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Rosebud: Little Italy-great Italian food
Last visit-May 2014-still my favorite Italian in Chicago
This is the original Rosebud in Chicago, located in Little Italy, the Italian neighborhood of Chicago that was settled mostly by southern Italians. Rosebud serves up huge portions of Italian classics, served promptly, even on busy weekend nights. The decor is warm, with dimmed lighting but crowds on weekends can be noisy. Be sure to get a reservation if you are going on the weekends or before a Bulls or Hawks game at the United Center as it's one of the closer dining options to the United Center.
Our last visit was on a Saturday night in May 2014, the restaurant was busy, most of the tables filled. Our waiter was friendly and the meal was served at a nice pace.
If you are driving, most of the parking is metered. On Taylor St. itself, there are boxes that you get a ticket you need to display in your window. There is a valet option as well. If not driving, you might consider one of their other locations in the central tourist areas-Carmine's, Rosebud on Rush or Rosebud Theater District.
Other places I've heard are good in Little Italy:
RoSal's 1154 W. Taylor
Francesca's 1400 W. Taylor
Someday I may even go try them!
Favorite Dish: Warm bread with olive oil and parmesean cheese served before dinner is yummy, you don't want to eat too much or you won't have room for dinner.
We almost always order the same two things, the fried calamari is a must, it is always cooked just right, not rubbery, light breading, not greasy. Portion size is big enough for an entrée but it's listed as an appetizer. Chicken Parmigiana is moist with the right balance of cheese and sauce. Portion size is huge, enough to feed two, comes with a side of pasta.
One other thing we tried and really liked was the veal bracciola and this time since we were dining with friends and got the calamari as an appetizer, he ordered the pasta carbonara which had a nice flavor but was populated with peas (yuck!) so it wouldn't be something I'd order since it's a pain to pull out peas.
If you are visiting Chicago and don't want to take home leftovers, have a look at the portion size as it's coming out of the kitchen, not one of the four of us was even close to finishing our meals. For the two of us, one appetizer with a shared entrée is enough.
Rosebud Theater District: Loop-Classic Italian in the theater district
We've eaten at this Rosebud several times, you can opt to go for a full meal or they have a happy hour special with an appetizer buffet that is free if you order two drinks per person.
Last night we opted to have a full meal before seeing "Book of Mormon" at the nearby Bank of America Theater. We had reservations for 6:00pm for a 7:30 pm show and were seated promptly. We finished with plenty of time but if you order appetizers, salads, desserts you may want to give yourself a little more time.
I use Chicago Best Parking to help me find the cheapest lot, there is one at 131 S. Dearborn that is $14 for theater parking flat fee.
Favorite Dish: We always order the same thing at Rosebud regardless of which location we are at, I still prefer the Taylor Street location for the ambiance but this one is still nice although with a much different crowd, mostly people coming after work for the happy hour buffet.
The portions are very large so we order fried calamari as an entrée and chicken parm as the other entrée and split them. We usually still have leftovers, however, we had our nephew with us and he helped polish it off along with his own entrée, a tortellini in carbonara sauce.
Rosebud on Rush: Old-Style Chicago Italian
Great old-world Italian joint with big portions. It's always busy so you'll need reservations. It's got a dark, vintage Chicago feel. The bar is below street level. The service is good, but the tables are close together and it is loud and crowded. Come hungry.
Favorite Dish: It's your typical Italian menu. The portions are huge and the wine list is large.
Rosebud on Rush: Rush here for Italian!!!
This is a very popular somewhat upscale Italian restaurant on the Rush Street "scene". Rosebud has live entertainment in the downstairs area.
Favorite Dish: Many "classics" are on the menu -- but don't miss the famous "Chicken Vesuvio" -- "roasted crispy in a garlic and white wine sauce with potato wedges and peas"
Rosebud is also noted for square noodles:)
Rosebud on Taylor Street: A Big Disappointment
It had been 20 years since I had been to Rosebud on Taylor Street in Little Italy. Both Allan and I were excited to show our guest Rosie [rozehill] some good Italian food in Chicago.
Well, to our shock, it was a disappointing experience. Rosie was visiting us from New Zealand, and she and I were spending 2 1/2 days in Chicago. It was our last night in town, and my husband Allan surprised us by driving into the city to take us out to dinner. We selected Rosebud on Taylor Street in Little Italy because we had such fond memories of our previous visits. We were apprehensive about the huge helpings since we could not take any "doggie bags" with us.
First off, the place was almost deserted on a Thursday night at about nine. When we walked inside, there was a mild odor of mildew, which upset me right then. We were seated and given a menu. Rosie is a big fan of Italian food and really wanted some good LASAGNA. She was pleased that it was on the menu. So, we began to order.
