When most people think of Chicago-style pizza, they probably imagine a dense, deep-dish pie weighed down by an inches-thick layer of cheese. But the chefs at Nicolo's Pizza point to a different definition offered up by famed Chicago film critic Roger Ebert. In an interview with Vanity Fair , Ebert estimated that as much as 85 percent of Chicago's pizza is built upon a thin crust, and that what really sets the city's pies apart is the homemade sauces and crusts cooked up by Chicago's abundant Italian population.
That's exactly the type of Chicago-style pizza that Nicolo's has been dishing up for more than 30 years, using recipes born generations ago in Italy. Each thin or hand-rolled crust is made fresh every day, topped with a choice of sauce such as traditional red, alfredo, or garlicky extra virgin olive oil, then baked in an authentic stone-bottom oven. Patrons can choose their own ingredients––which range from artichoke hearts to green chilies––or choose one of the shop's specialties such as Buffalo Pie, a ranch-based pizza topped with chicken, celery, carrots, and mozzarella, or the Besto Pesto with Chicken, featuring chicken, black olives, artichoke hearts, and provolone cheese with a pesto sauce. Beyond the pizza pan, chefs painstakingly assemble layers of fresh noodles, ricotta, and sauce into classic meaty or vegetarian lasagna and slather chicken wings in a variety of sauces, including pomegranate chipotle and thai peanut.
Chef Matthew Franklin of Farro Italian Restaurant delights discerning palates with an extensive wine list and a menu of innovative Italian fare that won acclaim in the Denver Post. Catch a handcrafted, brick-oven-baked dough disk decorated with prosciutto, gorgonzola, and balsamic fig preserves ($12), or dive into spaghetti swimming with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and clams in a spicy red sauce ($17). The flat-iron steak, doused in gorgonzola butter and accompanied by a mountain of roasted Yukon Gold potatoes ($18), straightens out wrinkled tongues with an overload of savory flavors.
Rising Roll dishes out a menu of paninis, melts, and gourmet wraps. The chicken and apple sandwich layers made-from-scratch chicken salad, hickory smoked bacon, and granny smith apples and is topped with bleu cheese dressing ($7.45). Vegetarians can sink flora-sharpened teeth into the Original Veggie, a combination of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted red peppers, provolone, guacamole, and mayo ($6.99). Sandwichers choose from a lineup of bready foundations such as multi-grain bread, croissants, and sun-dried tomato wraps; decisions continue with a side choice of potato salad, pasta salad, or coleslaw. A selection of salads provides carb-conscious eats for diners restricted by diets or a soft spot for fluffy grains. The Maui salad packs crisp romaine with grilled chicken breast, crumbled blue cheese, mandarin oranges, and chopped pecans ($8.39).
Supper Solutions boasts a miscellany of cuisine options for busy familial units, with take-home meals that satisfy up to six hungry noshers. Try out the In Session concept, choosing your meals online before cruising to Supper Solutions to craft your fare in the fully stocked kitchen during a 1.5- to 2-hour hands-on cookfest. Patrons suffering from overloaded carpool schedules or authoritarian library due dates can grab Suppers to Go, ordering their chow and then picking it up in its ready-made form. The menus change monthly and come in Size Wise, which feeds two to three, and Full Size, which feeds four to six.
The Dusty Boot Steakhouse & Saloon welcomes hungry guests to dig into burgers, steaks, and Mexican-inspired specialties. In the dining room, more than a dozen TVs tune in to games as diners sip tequila, margaritas, and other drinks. Meanwhile, the chefs wrap filet mignon in bacon, slow-cook slabs of pork ribs in tangy barbecue sauce, and garnish fish tacos with fresh cilantro. Diners not in the mood to build their own burgers can pick one of the specialty burgers, which include a breakfast burger with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, and the Fatty melt—a burger, sautéed mushrooms, and onions between two grilled-cheese sandwiches.
On the weekends, the Dusty Boots' staff wakes up early to the sound of their rooster's idiotic radio show and cooks up breakfasts of three-egg omelets and latke reubens, which include two potato pancakes smothered in corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand-island dressing, and melted swiss.