Eating well in Italy is not difficult, as opposed to sleeping well in Italy, which is constantly disrupted by gondolas crashing through bedroom windows to deliver pizza and espresso. Voluntarily be near Italian delicacies with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine at Via Carducci. This Groupon is valid at locations on Division Street and Fullerton Avenue.
Via Carducci's culinary engineers employ fresh ingredients to conjure the authentic dishes that comprise a menu of rustic southern Italian cuisine. Pledge allegiance to pasta's arch-nemesis, antipasti, with salsiccia calabrese, which fortifies grilled italian sausage with a mélange of roasted peppers, fresh porcini mushrooms, and potatoes ($11), or nibble on peperone ripieno—ambrosial bell peppers stuffed with rice and ground beef ($10). Twirl a fork through pasta dishes such as spaghetti alla napoletana ($13), or use a fork to puncture any errant balloons crowding the table. Costolette d'agnello amalgamates grilled lamb chops next to rapini greens and white beans ($28), and smoked ham and fontina cheese masquerade in a breaded chicken breast overcoat to comprise the pollo valdostana ($19).
Via Carducci's family-friendly atmosphere extends to the hand-painted brick wall flanking the dining room at the Division location, which was modeled after the owner's family home in Calabria.
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“Calabria is one of the world's most peaceful and beautiful places,” muses Via Carducci owner Giovanni Scalzo about his childhood home in Italy. Not only does he carry the memory and spirit of Calabria with him, he shares it with Chicagoans at his Lincoln Park and Wicker Park locations. At the Lincoln Park location, Via Carducci, mouthwatering meals show off ingredients characteristic of rustic, southern Italian cuisine that earned the restaurant a nod in the Chicago Reader and an appearance on Check, Please!. The elegant yet cozy dining room's brick walls are accented by a hand-painted mural of Scalzo's childhood home in Calabria.
At the Wicker Park eatery, Via Carducci La Sorella, his chefs stuff bell peppers with seasoned rice and ground beef and toss linguini with jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, and garlic-wine sauce, entrancing diners and delighting their seafood merchants with their shopping lists. The menu also boasts a hefty wine list replete with reds and whites from nearly every region in Italy.