochicago.com/

5. Topo Gigio in the heart of Old Town on Wells Street has plenty of outdoor space. It has been around for over 25 years.

http://topogigiochicago.com/

6. Autre Monde in Berwyn, was founded by four Spiaggio alums has a patio and greenhouse. http://www.autremondecafe.net/

7. Due Lire on 4520 N. Lincoln in Lincoln Square http://www.due-lire.com/

 

Buon Appetito!!

Dr. EveAnn Lovero loves her Ducati Motorcycle

Dr. EveAnn Lovero loves her Ducati Motorcycle

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Vino con Vista Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com.
 

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Buon Appetito: Michelin Stars in Vino con Vista Italy

Casamicciola, Ischia, Italy.

Casamicciola, Ischia, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Ven...

English: The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Venice, Italy alongside the Grand Canal. Nederlands: Het Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Venetië, Italië aan het Canal Grande. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of the rooftop of San Marco cathedral i...

Detail of the rooftop of San Marco cathedral in Venice, Italy. Venice patron apostle St. Mark with angels. Underneath is winged lion, mascot of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of a lion, monument to Dante Alighieri,...

Detail of a lion, monument to Dante Alighieri, Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Front of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside th...

Front of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls – Roma – Italy. Italiano: Facciata della Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura a Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grumello del monte, Bergamo, Italia

Grumello del monte, Bergamo, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chef’s all over the world dream of Michelin Stars. There are 6 Three-star, 37  Two-star and 229 One-star restaurants in Italy.

Here are the new MICHELIN STARRED RESTAURANTS IN ITALY:

The new Three-Star restaurant in Italy is Da Vittorio. The existing 3 stars are:

1. Dal Pescatore di Canneto sull’Oglio (Mn)

2. Enoteca Pinchiorri di Firenze

3. La Pergola di Roma

4. Le Calandre di Rubano (Pd)

5. Al Sorriso di Soriso (No)

New Two-stars in Italy:

Antica Corona Reale – Cervere (Cuneo)
Piazza Duomo – Alba (Cuneo)
Il Pellicano -Porto Ercole (Grosseto)
La Madia – Licata (Agrigento)
Met dell’Hotel Metropol – Venezia
Il Mosaico – Casamicciola Terme, Ischia (Napoli)
Il Trenkerstube – Tirolo (Bolzano).

New Michelin One- star restaurants in Italy:

Andreini – Alghero in Sassari. ( I’ve written about how much I love this one!!)

Kleine Flamme – Vipiteno (Bolzano)
Ortica -Bedizzole (Brescia).
Maxi – Vico Equense (Napoli).
Roof Garden – Bergamo
Vicolo Santa Lucia – Cattolica (Rimini).
L’accanto -i Vico Equense.
Baldin -Genova.
Hotel Cinzia (Vercelli).
Al Vigneto – Grumello del Monte (Bergamo).
Osteria del Pomiroeu – Seregno, Milano.
Sissi – Merano.
Antonello Colonna – Roma
Glass Hostaria – Roma.
Castel Fragsburg – Freiberg (Merano).
La Fenice – Ragusa
Le Robinie – Montescano (Pavia).
La Meridiana – Piove di Sacco (Padova).
Caffè Le Paillotes – Pescara.
Hostaria del Mare (Modena).
Il Piastrino – Pennabilli, Pesaro.
La Fornace – Barbablu di Noli (SV).
La locanda di Bu – Nusco (Avellino)

English: The Palazzo Comunale (right) and Duom...

English: The Palazzo Comunale (right) and Duomo (left) in Modena, Italy. Italiano: Palazzo Comunale (a destra) e Duomo (a sinistra) di Modena. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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I Love Pelago Ristorante for Italian Cuisine in Chicago

The Lindbergh Beacon atop the Palmolive Buildi...

Image via Wikipedia

There are many outstanding restaurants in Chicago‘s Gold Coast where we normally spent special celebratory dinners. But for my son’s birthday we decided to try a new place in Streeterville. We made reservations at Pelago www.pelagorestaurant.com at 201 East Delaware in the boutique-style Hotel Raffaello.

I lover Streeterville! The elegant neighborhood is bounded by the river on the south, the Magnificent Mile portion of Michigan Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the north and east. It’s probably one of the best walking neighborhoods in the city because it is so close to so many of the City’s finest destinations. This charming restaurant is tucked away in one of the attractive, historic buildings on Delaware.

