Subject: Italian food in Chicago
Hi everyone, and a big hello to Joel,

It was great to hear that Pizza DOC is still going strong. I am certainly going to get there on my next trip back. I also enjoy the non-pizza items at D.O.C. I have found a nice approximation of it here in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from my house under the Brooklyn Bridge, called Grimaldi's. It is hugely popular, and serves only pizza, but it is consistently great. As far as Via Veneto goes, I haven't been there in a while, but it is similar to Bocca Della Verita in many ways, although the latter has become more trendy as Lincoln Square has gentrified. For my tastes at least, for a simple, inexpensive meal, neither place can hold a candle to Via Carducci on Fullerton, but again, I now live in NY, so I am not as up on the Chicago dining scene as I pretend to be. As far as the trendy, more expensive venues, I enjoyed Settimana Cafe very much last spring, and I have always had nice experiences at the original Mia Francesca (too noisy!), Trattoria Parma, and the Coco Pazzo Cafe. When I want to splurge, I visit Va Pensiero in Evanston, Cafe Spiaggia (not the big brother) or Coco Pazzo itself. I used to go to Tuscany on Taylor quite often, but I haven't been there in years. Is it still as good as I remember? I also had a very nice meal at another place in Evanston, but I can't remember the name of it. For takeout food, La Gondola, in the shopping center on Ashland is good, but not that cheap. I still mourn the loss of Furio's on Grand (next to the original D'amato's bakery), which served wonderful, authentic Mom and Pop Southern Italian food. (not cuisine!) I had a nice meal on Harlem recently, at a small place in the same strip mall as the big Italian products store that I think is named Gino's. Since I frequent O'hare often, and this area is in striking distance, I wonder if anyone has experience with other places in this neighborhood. Finally, I have really enjoyed using the website for tips on the NY dining scene, but I haven't read much of the Chicago section.

best wishes

Jonathan Chimene