In the kitchen with the Bartolini brothers, whose spaghetti and meatballs are 'No. 1 in Illinois'

May 14, 2018 109

BY: Donna Vickroy

The secret, says Chris Bartolini, is sugar. “We put sugar in our ricotta,” he says. “Everybody thinks it’s in the sauce, but it’s really in the cheese.” Chris and Dominic Bartolini, whose Midlothian restaurant was made famous by its 10-pound meatball sandwich and annual meatball-eating contest, are really sweet on nostalgia and Mama’s lasagna.

“Food brings out so many emotions and it brings back so many memories,” Chris, 51, said. “People come here and ask about things they ate years ago.” And Dominic, 48, turns them into specials, such as poor man’s pierogi or the Cubano. Others have included jerk chicken and seasonal dishes such as schnitzel and dumplings for Octoberfest or corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.

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