Rosati’s Pizza's history dates back to the early 1900s, when a recent Italian immigrant named Ferdinand Rosati moved from New York to Chicago with the dream of opening a restaurant. His first attempt was modest—with Ferdinand simultaneously fulfilling the duties of chef, server, dishwasher, and host—but quickly gained popularity for its crispy-thin-crust pizzas, originally served as complimentary appetizers. Encouraged by the public's response to the pies, Ferdinand and his son, Sam, decided to focus their efforts on opening a true pizzeria.
Today, at Rosati's Pizza locations across the country, plumes of heat swirl above piping-hot pies concocted from handmade sauce and dough. A smattering of toppings cling to five crust options—crispy thin, double dough, Chicago-style, pan, and superstuffed—as well as hide from their hungry predators inside hand-rolled calzones. Homemade lasagna and fettuccine alfredo battle for the top pasta spot, and fried chicken, baby back ribs, and fried-shrimp dinners work together to distract diners from hard-to-resist buffalo wings.
True Italian meals require the entire family. So to make corralling kin easier, Sir Nick's Pizza prepares and delivers their Italian and American dishes straight to dining rooms. The chefs can stock deliveries with grinders topped with meatballs, family-sized portions of meat ravioli, and the house's pizzas. They customize pies with up to three ingredients, or serve specialty varieties such as the SOB with sausage, onion, and bacon atop a barbecue sauce. Chefs also fry a range of vegetables into dippable appetizers, creating fried potato skins, breaded mushrooms, and jalapeno poppers. They cap off their primary fare by making traditional Italian desserts such as cannoli or American favorites such as chocolate chip cheesecake—the first dessert to be argued over on the moon.
With three cuisine-savvy brothers at the helm, Villaggio's Ristorante unfurls a tricolor flag of classic Italian dining in a boisterous, custard-colored space punctuated by stately roman columns. Tables quiver under heaping house specialties such as veal medallions, which don new aromas in one of nine traditional cooking styles, and fresh pastas tossed with fish, mussels, or scallops and served in a sizzling clay pot.
The cellar's nearly 100 wines complement Italian flavors and inspire reinvented traveling songs for sommelier road trips, and Fridays flaunt live performances by area musicians. Expansive banquet facilities bolstered by prix fixe banquet menus make for tasty shindigs in the restaurant's cheery celebration space.
Cousins Pizza Pub boasts a menu of specialty pizzas padded with sandwiches and salads. Appetizers such as fried zucchini ($6) and mini tacos ($6.25) introduce pizzas founded on a range of crusts including thin, double-dough, pan, and stuffed. The cheeseburger pizza protects its cargo from roving Hamburglars by offering a pizza disguise to beef, american cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato ($16.50–$24), and chicken alfredo pizza tops pies with grilled chicken and a cream sauce usually reserved for flavoring pastas and styling angel hair ($13.50–$20). The strip steak sandwich also offers an alternative delivery system for a forkable classic accented by onions and a choice of american, mozzarella, or swiss cheeses ($9.50), and the Julienne salad mingles turkey and ham with cheese and hard-boiled egg ($7.25).
Using Italian recipes handed down over generations, the cooks at Serino's Pizzeria and Pub knead fresh dough to coat with house-made sauce, then pile on pure mozzarella cheese. Servers also carry out dozens of hot sandwiches, grilled paninis, subs, and burgers for diners to eat as they lean back against exposed-brick walls. When hunger for a hot-giardiniera-and-italian-beef pizza strikes, diners can eat in to enjoy the ambiance, call in to pick up orders at the drive-thru or request delivery to make sure hot wings don't flutter out car windows while they're watching the road.
After main courses, there's only one dessert on the menu at Serino's: a deep-dish, housemade chocolate-chip cookie, served smothered in vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry, all drizzled in chocolate sauce. The catering menu supplies hosts and hostesses with even more portable chocolate or macadamia cookies, as well as traditional Italian entrees.
At six locations dispersed throughout the Chicago suburbs, Old Town Pizza Co.'s dough doyens handcraft an array of Italian edibles, including four styles of pizza—signature thin crust, double dough crimped with a hand-rolled edge, Chicago-style deep dish, and Sicilian-style stuffed pizza. Specialty pies, which comes in such varieties as the Florentine and The Butcher Block, arrive adorned with fresh spinach and spices or a choice of four meats. Chefs also tempt carb cravers with pastas, calzones, and sandwiches, including italian beef.