The spaghetti western film genre is noted for its good use of extreme close-ups, its bad use of tomato sauce during climactic gunfights, and its ugly use of Clint Eastwood’s hand-puppetry skills. Get a fistful of western-less spaghetti with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian fare and drinks at Viaggio Ristorante & Lounge, located in the West Loop.
Executive chef Victor Perdue fills Viaggio with fresh comestibles to placate palates that long for southern Italy. Embark on an eating excursion with an appetizer of meatballs and romaine salad smothered in red-wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil ($10). Troublesome tongues can be silenced with a selection of pastas, such as spaghetti, linguine, and fettuccini, which can be topped with your choice from various sauces—alfredo ($16), bolognese ($18), or arrabiata ($14) are just three members of the sauce squad. Savor humankind’s dominance over bovine biker gangs with the veal marsala, feauring a sautéed calf loin on a plate with dry marsala wine and mushrooms ($23), or tap into your inner lasagnavore with the house-made pasta’s baked blend of meat sauce and ricotta and provolone cheeses ($18). Seafood, steaks, and chops round out the Itali-centric slate of sustenance.
Viaggio, which means “journey” in Italian, combines a casual atmosphere with delicious dining to temporarily transport diners to Italy without the usual issue of having to hitchhike for a helicopter ride. Call ahead and reserve your chance to stroll on wooden floors, sip shaken-up thirst quenchers from the bar, and nosh on wholesome Italian cuisine.
Chicago Reader named Viaggio Ristorante & Lounge as one of the best new Chicago restaurants in 2008. Time Out Chicago reviewed the restaurant and gave it four stars, and the Chicago Sun-Times also reviewed the restaurant. Ninety-six percent of Urbanspooners recommend Viaggio Ristorante. OpenTable reviewers give it an average of 4.2 stars, and Yelpers give it an average of 4.5 stars:
- There is a sense of balance, good taste and harmony in this menu – Pat Bruno, Chicago Sun-Times
- Both pastas we tried—the signature rigatoni in "Sunday" pork gravy, with enormous chunks of tender pork and an ice cream scoop of ricotta, and the linguine with fresh-shucked clams tossed with whole cloves of roasted garlic—were cooked perfectly al dente. – Mike Sula, Chicago Reader