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La Cantina at Italian Village: Loop-Italian
It's been a couple of decades since I've been to Italian Village, there's a Rosebud right around the corner and I love Rosebud so I never think of this as an option. But Robert (rmdw) requested to go here based on the recommendation of a friend so I met him here before going to see a show at the Bank of America Theater which is just a block away.
Italian Village is three restaurants-The Village, La Cantina, and Vivere. Someone mentioned they hated the Village so I opted for the middle priced option, La Cantina. Italian Village has been around forever, it's Chicago's oldest Italian restaurant according to their website. La Cantina is on the lower level of the building.
The service was quite good and attentive
Favorite Dish: I ordered the chicken parmigiana, it was OK but doesn't compare to other restaurants that I enjoy. The dessert was pretty bad, I ordered the Italian rum cake, it tasted like a frozen cake that had been thawed and maybe had a little freezer burn. With so many good Italian restaurants, one right around the corner, I'm not sure how this place stays in business other than people knowing that it's been around forever.
Italian Village: Great Pasta
We asked the doorman at the Palmer House Hilton for a recommendation for an Italian restaurant and he recommended Italian Village just a couple of blocks up the street. Italian Village actually has three different venues in the same building. We were seated in the dinning room on the second floor. I ordered stuffed pasta and a small Caesar salad. What stands out is the pasta, it was fresh, obviously hand-made filled and cooked perfectly. What fresh pasta should be.
Favorite Dish: Fresh pasta, take their advice on the fresh special of the day.
- Food and Dining
Italian Village: Italian 3 ways -- a Chicago tradition
How to choose??
The Cantina on the lower level for seafood eating?
Vivere on the first floor for updated & upscale Italian in a striking post-modern setting -- where the balcony is the place to to see and be seen?
Or the original [and slightly funky] Italian Village with its fake village ambiance full of nooks and crannies??
It vies with The Berghoff as a Chicago tradition.
Favorite Dish: Any risotto from Vivere. The half-moon "Agnolotti al Pomodoro e Basilico " pasta from the Italian Village.
- Family Travel
The Italian Village: Time-honored Chicago Italian Cooking
This restaurant has been cooking up tasty Italian dishes since 1927, but my first visit was in March of 2004. In easy walking distance of the theater district and State Street, it's an atmospheric combination of three restaurants--the Village (upper floor), Vivere (the main floor), and La Cantina (basement). We ate in the village, which is an adorable room full of alcoves, nooks, and crannies, and it really does seem like you're eating outdoors in a quaint little Italian village.
Favorite Dish: I had Agnolotti de Pomodoro e Basilico--loosely translated as a sort of freshly made pillow pasta filled with ricotta and fresh spinach, covered in a fresh basil-laced tomato sauce. Delicious! Portions are just right, and bread bowls (with fantastic hard breadsticks and bread) come with olive oil and fresh parmesan for dunking. A complete meal includes soup, salad, drink, main course, and a small dessert for an extra $3 beyond the price of a main course alone--a great deal!
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