Food News

Spacca Napoli ranked among world’s best pizzerias

A beloved Chicago pizzeria was recently ranked among the 100 best in the world by the Italian culinary website 50 Top Pizza. Spacca Napoli (1769 W. Sunnyside Ave., Chicago) came in at No. 93 on a list that included pizzerias from France, the Philippines, Spain, Japan, Denmark and more. Diego Vitagliano Pizzeria in Naples and I Masanielli in Caserta shared the top spot. “It’s always nice to be recognized,” Spacca Napoli owner Jonathan Goldsmith modestly responded. Goldsmith has won a slew of awards for his Neapolitan pizza over the years. He learned the trade from master Neapolitan pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia, …

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Panettoni, pandori abound at Eataly

  Eataly now has its own global line of artisan panettoni developed by its team of gastronomical experts. The line features four flavors — classico, pistachio cream, orange and chocolate, and pandoro — all based on a traditional recipe of lievito madre (mother yeast), free-range eggs and Madagascar vanilla. Located at 43 E. Ohio St. in Chicago, Eataly offers 50 panettoni and pandori from various brands, with flavors such as limoncello, chestnut, tiramisu, apricot, salted caramel, and more. Italians typically bring a dessert or sweet treat when they are invited to someone’s home, and during the winter holidays, that’s panettone …

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Culinary trio teams up to open Il Milanese

Riccardo Michi, Massimo Di Vuolo and Carlo Maggi met about 30 years ago, when they worked at the now-closed Bice in Chicago. This year, they joined forces to open Il Milanese Ristorante, at 4356 N. Leavitt St. in Chicago, with a menu of dishes from the Piemonte, Lombardia and Veneto regions. The cuisine from these regions has been overlooked as chefs have gravitated toward fusion and updated traditional recipes, Maggi told Block Club Chicago. “Don’t get me wrong, I like experimenting,” Maggi said. “But I want to give new life [to classic] dishes.” For more, click here.    

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Salerno’s on the Fox going strong after 48 years

Far from resting on its laurels, Salerno’s on the Fox is upping its game after 48 years in business. In the past year, owner Joe Salerno has refurbished the St. Charles restaurant’s bar and outdoor patio alongside the Fox River, the Daily Herald reported. Joe’s wife, Rosa, takes care of marketing, and their daughter works part time there. Salerno credited the entire staff with being integral to the restaurant’s success. “What they do for me is unbelievable,” he told the newspaper. The restaurant’s recipes are from Calabria. Salerno’s father, Adam, who opened the restaurant in 1975, passed away in early …

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Caputo’s adds 10th location to expanding chain

Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets recently opened its eye-catching 10th location, in Norridge. The chain’s namesake founder and his wife opened their original store in 1958 in Elmwood Park. Over the decades, the business expanded to Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Orland Park and South Elgin. The building at 4410 N. Harlem Ave. has a wavy shape designed by architect Peter Theodore, whose inspiration was the landscape of Mola Di Bari, Angelo Caputo’s hometown, the Chicago Tribune reported. “We have spent a lot of time in Norridge, and we know it’s a great town with people who …

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Cirrincione siblings open Sicilian eatery

A new restaurant in Elk Grove Village was born out of a galvanizing family trip to Sicily. Cefalù Seaside Sicilian owner Tom Cirrincione and his wife took their three adult children — Jodi Curry, Ben Cirrincione and Carolina Eimerman — to visit Altavilla Milicia, Trapani, Palermo, Taormina and Cefalù last year. “They were so inspired by Sicily and the great food,” Cirrincione said. “That’s how they came up with this new concept.” The restaurant with bar and patio seating meets the community’s need for a unique and more upscale eatery, says Curry, who runs the establishment with her siblings. The …

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Viviani launches gourmet dessert franchise

Italian-born chef Fabio Viviani and his business partners have launched Jars, a gourmet dessert franchise whose first location opened earlier this year in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Presented in glass jars, the desserts feature rotating flavors such as tres leches, tiramisù, red velvet cheesecake, apple pie, banana cream pie, churros, rocky road, blueberry cheesecake, strawberry sorbet and many more. “We team up with the biggest and best names out there in the baking industry, and they provide all the components in our desserts,” Viviani told QSRweb. By August, Jars had sold more than 100 franchise units nationally and internationally. Locations …

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RPM Italian earns rare ranking

RPM Italian in Chicago’s River North neighborhood was ranked the best Italian restaurant in Illinois by the finance website 24/7 Wall St. The restaurant at 54 W. Illinois St. describes itself as “modern in approach and Italian in spirit, featuring a contemporary menu with dishes meant to be shared.” The website rates the best Italian restaurant in every state based on data from food rankings in Eater, Yelp, The Daily Meal, Fodors and Gayot and other sources, as reported by NBC5 Chicago For more, click here.    

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Ristorante Agostino closes its doors after 38 years

An iconic Italian restaurant that attracted a faithful following over nearly four decades is no more. Ristorante Agostino owners Agostino Fiasche and his wife, Anna Longobardi Fiasche, announced the “bittersweet ending” of their “second home away from home” with a Facebook post on Aug. 1, marking the closure of their restaurant at 2817 N. Harlem Ave. in Chicago. “When we migrated from Italy to start a new life in America, little did we know we would own a successful restaurant together with our family, cook for thousands of people, and meet so many wonderful clientele and staff we would call …

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Veteran chefs open Italian cooking school

Two veteran chefs have opened Tutore, an Italian cooking school at 2755 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago, in the space that used to hold the Italian restaurant Pisolino. Pisolino Chef James De Marte partnered with his mentor, Dean Zanella, former executive chef at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, for the joint venture. Zanella met De Marte in the early ’90s when he hired him as his sous chef at Grappa, a now-closed Italian restaurant in Streeterville, Eater Chicago reported. The two bonded over their Italian heritage, passion for cooking big meals and how they tweaked their grandmothers’ recipes to make the dishes …

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