Favorite Dish: Rosie decided to try the Lasagna, and Allan and I ordered to share a Beef Fillet in a mushroom sauce. [We knew that the portions were huge, so the three of us would share the two orders]. All three of us ordered a house salad. The salad was good but not terrific. I must say that the salad dressing was quite tasty. The bread was really excellent, and we made "short order" of it, dipping it in an excellent extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
When the main meal arrived, both orders were huge as we had anticipated. The Fillet was truly wonderful; however, the Lasagna had to be sent back and heated because it was cool. That was an indication that it was not fresh, but frozen. What a disappointment. When it came back hot, it was better but not good. I did not even eat mine. Rosie did eat hers, but it was obvious that she was not at all pleased. Allan is a guy who eats everything, but he thought that the Lasagna was just fair.
I would never return, but I would go to the Rosebud on Rush.
Rosebud: Great Last Second Dinner
Rosebud was our last stop late on Friday of our most recent visit. We hadn't intended to eat there but after terrible service elsewhere they became our respite. The food and wine was absolutely fabulous and the service was superb.
Favorite Dish: Everything that we tried was excellent.
Rosebud on Rush: Just all right Italian food
The Rosebud on Rush is in a perfect location right off of Michigan ave and close to the Hancock Center. There are seats outside, downstairs and upstairs. When we visited it was a beautiful day so the waiting time to sit outside was a good 45 minutes (this was for lunch on a Saturday). We ended up sitting in their downstairs area, it was nice escape from the heat after being outside all day.
Favorite Dish: We decided to try Rosebud after we read the reviews on the other Chicago pages here on VT. But I have to be honest, the food was pricey and in our opinion, just okay. For the price we expected much better food.
I had the fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken for $21.90. Sure the portion was big but I have never had such a bland Alfredo before! The best part was the juicy tender chicken breast, but there was so little of it!
My husband had the Orecchiette with Garlic and sausage for $13.95 and even his meal was just okay.
I know this place has some great reviews, but to be honest, we were not impressed with the taste of the food.
Carmine's: Italian Chicago Style
After a very long day of shopping and "spa-ing" we decided to check out what was happening at "Carmine's." A dark and cozy atmosphere, I could almost see the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin dining there. It was very busy for a Monday evening nevertheless, the service and the food were outstanding.
The "Rosebuds" are all a part of a chain:
Rosebud Theater District
Rosebud of Highland Park
Rosebud of Naperville
Rosebud on Rush
The Rosebud on Taylor
Monday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-10:30 pm
Friday, 11:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Saturday, 1:00 p.m. -11:30 p.m.
Sunday, 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Favorite Dish: The service was excellent, the waiter was efficient and friendly. I did not have much of an appetite that night so he arranged for some small side dishes that would accommodate my lack of hunger. I had some sauteed spinach (Kristi DID NOT want any of this), a side plate of pasta with red sauce and two meatballs (which were done to perfection). Kristi had the Chicken Parmagiana and declared it terrific.
All in all an excellent meal.
Rosebud: Must Try Italian
Rosebud on Rush is nicely located at the intersection of Rush and Superior Streets. There is outside dining available, which is nice for people watching when you are dining on your own.
Those who know me, know that I'm not a huge person when it comes to food and eating. I rarely finish my meal when I go out to eat.
However, the entree I had at this restaurant was phenomenal. I almost cleaned my plate, which is next to a first for me. I ordered a house salad and the chicken cacciatore.
I did wait 25 minutes to be seated and my waiter did not have his act together, but the entree made up for all of that.
Favorite Dish: Chicken cacciatore. It was extraordinary. I highly recommended. After I was finished, the waiter told me that I made a fine choice and ordered one of the best dishes.
Rosebud: Great food, poor service
Kristi (Dabs) and her husband, David, took me to this restaurant. It's a favorite of David's and I know they really wanted to show it to me.
While the food was good, our waiter was a true ass, who treated us like cars going through a car wash. But I'll have to try it again, this time making sure to get another waiter.
Favorite Dish: I ordered penne noodles with spicy tomato sauce. The portion was very large, giving me lunch and dinner the following day as well!
There are several locations in Chicago but we went to the original one in Little Italy.
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Rosebud on Redmund: Lunch at a Chicago Classic
The Rosebud on Redmund is one of Chicago's well know restaurants. I had the opportunity to have lunch here one day during my visit. I was thrilled to be able to dine in one of the more famous Chicago restaurants.
Favorite Dish: I was not very adventurous. It was lunch time and I wanted to have a good lunch and then head out for some Christmas time sightseeing. So I went with pasta and meatsauce. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was great. It was a great place for a good lunch.
I've eaten at a lot of resturaunts, and never liked Italian food, until I at at Rosebud on Rush, now I can't get enough i'll drive the 10 hours from Omaha, NE for a weekend as an excuse to eat here.
Favorite Dish: King crab pasta
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