WBEZ | top 5 italian restaurants http://www.wbez.org/tags/top-5-italian-restaurants Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Top 5 Italian restaurants in Chicago? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/top-5-italian-restaurants-chicago-105837 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/1107846719/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/spiaggiaenotecaprosciutto.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Prosciutto and grilled zucchini at Enoteca Spiaggia preview at Spiaggia in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p>Two years ago this month, my esteemed predecessor, <a href="http://stevedolinsky.com/blog">Steve Dolinksy</a>, listed his then top 5 Italian restaurants in Chicago:</p><p>1. <a href="http://piccolosognorestaurant.com/">Piccolo Sogno</a> (WARNING AUTOPLAY MUSIC)</p><p>2. <a href="http://www.spiaggiarestaurant.com/">Spiaggia</a></p><p>3. Terragusto</p><p>4. <a href="http://www.riccardotrattoria.com/">Riccardo Trattoria</a></p><p>5. <a href="http://www.pelagorestaurant.com/">Pelago Ristorante</a></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8518762538/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/spiaggiagreencity.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Carne salata, Calabrese style cured beef carpaccio, with housemade breadstick and salsa verde at Green City Market Chefs' BBQ 2012 (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">But a lot changes in two years. Piccolo Sogno now has a second location, <a href="http://piccolosognodue.com/">Piccolo Sogno Due</a> (WARNING AUTOPLAY MUSIC). Spiaggia&#39;s Executive Chef Sarah Grueneberg made it to the top two in <em>Top Chef</em>. Terragusto closed, became Pastaterra, which closed, became MörSo, and that closed too &mdash; but that may have been cursed restaurant space because chef/owner Theo Gilbert opened Ripasso to good reviews, including <a href="http://www.tastingtable.com/TheDinnerTable/entry_detail/chicago/6050"><em>Tasting Table</em>&#39;s Heather Sperling</a>. Ricardo Trattoria now has <a href="http://riccardoenoteca.com/">Riccardo Enoteca</a>. Pelago&#39;s owners actually opened a Japanese restaurant,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.masakichicago.com/">Masaki</a>, of which the&nbsp;<em>Reader</em>&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/mike-sula-reviews-masaki-japanese-in-streeterville/Content?oid=7567160">Mike Sula wrote</a>, &quot;It may not yet be Chicago&#39;s answer to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.magpictures.com/jirodreamsofsushi/">Sukiyabashi Jiro</a>, but there&#39;s really nothing like it in Streeterville, or anywhere else in town.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/1107847919/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/spiaggiaenotecaprawns.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Grilled spot prawns with arugula, olive oil, lemon, and sea salt at Enoteca Spiaggia preview at Spiaggia in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">I&#39;m currently investigating the <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/archive/question/440">Curious City question: &quot;What are the area&#39;s oldest diners and what are their stories?&quot;</a> Which brings up a lot of questions, starting with &quot;What is a diner?&quot;&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Which made me wonder, what defines an Italian restaurant?&nbsp;Steve&#39;s top 5 list had three criteria: housemade ingredients, nuanced flavors, and Italian pedigree. But how about a <a href="http://www.nellcoterestaurant.com/">restaurant like Nellcôte</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.jpgraziano.com/">even J.P Graziano</a>? What do old country identities mean to us in this country? How far are national cuisines allowed to evolve?</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">What even makes a restaurant top? And what are now the top five Italian restaurants in Chicago?&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">I have some ideas, but I&#39;d love to hear yours.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu"><em>Find me on Twitter at @louisachu.</em></a></div></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8518780170/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/spiaggiaswordfishcitrus.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Marinated swordfish with citrus fruits, baby fennel, pickled red onion, and 2006 Cappezzana olio nuovo (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div></p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-03/top-5-italian-restaurants-chicago-105837