Ron Onesti was unanimously selected to become president of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, its board of directors announced Monday. Onesti is the organization's second president. Founder George Randazzo served in that capacity from 1977 until his sudden passing last July. "This is an honor I will not take lightly," Onesti said. "As only t...

Ever wanted to take a cooking class instructed by a renowned chef with one of your favorite Cubs players? Now’s your chance. Anthony Rizzo will put his culinary skills to the test on May 29.  In a Zoom cooking session, the Cubs first baseman will prepare Italian dishes under Chef Giuseppe Tentori‘s tutelage. Tentori, chef and owner of GT Fish & Oys...

Sam Toia, based on appearances alone, looks more Lex Luthor than Superman. The guy is bald, bald, bald, rarely the tallest one in the room, though also baldly persistent, and full of charisma, able to leap tall bureaucracies in a relatively short period of time. But not without stumbles, of course. Toia is president and CEO of the Illinois Restaura...

Bob Mariano, the man behind Mariano’s grocery stores, plans to open a new chain of grocery stores in Chicago with the first one slated to open next March in Lincoln Park. Dom’s Market and Kitchen will be a small-footprint grocer that caters to “busy consumers who want the option to cook at home, take out quality prepared foods, or eat on-site. Cons...

A new Italian restaurant from one of the owners of Osteria Langhe is opening in the former Quiote spot. But with Chicago in the grip of the pandemic, the owner won’t commit to an opening date quite yet. Aldo Zaninotto, co-owner of Osteria Langhe, said construction on his new restaurant at 2456 N. California Ave. is 70 percent complete, but he’s in...

When COVID-19 hit Chicago, owner Dimitri Syrkin-Nikolau of Dimo’s Pizza saw it coming. He spoke with his staff about the uncertain moment ahead and enlisted them to generate ideas. At first, he revamped the takeout menu, adding new options like pizza and focaccia kits. Like most business owners, he wasn’t sure how to react. He had worked in pizzeri...

In the U.K. and Canada, they call it Boxing Day, but in my Chicago family, the day after Christmas is something else entirely: Beefmas. The rules of this sacred, completely-made-up holiday are pretty simple: every Dec. 26, my brother and I go see a movie, and then we get Italian beef sandwiches. The tradition began about 10 years ago, when I first...

When customers lined up at Emilia Pontarelli’s cash register at Tony’s Italian Deli on Northwest Highway in Edison Park, they felt like they’d been adopted by an Italian nonna. She’d ask when they were going to get married. If they bought her homemade lasagna, sugo (sauce) or giardiniera, she’d say approvingly: “Mama’s cooking for you tonight.” If...

You can’t go to Riviera Foods without getting a Diavolo ($6.50). That’s just the food rules, I don’t make them. The sandwich (formerly known as the Will Special, named after the late regular who created it) takes a 9-inch length of crisp-crusted French bread, then fills it with fatty layers of spicy soppressata, hot capocollo, salty prosciutto, cur...

Five-time Oscar winner Federico Fellini once said, “A different language is a different vision of life.” As a world-renowned film director, Fellini captured many aspects of life through his lens, immersing us in various cultures. Fellini believed that exposure to different languages forces us to see the world from the perspective of the people who...