All the pasta dishes, stuffed shells, manicotti, linguine with shrimp and vegetables, etc. are very tasty, and they give you enough to give you enough to provide leftovers for the next two days. Opt for the salad with your entree - the house dressing is actually sublime. Good option on a Friday night - never gets too crowded, no line.
Had a very good meal here.
Tried two salads:
1) The Barbabietola, which is an interesting mix of fruits and vegetables including beets. What made this delicious was the shaved Chianti pecorino, which is a cheese, not a wine. Looking it up, I just found out that Chianti is actually a place.
2) The burrata salad, a special of the day. Burrata is kind of like buffalo mozzarella. The burrata came out like two halves of a goose egg. It was pure creamy whiteness. Delicious.
A very good rigatoni vodka, and my dish, the piatto del Marchese. This consists of orecchiette pasta, broccoli rabe, italian sausage, sweet cherry peppers and little slices of garlic. The little disks of sausage were quite tasty, with a nice, firm texture and just the right level of sweetness. The peppers were delicious, sort of exploding in your mouth like sodapop. I think the dish could have used a doubling of the amount of peppers, seriously. The garlic was cooked to just the right consistency, neither crunchy nor creamy (both of which are good but would have distracted from the dish), solid enough to let you know it was there but giving way as you chewed. Just the right amount of flavor to the garlic, without overwhelming the dish. Again, the dish would have had a better overall flavor if it had twice the amount of those delicious peppers distributed throughout it. The slightly acidic flavor would have brought all the other flavors together. An easy adjustment to make.
For dessert, my friend picked the creme brulee, which we split. I had never had this dish before. My friend warned me that is was an acquired taste, but it took me no time to acquire.
Creamy custard that's been torched on top so the thin upper layer is caramelized and then breaks in pieces like winter ice on water... what's not to like?
Also should add that the soundtrack was kind of bangin'... late'70s/early '80s disco, funk and r+b:
Lakeside, Luther, the Emotions and the Bee Gees, the soundtrack of my schoolboy days.
Had to break an eleven-month Yelp moratorium to write this review.
This is the best Italian food I have ever had outside of Italy itself, starting with the free antipasto, which was composed of particularly tasty tomatoes in olive oil with red onion and bits of mozzarella WHICH THEY MAKE IN HOUSE! We had to get more of that, so we ordered the mozzarella fantasia which came with red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.
For entrees we had the lobster ravioli and the special pappardelle with wild boar and shaved parmesan. The pappardelle was freshly made, either made in house or recently purchased in the from one of the pasta shops in the immediate area.
My guess is that the food at this restaurant is so good because all of the ingredients - the bread, the pasta, the meat, the seafood, the tomatoes, the oil etc. can be purchased fresh from the surrounding stores. If you haven't had the Arthur Avenue experience of just walking in and out of different kinds of stores and smelling heaven, get up there!
And to top it off - each entree cost less than a salad will run you at most diners in Midtown or on the Upper East Side.
Did anybody see the "Check Please" episode where the lady was complaining that this restaurant gives you too much food -- and that the food has too much flavor?
Anyway, the night after we saw this place on TV, we got a group together and found out that yes, they feed you very well at this restaurant.
A particular standout among the appetizers was the Calabrian salami, something you don't find in Italian delis here. It was made with chili peppers and was absolutely scrumptious!
On to the pasta. My girlfriend said is was perfectly seasoned; the sausage was spicy, the sauce was tart and tangy and the pasta was al dente. Her arrabiata sauce was hearty, strengthened by garlic that managed not to be overwhelming. I hadn't seen arrabiata sauce like that before, and my girlfriend and I tend to try each other's food, but I didn't get the chance this time; apparently that stuff was so good that she abandoned her normal ladylike daintyness and wolfed it down.
So I contented my self with my yummy Roman style pizza - made for two - and was proud of myself for only eating enough for one, giving one piece to my friends and boxing up the other two. I was perfectly contented, having eaten enough.
But then my friends, those motherfuckers, ordered dessert, and I promptly ate half of what was on the table. People loved the chocolate-raspberry torte, but what did me the most damage were the light and tasty tiramisu and the deadly-good profiteroles with chocolate ice cream.
Only one flaw; the waitress forgot to take our entree orders after we'd finished our appetizers, and didn't apologize about it. Otherwise the service was great, including the visits from the owner (Letizia), and the knowledgeable (but never snobbish) bartender at the wine bar.
This place is just so damn good. The genius of a real Italian sub is the quality of the ingredients and the proportions, and the staff at Fiore's select and measure with the proper feeling, cuz they got that true Barese touch. And it's freaking cheap. You will not believe how much (exquisite) sandwich you get for the money. Things like fruit and gum are also cheap here. What's also nice here is that, in an increasingly homogenized Chicago, this place (which I've been coming to for years) is still just the old-school neighborhood market, where there's little kids running in and out and every once in a while you catch some conversation in Italian.
