$20 for $55 Worth of Regional Italian Cuisine and Drinks at Trattoria Gianni

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What You'll Get

Jump to: Reviews | Italian from Scratch

Struggling to balance work pressures with the desire to participate in awesome water-gun fights, scientists have long sought a way to be in two places at once. Today's deal treats you to a restaurant that's as close to Italy as one can get in Chicago without an Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky bridge or a malfunctioning GPS. For $20, you'll get $55 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Trattoria Gianni, the family-run eatery in Lincoln Park.

The trattoria's location in the heart of Italy's "Chicago theater district" makes it an excellent stop before or after a show at the nearby prestigious and largely un-Seussical Steppenwolf or Royal George theaters. Depending on how much time you have before curtain, open with a little zucchini fritti ($6.95) or a hefty antipasto vegetariano ($10.95). From there, you can move down the menu to a primi piatti (first plate) of ravioli burro e salvia ($14.50) or a secondi piatti of filet mignon smothered in Barolo sauce and wild mushrooms ($24.95). If your show starts soon, skip the menu and trust in Gianni's daily specials instead. But save room for a little of "the sweet life" as the Italians say (in Italian, usually), and try the tiramisu ($5.50).

Not included in the menu are John Malkovich, Nicole Kidman, Gary Sinise, and other stars of the stage, who are occasionally spotted grabbing a quick gnocchi gnosh before showtime. These stars add to the restaurant's elegantly rustic brick-wall-and-white-tablecloth atmosphere. By way of applause, you might try treating them to a glass of wine or better yet, one of Gianni's selection of grappas ($7–$15). John Malkovich will appreciate it much more than your screenplay, which was clearly written with Jude Law in mind.


Citysearchers give Trattoria Gianni 4.5 stars. Yelpers, Insider Pagers, and Googlers give it four stars:

  • We had such a wonderful dining experience here and we loved that it was right across the street from Steppenwolf Theatre. – maxbrown, Trip Advisor
  • Great atmosphere, full bar serving the best grappa in town. Food is very good too! – Jeannie D., Insider Pages
  • The best homemade Tiramasu [sic] around. Everything is so fresh. The restaraunt [sic] is perfect for a romantic evening out. – loistheladybug, Citysearch

Italian from Scratch

Diners who have only experienced dry, boxed pasta or pre-made sauces from jars are in for a real treat at Trattoria Gianni. Making Italian food from scratch is a complex, multi-stage process where a lot can go wrong before it all goes deliciously right. What are just some of the many steps that bring home-style Italian meals to your plate?

  • Twisting individual rotini into the soil to plant pasta trees
  • Pounding air bubbles out of dough by getting plumber brothers to jump on it
  • Individually dehydrating wheels of Parmesan cheese into particle form
  • Intermittently racing home to stir sauce while chauffeuring a paranoid Ray Liotta on a series of substance-fueled errands
  • Coming over here and giving your Nonna Sophia a great big hug

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The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Dec 14, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per table. No cash back or credit. Not valid with other offers. Not valid on holidays. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

About Trattoria Gianni

Trattoria Gianni

Restaurant, American, Pizza, Italian Restaurant
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