For $20, today’s side deal gets you $40 worth of Italian fare and drinks at Gruppo di Amici, located off the Red Line in Rogers Park. Gruppo di Amici is closed Mondays.
For four years, the personable pasta purveyors at Gruppo di Amici have served up fresh, savory Roman-style Italian in a welcoming neighborhood environment. Owners Lori Alderete and Phaedra Divras have carefully taste-tested each dish on the menu. Antipasti such as the eggplant rotolo ($8) tantalize appetite owners with a piquant padding of goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and basil. The spinacci salad ($9) turns digestive stoplights green just in time for a pleasure cruise of lasagna di carne ($13) or potato gnocchi in mushroom ragu ($12).
Gruppo di Amici's wine list is also meticulously curated to match-make attractive reds such as the Gini Chianti ($7 glass, $30 bottle) with winsome entrees such as the meatball pasta polpettine al pomodoro ($12). A warm atmosphere is accentuated by a friendly staff and the large, visible wood-fired oven, which serves up tasty thin-crust pizzas such as the margherita ($12.50).
The New York Times, the Chicago Reader, and Centerstage Chicago featured Gruppo di Amici, and it made Chicago magazine’s list of 25 Best Pizzas in Chicago. Zagat gave Gruppo di Amici a “good to very good” rating. Metromixers give the restaurant an average of 4.3 stars. Seven Citysearchers and 70 Yelpers give it an average of four stars:
- “Thin-crust”, “wood-fired pizza” and “modern Italian-style entrees” draw “value”-minded Rogers Park regulars to this “warm”, “cozy” “neighborhood place” – Zagat
- Exposed brick walls, amber lighting and a giant wood-burning oven set a tone of warmth and laid-back dining at this charming pizzeria in East Rogers Park. With its name meaning "group of friends" in Italian, the restaurant beckons a crowd as diverse as its environs, from families to couples. – Valerie Moloney, Citysearch
Gruppo di Amici
Rogers Park residents Lori Alderete and Phaedra Divras wanted to create an eatery where people could come together, socialize, and enjoy Roman-style Italian food. In 2006, they opened Gruppo di Amici, appropriately selecting a name that loosely translates to "circle of friends." From the fresh buffalo mozzarella found within the seared risotto cakes to the menu's thoughtfully suggested wine pairings, the duo—along with chef Hilario Irineo—has taken the utmost care with every detail. And their enthusiasm has caught the attention of major news media, including the New York Times. When Jeff Ruby added the eatery to Chicago magazine's list of the 25 Best Pizzas in Chicago in 2010, he described the thin-crust funghi e formaggi pizza—which, like all the restaurant's pies, is baked in a wood-fired oven—as "a crackery disk swarmed with wispy sautéed mushrooms and goat cheese as soft and supple as the crust was brittle."
Alderete and Divras also designed the dining space to be welcoming and communal. Swathes of fabric overhead recall the ambiance of an elegant Roman banquet, and an outdoor patio invites friends to gather, sip wine, and build ladyfinger replicas of the Colosseum.
1508 W Jarvis Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60626-1909Get Directions