Evidently, my post last Thursday, (the Top 5 overrated Italian joints in Chicago), revealed there is clearly a passionate base out there, willing to defend loyalties. I promised that this Thursday, I would reveal what, I feel, are the top 5 best places to get Italian, but before I do, I wanted to share with you one of the places that I think falls in between the two. Franco's doesn't really make that many "best of" lists in Chicago, but if you ask anyone who grew up in Bridgeport where they go for pasta, fried calamari and veal saltimbocca, chances are they'll tell you they head to Franco's.
It's by no means one of the best five in the city, but it's certainly a joint that's worth a trip, like La Luce on the Near West Side or Ignotz in the Heart of Italy 'hood. The Daley clan certainly has fond memories here, so much so that our outgoing mayor made it point to have a recent birthday celebration here. I didn't love everything on the menu - they don't make everything from scratch - but they sure do put the effort into their gnocchi, which was as light and toothsome as any I've had in town. If you're going to see a Sox game, or find yourself heading down the Dan Ryan, near the 31st St. exit, pull over and get an order; you can thank me later.