Pelago Restaurant in Chicago

You can dine in the intimate contemporary room designed by the Chef’s architect wife Kim, with a gorgeous  mother-of-pearl tiled fireplace. If the weather permits, make a reservation for the seasonal outdoor terrace.

Chicago Hotels

Chicago Hotels

Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago

Pelago Ristorante in Chicago

You don’t have to travel to Italy to get what Italians consider legendary authentic Italian food. Michelin-starred Italian Chef/Owner Mauro Mafrici recently won an award from the Italian Government for his “Authentic” Italian Menu called the “Ospitalita Italiana” Quality Seal.

Pelago Italian Ristorante in Chicago

The up-scale Italian restaurant has a quaint outdoor terrace nestled on historic East Delaware Place.  Pelago is in the heart of Streeterville‘s sophisticated neighborhood just east of the prestigious Water Tower Shopping District on Michigan Avenue‘s magnificent mile. It is within walking distance to one of my favorite Chicago summer distinations; Oak Street  Beach.

English: The Magnificent Mile is generally con...

Image via Wikipedia

Mauro  hit a Grand Slam with his incredible six-course “Vertical Tasting Menu.”  We had an opportunity to try some ravioli di funghi, lasagna alla Bolognese, gnocchi di patate al gorgonzola e noci, and risotto alle verdure. We also sampled four meat offerings, a plethora of seafood options and some remarkable desserts. Pelago has an impressive wine list. It was definitely a meal fit for a king! I think we’ll be celebrating many birthdays at Pelago.

Buon Appetito from your Foodie Friends at www.vino-con-vista.com

Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago

Italian Restaurants in ChicagoChicago Restaurants

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Open Table 2014 Awards: Chicago-Area Restaurants are on the Diners’ Choice “Most Romantic List” for Valentine’s Day

Opentable lobby sign

Opentable lobby sign (Photo credit: Robert Scoble)

Thinking about a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner? Make a reservation at a restaurant that OpenTable diners have identified as one of the Top 100 ‘Most Romantic’.

Based on nearly 5 million restaurant reviews over the last year, here are Chicago’s Most Romantic Restaurants:

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Image via Wikipedia

1. Geja’s Cafe in Lincoln Park offers romantic fondue dining & nightly flamenco & classical guitar music.  Entree fondues include shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken & beef in various combinations. Please be aware that for their safety, children under the age of 10 are not permitted at Geja’s. Booth requests will be noted, but can not guaranteed.

A sequence of images of a fondue bourguignonne.
Image via Wikipedia
English: Osso Buco. Español: ossobuco.

Image via Wikipedia

 

Diners’ Choice Winners: Romantic

Chicago / Illinois’s best restaurants based upon thousands of Opentable diner reviews

Find out more details on OpenTable Diners’ Choice lists

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

View the Winners:

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ http://www.vino-con-vista.com

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Chicago Bright Pink 2012 Glamorous Fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink In Honor Of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink In Honor Of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: CNA’s building is often illuminated t...

English: CNA’s building is often illuminated to reflect civic happenings or to acknowledge a meaningful calendar landmark. This design recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Friday October 19, 2012 you can support Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Saks Fifth Avenue located at 700 N. Michigan Ave in Chicago from 8-11 pm.

The fashion-forward, cocktail soiree will include a silent auction and fashion show. The event will raise funds for Bright Pink’s national educational initiatives for breast and ovarian health. VIPink Chicago

View into Cabo Harbor

View into Cabo Harbor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Join Bright Pink for a private cocktail party and reception. The event will offer an open bar featuring Chambord Vodka, Herradura Tequila, Chambord Signature Cocktails and OneHope Red and White Wines. VIPink will also feature a raffle of a one-week stay at Welk Resorts Cabo-Sirena del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico as well as VIP tickets to the Hollywood Blvd. opening night of Breaking Dawn with a meet and great experience with Peter Facinelli of Twilight fame. Additionally, VIPink will feature DJ sets by some of Chicago’s hottest DJs and a fashion show by Saks 5th Avenue.

