Italian cuisine has stayed consistent for ages despite constant attempts to modernize it with touch screens or solar-powered cannolis. Savor some old-world edibles with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of classic Italian cuisine at Canta Napoli in Mount Prospect.
Flanked by walls of wine shelves, wooden trellises, and soft lighting, Canta Napoli's seasoned chefs suffuse the dining room with savory aromas from their menu of wood-fired pizza and traditional pastas. Pizza chefs tenderize fresh dough by hand-kneading it while reciting passages from Tuesdays With Morrie; sprinkle it with cheese, fresh herbs, and an array of Neapolitan-style toppings; and bake it inside a smoky, wood-burning oven. Fragrant basil and imported Italian buffalo mozzarella flutter across the Margherita DOC ($12.75) and the eponymous Canta Napoli pie melds black-truffle tapenade with white-truffle oil on bubbling fontina cheese ($14.75). The prosciutto crudo e rucola pizza ($13.75) combines sizzling imported pork and mozzarella with leafy arugula in a union of salty and crisp more enjoyable than bobbing for apples in the ocean. Steaming pasta swims in the penne ala vodka's creamy sauce laced with Ketel One, enriching the savory experience with morsels of imported prosciutto, fresh basil, and plum tomato ($16.25).
Artistic lamps lined with metal crosshatching take over illumination duties whenever the sun sets, leaving Canta Napoli's chocolate leather seating and tall windows vulnerable to moonbeams and stray meteorites. Walls bear a variety of Tuscan flair, bordering the sleek, wooden tables with stippled orange paint, brick accents, and a colorful mural of an Italian storefront.
On a sizzling hearth within the depths of a Neapolitan-style wood-burning oven bake hand-tossed rounds of dough, bubbling and crisping to perfection. The chefs festoon the dough with a variety of ingredient combinations; their much-loved margherita reveals traditional tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil, while their prosciutto crudo e rucola adds imported prosciutto and fresh arugula to the mix. Beyond their gourmet pizza, the kitchen team prepares a dinner menu cataloging a large selection of traditional pastas, such as plump gnocchi, farfalle in a pesto cream sauce, or lasagna that's tastefully layered, like someone wearing every item of clothing they own.
The staff welcomes patrons to relax beneath an elegant lattice ceiling and hanging lamps. Leather chairs surround tables, which are surrounded by exposed brick, which is surrounded by friendly conversation, which is surrounded by the biggest Russian doll.
90 E Busse Ave.
Mount Prospect, Illinois 60056