This is a really nice store. They have a real variety of Italian cooking products, different types of olive oil, etc. in case you want to get real specific with your cooking... i.e. I bought four cans of "Cuoco Seasoning for Macaroni with Sardines". The employees are really nice, helpful and patient -- for example, when I was spacing out and ranting about something to my mom, the young lady stepped out from behind the counter and brought me the sandwich I'd ordered, but forgot to pick up. The deli has an expansive array of meats, home-cooked peppers, etc. They make nice sandwiches (my mom got the tuna salad special, which was big, for $2.99). However, the sandwiches are not as good as you'll get at Fiore's or Bari's... they carry D'Amato's bread, but for some reason don't use it to make their subs, and they don't have a good sense of proportion. A good sub is all about proportion.
We finally decided to try some new dishes here... and we were really well rewarded.
We started with the $6.75 rapini and beans "appetizer". Appetizer? More like a hearty, delicious peasant meal for two, if not four. You could work all day off this stuff.
I then had (I took half of it home) the chicken parmesan with pasta. First of all, Jimmy's red sauce is just unbeatable. I don't know what they put in it, but it is just so deeply tasty. Second, the breading on the chicken has some smoky flavor that, combined with the the red sauce and chicken produces a taste like good barbeque.
Man, I love this place.Jimmy's has the best old-school American-Italian food I've had in many, many years. The food is… En savoir plus
Really enjoyed the experience. Everything was really fresh and went down nicely with nice Sangiovese blends. The service was really pleasant, and ever-present, without ever being intrusive. The place basically seems designed to service Bulls fans, yet has no trace of douchism. It's kind of a fancy place, yet the very high-quality food is actually cheap. Without the wine, our bill came out to a little over $20/person (before tax and tip), and we stuffed ourselves and still brought home enough food for three more meals! We will be back.
This place is WONDERFUL. I didn't want to try it at first because it is part of a chain, but their lunch menu (posted in the window) was extensive and inexpensive, so we went in and I had the most perfect salad of prosciutto and some kind of greens == they got the balance between the tang of the (very high-quality) meat and the crispness of the (very fresh and tasty) vegetables just right in terms of proportion. I also had a panino that was quite good. The service was perfect, efficient and unobtrusive, and they were playing good music.
I can't claim expertise in Italian cuisine, but the food in this place really reminds me of what food was like when I was in Italy a few years ago -- really fresh ingredients, carefully cooked. This time, the appetizer specials were truly special - lightly fried small lake fish (smelts?) that were perfectly crispy and juicy without being greasy, with lemon rind and parsley perfectly, lightly, crunchily fried the same way and thrown into the mix! We also had a zucchini flower stuffed with riccotta, which turned out to be a baby zucchino (is that the singular?) with the flower growing out of it -- so that you got all three flavors and textures in a single bite!
The salads were great -- fresh, good variety of vegetables, VERY tasty and beautifully presented. The pasta was real good. But I really wanna give this place two and a half stars, cuz they put something sweet in the pizza that made it so nasty that I couldn't eat it.
As everyone has pointed out, the thing to get here is the roast pork with sharp provolone and greens. Unfortunately for me, the morning I arrived at Tommy DiNic's, they were out of greens, so I had to have the sandwich with peppers. The sandwich was so good it made me HIGH. ALL DAY. I couldn't calm down for at least eight hours. My friend told me I was "acting like a smurf on crack".
Another friend told me that this sandwich is similar to sandwiches you can get on the street in working-class neighborhoods in Rome. You certainly won't find anything this authentically Italian in Chicago. I've never had anything like it.
As a matter of fact, it is our great misfortune in Chicago that there is nothing like the Reading Terminal Market. Truth be told, if I were locked in here for the rest of my life, with nothing to do but sample all of the food stands, I'd be pretty happy.
We walked over here to redeem our evening after having a bull@#%! meal at Papatzul. Nice family atmosphere, actual Italian customers, douche-free.
I had the ziti a la Siciliana, that is with eggplant and mozzarella, and it was just the right size, tasty and so satisfying. One friend had the tiramisu, which she said was good, and the other had the tortone, almond-flavored ice cream, which he said was REAL good.
What's better than warm, freshly made mozzarella + the salty sensuality of prosciutto? Wonderful. Went out to this Guyanese neighborhood, looking for the Surinamese restaurant, got the address wrong, and found this salumeria + latticini instead... The guy running the place was incredibly patient, smiling at everyone and telling them to "take your time". Everyone, his mom when she was trying to boss him around, me when I was trying to count my change... When the sandwiches came out he told me "You wanna eat this right NOW. We just made the mozzarella and it's still warm." And then he flashed one more grin to show that he meant it. We followed his instructions and found true happiness.