General Admission Tickets are currently available for $65. Additionally, Pairs of Tickets are available for $100 until October 15. All guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend VIPink and all ticket purchases are non-refundable.

English: Logo of Saks Fifth Avenue

English: Logo of Saks Fifth Avenue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All VIPink attendees receive a $25 Saks 5th Avenue gift card with each ticket purchase as well as two complimentary movie tickets provided by Hollywood Blvd.

Giant pink ribbon on the corner of 5th and Mar...

Giant pink ribbon on the corner of 5th and Market, downtown Louisville, KY (10-5-06) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year, I was able to listen to lively tunes and bid on restaurant adventures at The Four Seasons, David Burke’s, Le Colonial and The Cape Cod Room.

Attendees enjoyed mini pulled pork sandwiches from Lillie’s Q and had some savory snacks from The Purple Pig. There wered cupcakes from Foiled Cupcakes.

Grey Goose was pouring some yummy martinis. I loved the fashion show with plenty of bright pink, fur and sequins.

 

 

 “Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization with an exclusive focus on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in high-risk young women.” For more information visit www.bebrightpink.org.

Purchase tickets at www.vipinkchicago.eventbrite.com. You can ride the trolley to the after-party hosted at The Underground.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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16th Annual Ferrari Festival 2013 at The Italian Village Restaurant in Chicago

Chicago’s Italian Village on Monroe

If you love Enzo Ferrari (a former Formula One driver) and his magnificent world of high-performance luxury sport cars, this festival is for you.

For more information or to purchase tickets call Italian Village Restaurants at 312-332-7005 or visit their website.

English: Black Ferrari Enzo.

English: Black Ferrari Enzo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 16th Annual Ferrari Festival at The Italian Village is an exciting event where where the City of Chicago closes Monroe St. from Dearborn to Clark for Ferrari-only parking.

The event is fun for the whole family with live music, face-painting & clowns, open wine & cappuccino bars and lunch buffet. The event is $30 per person to general public . As always, 100% of the proceeds go to support our sponsored Charities: the New Lurie’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Inspiration Corporation.

Location:  Italian Village

English: Enzo Ferrari in London

English: Enzo Ferrari in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ilario Bandini and Enzo Ferrari in Forlì in 1964.

Ilario Bandini and Enzo Ferrari in Forlì in 1964. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The event will feature plenty of Ferrari gems and it will be held in front of the Italian Village Restaurants on Monroe Street from Dearborn to Clark. The Italian Village is in the Chicago Loop and opened in 1927.

Ferrari Enzo Ferrari

Ferrari Enzo Ferrari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MARANELLO, ITALY - JULY 19:  A  Ferrari FF is ...

MARANELLO, ITALY – JULY 19: A Ferrari FF is displayed in the Ferrari Atelier department during a Ferrari factory tour on July 19, 2011 in Maranello, Italy. Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian manufacture based in Maranello and founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

orange enzo ferrari

orange enzo ferrari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MARANELLO, ITALY - JULY 19:  A genarl view of ...

MARANELLO, ITALY – JULY 19: A genarl view of the Ferrari Nuova Meccanica (New Mechanic) department during a Ferrari factory tour on July 19, 2011 in Maranello, Italy. Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian manufacture based in Maranello and founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Ferrari Enzo Ferrari

Ferrari Enzo Ferrari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enzo Ferrari

Enzo Ferrari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a video for all Ferrari lovers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fja5d2DCQY&feature=related. Ferrari just built a new Ferrari Museum in Modena Italy. Check out the museum here: http://www.businessinsider.com/take-a-look-inside-the-ferrari-museum-2012-8#the-unique-yellow-roof-for-the-ferrari-museum-ensures-that-the-structure-stands-out-1

Ferrari 308

Ferrari 308 (Photo credit: dave_7)

There will be an open wine & cappuccino bar and lunch buffet at the  Italian Village . The Italian Village is the Oldest “Italian Restaurant in Chicago.” The restaurant has the largest wine cellar in the entire Midwest that holds over 45,000 bottles! They have also won the  Wine Spectator‘s “Grand Award” annually since 1984.

Italian Village in Tuscany inside the restaurant

In 1981, Wine Spectator introduced the “Restaurant Awards” program. They review a restaurant’s wine lists on three levels: the Award of Excellence (basic), Best of Award of Excellence (second-tier), and the Grand Award (highest). I am in Amarone Heaven at the Village!

