The Italian landscape is littered with relics of culinary history, from the wine-stained aqueducts to the crumbling statues of Emperor Chef Boyardee. Take a bite of the past with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian fare and drinks at Danny's in Melrose Park.
Carl and Paula Dote, owners of Danny's and its culinary cousin Cuzzin's, serve up authentic Italian comfort fare that garnered complimentary crows from the Chicago Sun-Times. The herculean menu brims with a selection of Italian delights, including hefty appetizers such as stuffed artichokes and sausage and peppers ($5.95 each). From that delectable diving board, taste buds cannonball into the giambotta ($13.95), a meaty medley of sausage, chicken, and pork glistening in a white-wine tomato sauce. Pasta dishes such as four-cheese lasagna ($10.95) vie with two-fisted sandwiches, including the Italian sausage burger ($5.95), for menu dominance, harkening back to adrenaline-fueled reruns of American Gladiators shown at the Roman Coliseum. Patrons can wrap palates in pleasing warmth with a selection of wines, including fortissimo ($15 for a carafe), or a full armory of espresso drinks ($3.50-$3.95).
Danny’s Cafe warmly serves what co-owner Carl Dote described as “Italian peasant food” on Danny’s Check, Please! feature. Their cooking aims to comfort, from generously stuffed artichokes to their signature fried-meatball sub. The hefty sandwich, highlighted on WGN, comes to fruition after staff members hand-form fresh meatball mix into patties and pile on fried peppers. Co-owner and chef Paula Dote told ABC’s “Hungry Hound” that when she and her husband bought the restaurant, she wanted to make exactly what she made at home, and indeed, she uses recipes from her mother and mother-in-law in all of her cooking and homemade volcano experiments. She ladles vodka sauce and crumbled sausage over homemade rigatoni, and layers provolone, parmesan, mozzarella, and ricotta in the four-cheese lasagna. Pork neck bones, one of Danny's more unique dishes, are served twice a week and praised by Hungry Hound for the tender meatiness resulting from hours spent simmering in spiced tomatoes. The eatery has also spawned relatives—appropriately named “Cuzzin’s Cafe”—that serve similar dishes in Des Plaines and Orland Park.
1419 N 15th Ave.
Melrose Park, Illinois 60160Get Directions