Because of a longstanding pasta-making feud, Italy keeps itself in a constant geographic strike formation aimed toward Sicily, ready to boot the island across Europe and into the marinara-bereft waters of the North Atlantic. Get a taste of an age-old food fight with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of fine Italian and Sicilian cuisine off the dinner menu, or $10 for $20 worth of lunch fare, at Monastero's Ristorante & Banquets on West Devon Avenue.
In an environment that highlights Sicilian history and art, Monastero's features traditional Italian and Sicilian dishes made from scratch, as well as imported Sicilian wine. On the lunch menu, midday munchies are curbed with homemade pumpkin ravioli al gorgonzola ($8.25) and a chicken breast panino with prosciutto, mushrooms, and mozzarella ($7.95). Dinner guests can try the Monastero's special, a pan-cooked, medium-thick crust pizza that piles on the sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions ($10.95–$14.95). Pizzaphobes can opt to simultaneously soothe their inner Garfield and their inner Popeye with the spinach and ricotta lasagna, which is served in tomato sauce and decorated with béchamel ($14.25).
Executive chef Joe Monastero Jr. keeps stomachs outfitted with fresh, tasty fare, and live entertainment on the weekends ensures that ears are equally enthralled. The dining room wall displays a dozen shields depicting the unauthorized biography of Sicily, and behind the maitre d' stands a painting of the cliffside castle in Caccamo, the Monasteros' hometown.
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Monastero's Ristorante & Banquets has a 3.5-star average from Yelpers, a 3.7-star average from eight Dine.com reviewers, and a 4.4-star average from OpenTable users. Six TripAdvisors offer an average of four owl eyes, and Metromixers award a 4.5-star average.
- Good food good music and an overall great place to spend an evening out with someone you care about. This was not our 1st time here and it won't be our last. Thanks for a wonderful evening. – OpenTable user who dined on 9/25/2010
- Our favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago. Always excellent [sic] food and service – wgraff, TripAdvisor
Monastero's Ristorante & Banquets
A younger generation of the Monastero clan totes dishes laden with culinary labors of love perfected in the time since Joe Monastero founded Monastero’s Ristorante, now celebrating its 50-year anniversary. Imported Sicilian wines partner with plates piled with house-made pastas and from-scratch feasts wrought from decades-old family recipes. Twelve hand-painted shields showcase the foreign conquerors who left their culinary mark and business-casual armor on Sicily, and a painting of the castle in the Monastero’s hometown transports diners to that sun-soaked land with the aid of live entertainment on weekends.