The Founding Father of the Italian Village Restaurant on Monroe in Chicago

Italian Village

Italian Village (Photo credit: michaeltk)

Amarone Heaven at Italian Village

Every year in September, there is an annual Ferrari Festival with over 60 vintage Ferraris. There’s always plenty of food and wine.

WHEN: September 8, 2013

WHERE: Italian Village at 71 W. Monroe in Chicago

The Italian Village has been in the same family for three generations. Alfredo Capitanini, an Italian immigrant, opened The Italian Village in 1927. The menu once read: “ Spaghetti with Meatballs: 40 cents.” Alfredo’s wife, Ada, fed hungry patrons including performers from the Lyric Opera and Mayor Daley.

Chicago Originals Award

The second generation of Capitaninis, Ray, Frank and Ave then created “the most celebrated wine list in the Midwest.” Here are some of the wines from Umbria.

WInes from Umbria

Mayor Daley at the Italian Village

Wall of Fame at The Italian Village in Chicago

The Capitanini family has served celebrities, politicians, locals, theater enthusiats and cast members from Chicago’s Theater Row.

Signed Billy Elliot Poster at the Italian Village

SIgned Wicked Poster at the Italian Village

Today, Al and Gina, are the third Capitanini Generation running the show. Check out Al Capitanini’s video http://www.italianvillage-chicago.com/video.php

The Village Menu

The Italian Village building in the Chicago Loop at 71 West Monroe houses a trio of restaurants with distinctive menus: acclaimed designer Jordan Mozer conceptualized upscale and contemporary Vivere; the charming retro Tuscan-inspired The Village; and La Cantina Enoteca with the ambiance of a wine cellar. For more information visit: www.italianvillage-chicago.com

During Chicago’s Restuarant Week 2012 you can check out Vivere’s innovative design, the Chef’s contemporary Italian cuisine and the Capitanini family’s immense wine cellar with 45,000 bottles. Vivere is offering a Chicago Restaurant Week 2012 Menu.

Italian Village Chefs at Italian Awards Event

Vivere is the most expensive restaurant in the building with a truly decked out dining room. I like the pumpkin-stuffed pasta and the duck breast with cherry sauce. Have some limoncello cheesecake if it’s on the menu. Vivere won numerous awards: “Best New Restaurant” from Esquire Magazine, DiRona Award from Wine Spectator and Ultimate Distinction by Wine Enthusiast. The Chef incorporates flavors from various regions of Italy. They also earned a Ospitalita Italiana Award for authentic Italian Cuisine.

Ospitalita Italiana Plaque for Italian Village

 

I love the alfresco dining ambience of the Village. It is located on the second floor. The dining room is covered with a canopy of Italian lights.

The Italian maitre d’ Frank Sgro is legendary! He has spent most of his life at this restaurant. He started in 1959 as a busboy at the Italian Village at the age of 17. A few weeks later, Frank Sgro became the Maitre D’ and has been there for over 50 years! Now that is a dedicated and loyal guy.

“Frank is like part of the family,” Al Capitanini said. “He remembers everybody and what they’ve ordered and where they’ve sat, and he works the room and knows where to seat people, and he does it very graciously.”

italian village

The Village Dining Room The Village Bar in Chicago

At the Italy-inspired, columned bar you can order the delightful shrimp appetizer. There are plenty of large portions of authentic Italian cuisine in the dining room. I love the Frutta di Mare and Scampi Casalinga.

Antipasti at Italian Village

I always order the shrimp and mushroom Casalinga for an appetizer with a glass of the Stefano Farina Italian Barbera d’Alba. For dessert, I love the Tiramisu. I can’t help it, I am a creature of habit.

DOLCE!!!

Dessert Menu

Scampi Casalinga Appetizer at Italian Village

The Village Bar in Chicago

Join them for Cabaret Wednesdays with live music starting at 8:00 p.m.

Caberet Wednesdays at the Village

Barbera d’Alba at the Village in Chicago

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com.

Buon Appetito! For more Chicago Restaurant and Entertainment options, read my “Related Articles” below:

Shrimp appetizer at the Italian Village Menu at the Village in the Chicago Loop

Mayor Daley

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