Mille Lire in the Centrum Delivers Italian Food With Simple Intensity

Oct 24, 2019 211

BY: Eve Hill-Agnus

Maybe it seems unlikely that we’d have an outpost of Italy wedged inside The Centrum on Oak Lawn. With its plant-filled atrium’s skylight spilling rays onto a tile floor, Mille Lire, which opened in 2017, resembles any other evocation of la dolce vita. And it took me, in fact, two years to notice it. But the chef, Giuliano Matarese, has a knack for summoning emotions with a highly personal take on Italian food, executed with fidelity.

He focuses on flavors not gussied up, but delivered the way they should be, Italian food with honest intensity. Blame his Neapolitan grandmother for the exceptional quality of the dough under the oval-shaped, anchovy-laden pizza stirata Romana, draped with capers and olives. Imported flour, water, salt, and a long rise give it developed flavor.

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