I found this cozy place while I was staying in Hyde Park during the summer. It was closed for a bit while some remodeling was being done either to the restaurant itself, or to the residential building in which it is housed.
It wasn't until this past weekend that I had the opportunity to dine there. My daughter and I were in the neighborhood visiting a museum, so I decided to check it out.
The inside was welcoming, not hoity-toity. I felt comfortable in my jeans and pullover, even though other diners were wearing more formal attire, sportcoats and button-down shirts. And the lack of schmaltzy "Italian" music or fake rustic scenes of the old country were a nice change.
We were greeted promptly and seated at the linen-covered (well, PAPER-covered, linen-covered...sigh. I know, everyone is doing it) table. The waiter (yeah, a waiter. Servers work at TGIFridays) was very professional, not obsequious, not indifferent.
We shared an appetizer of fried calamari. It was excellent. Golden and crisp on the outside, and very tender on the inside. Not rubbery in the least.
For entrees, my daughter enjoyed grilled calamari (yeah, she loves the squids) pasta in a delicate lemon butter sauce. I had a very generous portion of lasagne. Both meals were well-made.
Was it the absolute best Italian food in Chicago? Probably not. Fanciest setting? Nope. But the combination of the nice atmosphere, great service, excellent food at a reasonable price makes it a winner in my book. So after a long day at the Museum of Science and Industry, walk a block north for a nice dinner.
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