When Fox News set out to discover who was serving the best pizza in Chicago, they put together a team of three pizza experts––a world pizza eating finalist, a think-tank chef for Fruschetta pizza corporation, and a college student––to slice through the competition. The results? The trio awarded Grand Stand Pizza the winner with a score of 4.5 out of 5, beating out Chi-Town standard Nancy's Pizza. The secret might lie in the crust. Said one tester, "you could have put anything on top of that dough and it would have tasted good." Chefs roll that crust out to make thin, pan, double-crust, and stuffed pizzas then pile on classic toppings such as pepperoni, black olives, and hot giardiniera or premium toppings such as Italian beef or gold bullion. The choices don't end there, though. Along with pizza, the restaurant also serves up hearty helpings of pasta, homemade meatball sandwiches, and Italian desserts such as cannoli, tiramisu, and homemade Italian ice.
Pescatore means “Italian fisherman,” according to Vito Barbanente, Pescatore Palace's owner and chef. He lives far from any sea and seldom pulls anything out of saltwater, but having spent his life transforming catch into cuisine, he might well have earned an honorary place among the ranks of said seafarers. In his signature dish, he tops market-fresh fish of the day with a grilled medley of octopus, calamari, cuttlefish, and shrimp. He also harvests land ingredients, rounding out his seafood-rich menu with veal chops, housemade gnocchi, and metal forks instead of tridents.
For nearly a decade, the Pecoraro family has worked to keep the plates of Franklin Park citizens full. At Gianni's Ristorante & Pizzeria, their chefs prepare rustic Italian dishes from fresh ingredients, such as farfalle tossed with spring vegetables and linguine topped with shrimp or clams. They also prepare veal and chicken parmigiana style, Pompeii style with eggplant, and piccata style with lemon-wine sauce, and they whip up seafood entrees such as shrimp in a brandy-cream sauce and grilled swordfish. The oven gently toasts an array of thin-crust, stuffed-crust, and thick pan pizzas to shades of golden brown unattainable with most tanning beds.
Using time-honored family recipes culled from 80 years of cooking, Basilico Ristorante placates palates with homemade, hearty portions of pasta, steaks, seafood, and dreamy Italian delicacies. The lunch menu celebrates the ambrosial nature of noontime noshing with the pollo Genovese—succulent chicken in a sun-dried tomato, asparagus, artichoke and pesto sauce ($9.95)—alongside vegetarian options such as potato-infused gnocchi (8.95) and eggplant parmigiana ($8.95). The dinner menu tips Lady Justice’s blind taste test scales in favor of deliciousness with linguini con calamari sautéed in a white wine or marinara sauce ($15.95), or the veal vesuvio lovingly baked in olive oil and garlic and paired with thickly sliced vesuvio potatoes ($19.95). Put a bow on a romantic dinner with a selection of desserts such as cappuccino-hazelnut cheesecake ($5.95) or creamy canolli ($4.95), perfect for storing wedding rings when fingers expand due to unexpected changes in altitude.
Cucina Biagio dispels hunger pangs with flavorful soups, salads, and hearty Italian pastas and pizzas. Ravenous appetites get a playful ribbing from starters such as the minestrone zuppa ($2.95/cup, $4.25/bowl) or the caprese salad, mozzarella flanked by loyal sidekicks tomato and red onion and dressed for digestive success in a light balsamic vinaigrette ($8.95). Fill up with the certified-Angus-beef entrees, such as the filet mignon in a red-wine mushroom sauce served with roasted potatoes and vegetables ($30.95), or bear down on a slew of wood-fired-oven pizzas, available in a variety of styles—stuffed, pan, thin-crust, and earth-crust ($10.95).
At RoccoVIno's, a dish can never be too Italian. That's why you can order a pizza—already an Italian staple—in Italiano style, crowned in spinach, tomato, and three types of cheese. Customers add their own personal touch to the pizzas, too, choosing from thin crust, classic pan, and stuffed-crust deep dish styles, or select a specialty pizza such as the Margherita, Veggie Delight, or il Paisano. The pasta dishes are similarly customizable, filled with noodles from farfalle to rigatoni and drizzled in a choice of 10 sauces. These include a spicy tomato sauce made from only tomatoes that look like winking faces. Other gourmet Italian dishes include seafood risotto mixed with scallops, calamari, and shrimp, filet mignon, topped with a chunk of gorgonzola cheese, chicken or eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, and baked mostaccioli.