Each day, the chefs at Vittorio de Roma guide fresh ingredients into Italian pasta makers to craft spaghetti, fettuccine, and lasagna. They plump up ravioli pouches with butternut squash, then toss them in cream sauce with sprinkles of hazelnuts. The restaurant's signature meatballs form classic unions with tender threads of spaghetti and miniature bowlers, as well as with pours from the extensive wine list.
Dark woods characterize the warm main dining room, home to live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. The private dining rooms accommodate guests for events such as birthday parties, showers, and office gatherings.
Pasquale’s Pizzeria and Delicatessen owner Patrick Maggi knows a thing or two about baking tasty pizza pies, and he has the honors to prove it. In 2013, he journeyed to Parma, Italy to compete in the World Pizza Championship, and came home with a seventh-place finish out of 33 competing teams. In 2010, his oven creations won him first place in the gluten-free pizza category at the American Pizza Championships. His award-winning dedication to Italian pizza is reflected in Pasquale’s menu, which contains create-your-own and specialty pizzas that combine hand-tossed dough with ingredients ranging from pepperoni to artichokes. Diners can also satisfy their hunger with Boar’s Head cold sandwiches, hot Italian meatball parmigiana subs, and cannolis that, like outstanding resumes, come dusted with sugar and chocolate chips.
High ceilings display string lights like a constellation of neatly arranged stars. Wall sconces follow suit by casting a buttery glow on a polished wooden bar and servers carrying Vince’s family recipe dishes—creamy risotto, hearty pastas, and veal and chicken sautéed in delicate wine sauce. These recipes have been fine-tuned over the course of the eatery's 35 years in business. During warm-weather months, fenced-in outdoor-patio seating offers an ideal setting for enjoying thin-crust pizzas with more than 20 toppings, like a pasture in which humans graze on that which Italian cows graze on: sauce and cheese. Vince's staff also pours glasses of wine to complement pesto tortellini and live weekend entertainment, and a dance floor hosts interactive merriment.
The obvious place to start on the Sir Nick's Pizza menu would be with Sir Nick's Specialty pizza, which is heaped with 10 toppings including sausage, bacon, olives, and mushrooms. Eight other specialty pies include the Popeye?with spinach and ricotta, of course?and there's also a diverse selection of grinders and hot and cold sandwiches. Customers can opt for entrees such as stuffed shells or jumbo shrimp, or live out the title of their favorite Rolling Stones album by clutching barbecued ribs in their sticky fingers.
In true Chicago form, Slice of Chicago serves a hot italian beef pizza that’s layered with spoonfuls of giardiniera. It’s one of their specialty pies, which just might be the crown jewels of Slice’s menu—other varieties include the Western with barbecue sauce, sausage, bacon, and onion, and a taco pizza with ground beef, jalapeños, and sour cream. The pizzeria goes beyond its culinary namesake to strike a tasty balance between American and Italian favorites with dishes as varied as pork ribs, eggplant parmesan, cajun chicken sandwiches, and tiramisu. Guests can also build custom pasta plates by getting a permit from their local pasta-building commissioner, and then selecting a noodle, sauce, and optional ingredients such as calamari or sun-dried tomatoes.