NEWS FROM : Food & Wine  

This weekend, Sophia's opened in the historic space last occupied by Sandra Bullock's Bess Bistro. Chicago's BDG Hospitality conceptualized the Italian restaurant, which will feature executive chef Mark Sparacino (of Chicago's Topo Gigio, Sparacino, PROSECCO and more) at the helm, with Tom Schmitt as chef de cuisine.​ The gist: Though plenty of It...

Kenosha's own internationally acclaimed chef Tony Mantuano recently put his skills to work in Washington, D.C., at the State Department.   Mantuano, -owner of Mangia Wine Bar and a partner at the four-star Chicago Italian restaurant Spiaggia, and Spiaggia's chef de cuisine Joe Flamm prepared lunch on Oct. 18 for 250 people in the State Depar...

By Donald Liebenson   Here's a tip if you're studying Italian and you want to impress your teacher. Take her to Maria's Bakery in Highwood. It worked for Andrea Spitzer and Judith Molinaro, two students of private instructor Maria Christina Chopra. Chopra's verdict: Authentic. "You can tell the owner is Sicilian, you can tell from the recipe...

When great food and award-winning wines are served in a beautiful setting, the experience is bound to be memorable. Guiseppe "Joe" Scalzo has created that experience at Ciao Bella, where authentic Italian dining is true to his family's roots in their native town of Calabria, Italy.   Scalzo discovered the joys of cooking working at a small r...

As a youngster in a first-generation Italian-American family in Roseland, eating out wasn't something we did very often. As a matter of fact, if I try really hard I can only recall an occasional First Communion or Confirmation that led to some fine dining, Roseland style, at Pesavento's.   As a result, finding our way out of the family kitch...

by Eloise Marie Valadez   Hearty, flavorful comfort foods are the perfect meals for fall dining choices. And when it comes to Italian recipe selections, there's nothing like a robust pasta dish, hearty meat recipe with accompanying root vegetable selection, or a hot soup packed with delicious ingredients for cooler weather meals.   No...

La Lanterna, a long-gone restaurant from Detroit's past, is primed to make a comeback near its former location when it opens on the first floor of the Albert building in Capitol Park later this year.   The northern Italian-style restaurant opened in what is now the Malcolmson Building in 1956 by Italian immigrant Edoardo Barbieri. In 1978, B...

by Liz Biro   Ask Chicago-style pizza lovers who makes Indy's best deep-dish pie and you'll get a ton of votes for Chi-Town native Giordano's and another ton for Indy's own South of Chicago.   When Giordano's made its Indy debut in January 2015 on the north side, fans crushed the restaurant. Three-hour wait times ensued. The pizzeria...

Gelato artisans Angelo Lollino and Ali Caine Hung competed in the Gelato World Tour at Millennium Park in May, placing second with their flavor 'Chicago Pothole' to advance to the finals in Rimini, Italy, next September. Lollino and Hung vied for the title of "World's Best Gelato" against 15 teams from all across North, South and Central Ameri...

Turns out investors aren't just hungry for hot dogs. Some have a taste for Italian beef. Last spring, before a private-equity group paid an estimated $1 billion for Chicago-based Portillo's Restaurant Group, Joe Buonavolanto Jr. says investors began cold-calling his company, Berwyn-based Buona, purveyor of Buona Italian beef.   "People were...

Venetian cooking school founder and author Contessa Enrica Rocca uncorks her debut line of Prosecco this April, following its successful launch in Europe. Made from hand-harvested Glera grapes, Enrica Rocca Prosecco is produced in a small vineyard in the Veneto. Both varieties, the classic Brut and the sweeter Extra Dry, were created in compliance...

Some kids play veterinarian. Some kids play doctor. Mark Newman, a proud son of Highland Park, says, "Since I was six years old, I wanted to have a restaurant." Starting in October, or possibly earlier, Newman and his childhood friend from three doors down the block, Josh Kaplan, will have Ballaro (214 Green Bay Rd., Highwood), a 120-seat contempor...