Formerly noodle-shaped, Italy retwisted itself into a menacing boot to deter neighboring entities from stealing its sought-after recipes. Rejoice in well-kept secrets with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of upscale Italian cuisine and drinks at Via Veneto il Ristorante on Lincoln Avenue, just south of Devon Avenue.
Led by Italian native Tony Barbanente, the family-run neighborhood fixture fetes Sicilian nosh enthusiasts and Northern Italian–fare fans alike with a wide array of authentic eats. Midday munchers can sate lunch cravings with the zucca ripiena, an acorn squash bursting with grilled veggies and goat cheese ($11.95). Swerve down the savory squid highway toward the calamari fritti ($13.95) before alighting upon the gnocchi al filo di pomodore, handcrafted potato dumplings plumped up with tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella ($12.95). Dinner boasts rich dishes such as the porcini mushroom-tinged risotto ai funghi ($18.95) and the ciambotto italiano combo ($18.95), a meaty trio of veal, chicken, and sausage that croons a tantalizing tune to your carnivorous hunger.
Via Veneto’s brick walls and combination of natural and elegant overhead lighting lends an appropriately austere atmosphere to a sweet-tooth caucus with an ambassadorial conglomeration of authentic Italian desserts such as tiramisu ($5.95), cannoli ($4.95), and zuccotto ($7.95). Pair any decadent dish with a glass of wine from the extensive list of grownup grape juices, or snag a martini ($10) to toast to birthdays, job promotions, or Tuesday afternoons.
Via Veneto Ristorante Italiano
For more than 20 years, Chef Tony Barbanente has adapted recipes from his childhood in an Italian fishing village to form a menu of simple yet delectable seafood dishes that earned him accolades from ABC 7's Hungry Hound. Chefs construct made-to-order veal, stuffed squid, and house-made pastas to slake hunger pangs or at least make them sing baritone during a medley of Pavarotti's greatest hits. The aromas of fresh cooking weave through the bright dining room, which features exposed brick and walls lined with black-and-white photos. The house language instructor, from Bari, Italy, educates curious diners about Italian cuisine and etiquette, including what to do when a pie-shaped moon hits the eye for just a little too long.
6340 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60659Get Directions