Spend a few hours enjoying a filling meal with family and friends in the traditional Italian style at this neighborhood restaurant. You’ll notice the wood-fired brick oven when you walk in, and the cracker-thin pizzas on offer come in a variety of specialty flavors to suit your cravings. If you aren’t in the mood for pizza, the Braised Bison Short Ribs, served with whipped potatoes and asparagus, are a house specialty that you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget about the wine list, which has plenty of choices to ensure the perfect pairing with your meal. Whether it’s a dinner with the family or a romantic date night, this restaurant has just the thing to make your experience perfect.
Trattoria il Centro's chef, Christine Dowd, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, brings years of experience in the garlicky, pesto-soaked trenches of Chicago and New York to her preparation of each seasonal dish. The menu tips over dinner's domino cascade with seared beef carpaccio ($10.95) and a salad of asparagus wrapped in pancetta and topped with parmesan foam ($9.95) before burying hunger alive beneath filetto con ravioli in a barolo red wine sauce ($28.95). The kitchen’s savants of semolina also hand-make an extensive list of pastas, such as the seafood-stuffed ravioli di mari ($17.95). Trattoria's pizzas—fresh from a wood-fired oven—range from traditional margherita ($9.95) to a quattro stagione ($13.95) with kalamata-olive tomato sauce and an egg sunny-side up.
Aromatic plumes of smoke rise from The Wedge Pizzeria?s brick ovens, which imbue the crispy, browned crusts of the restaurant's seven signature pizzas with delicate notes of flamed pecan wood. Chefs dapple their saucy canvases with colorful strokes of truffle oil, roasted fennel, capicola, and figs that coalesce to form gourmet masterpieces. Tender pears arrive at tables in sealed envelopes of prosciutto alongside inventive salads tossed with beets, shallots, and oranges. Sunday brunch revives sleepy palates with bottomless mimosas and pizza slices loaded with local eggs and served atop ringing alarm clocks. Bocce balls clack in The Wedge's backyard during warmer months as fans root for their favorite players from the comfort of a spacious patio.
Like any great Italian meal, made-from-scratch dishes at Spaghetti Warehouse are created from family recipes passed down for generations. Using fresh ingredients ranging from ricotta, romano, and mozzarella cheeses to house-made tomato sauce and Italian sausage, chefs labor for up to three days to prepare batches of their 15-layer signature lasagna from scratch. The menu also offers perfectly al dente pasta, bottomless soups, and 12-layer chocolate cakes to share with family and friends.
It?s that feeling of togetherness that people love about Spaghetti Warehouse, a feeling that is only enhanced when the drinks start flowing and the air is punctuated by the sounds of laughter as kids play retro games, such as The Claw prize-grabbing machine. To reach their table, guests commonly have to step through two doors: the front door of the restaurant and the door of the antique trolley parked inside. Since its inception in 1972, the Italian eatery has merged the functions of kitchen and museum. Artifacts such as grandfather clocks, factory flywheels, and circus billboards surround diners as they delve into Italian creations.
The buttery leather couch beneath the bookshelf has been taken over by a pair of readers enthralled in the world of their novels, oblivious to the raucous games of foosball and darts unfolding next to them. The setting of this laid-back scene isn't a domestic rec room but the upstairs smoking lounge and bar of Tapwerks. Dedicated to making patrons feel at home, Tapwerks' English pub–inspired decor, friendly staff, and weekly lineup of high-energy events foster a welcoming environment.
Amid the nonsmoking, flag-laden dining room on the first floor, eaters of all ages snuggle into wooden booths or around tables as they chow down on dishes of hearty bar staples such as fish 'n' chips, pizza, and burgers. Behind the careworn wooden bar, seasoned bartenders can fill up glasses with the sudsy contents of 212 taps or slide one of 100 bottled beers down the bar to a waiting hand. As days melt into evenings, Tapwerks’ cozy surroundings reverberate with the strums of live guitars during regularly scheduled Acoustic Nights or the ticking sound of brains working during trivia nights.
When you go to Falcone's, it doesn't matter if you show up alone or with your extended family?they'll have a pizza that's just your size. Pick up a slice for the road or stay and split an 18-inch Bianca or margarita pizza with friends. Whole pizzas can also don a custom variety of toppings, allowing customers to get creative with their food. The rest of the menu consists of hot sandwiches, pasta, and Italian snacks, including homemade meatballs and garlic knots. When given two hours of notice, the kitchen can also prepare a dinner tray of meat or cheese lasagna fit for a family of eight or one moderately hungry ogre.