Fine Italian cooking can be traced back to the days of small villages, when hard-laboring parents spent hours preparing, filming, and cutting culinary television shows. Taste this storied sustenance with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine at Mandile's Restaurant in Algonquin.
Mandile's draws inspiration from family dining in small Italian villages to craft its innovative dishes. Diners can test appetites on starters such as grilled portabella mushrooms ($8) before setting teeth on more substantial fare on the expansive menu. Maria's gnocchi ricotta di casa cloisters homemade potato pasta in a creamy convent of tomato-vodka sauce ($15). Carnivorous diners can slice through juicy steak ($24–$25), chicken ($16–$18), and veal ($20–$22) entrees, or look starboard at the seafood-laden zuppe di mare, which coats linguini in a spicy tomato sauce awash with calamari, mussels, clams, shrimp, fish, and uncorked wishes (market price). To appease an array of dietary dictums, Mandile's chefs can craft a majority of their menu in gluten-free form.
The interior of Mandile's pays homage to old-world living with hanging lights, glowing sconces, and a gateway leading toward the breezy, open-air veranda. With the wind wafting in spring scents, diners can indulge in localized flavors bottled up inside with one of many Italian and Californian wines, including Antera pinot grigio ($6 per glass) and Castelo Quercetto chianti ($38 per bottle).
Explore more Chicago Italian restaurants.
Mandile's Italian Ristorante
Though the communal plates of Italian food at Mandile's Italian Ristorante may look like exactly those served in the country homes of Catanzaro, Italy—looks can be deceiving. That's because the restaurant's chefs have not only mastered the traditional sauces and pastas of the region, they have found ways to seamlessly modify them to accommodate dietary requests. They can swap in whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta into most of their pasta dishes or pasta pinatas, such as the ravioli filled with four cheeses and topped with tomato cream and curls of parmigiano reggiano. Every day, they make their noodles fresh in house so that each dish bursts with natural flavors instead of preservatives. To pair with these pastas, they cook up anitpasti options such as the fried calamari and brick-oven pizzettes layered with traditional Italian toppings. No Italian meal is complete without a glass of wine, so the staff pour glasses of red and white varietals from throughout Italy and California.