Frankie Santoro and Angela Santoro-Castelli grew up in their parents’ restaurant, where they absorbed the importance of etiquette and geniality in the hospitality industry. Taking a cue from patriarch Vince Santoro’s heyday, the gregarious Frankie Santoro scoops up a patron’s children, mixes martinis and shares limoncello shots with equal aplomb th...

“This is the prize,” said executive chef Doug Psaltis. “It’s the funnest project I’ve been involved with, and so personal in many ways.” Fun seems to be the operative word at Pizzeria Portofino, which quietly opened Monday (reservations, via Tock, are now live) at 317 N. Clark St. The latest restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises,...

Casa Italia will be transformed into a Calabrian wonderland from Aug. 8 to 11 when the 38th annual Festa della Famiglia in honor of San Francesco di Paola takes over the grounds. The event is blessed to be able to welcome Bishop Robert Casey as the main celebrant at its Sunday Mass. Jointly sponsored by Società San Francesco di Paola and the Calabr...

Why travel all the way to Italy when we have a taste of it right in our own backyard? The Mozzarella Store opened at 822 N. Michigan Avenue after Hershey's Chocolae World Store closed in the same space in 2017. Two floors of Italian cheese is now offered in a cafe setting and served by Naple natives. The staff makes fresh made mozzarella and burrat...

What do Frank Sinatra, Robert De Niro, Jake LaMotta, Rocky Marciano, Engelbert Humperdinck, Larry Holmes and Gerry Cooney all have in common? They adorn the walls of Bobby Hitz’s new restaurant Giglio’s Chicago at 825 S. State Street in Chicago Illinois. Hitz 56, a born and bred Chicago guy whose half Italian and German, has brought his magic touch...

It’s impossible to get through a day in Chicago without thinking about Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Whether you’re a North sider or a South sider, references to Rizzo’s charity are deeply ingrained in the city. When you order dinner at Buona Beef — a local Italian beef chain — one of your options is a beef sandwich called “The Anthony...

There’s mozzareally good news for cheese lovers: A specialty mozzarella store and restaurant is opening in the Gold Coast. The Mozzarella Store will open July 5 at 822 N. Michigan Ave. with fresh and aged Italian cheeses created in the traditional Italian way, according to a news release. Besides cheese, it’ll serve up pizza, coffee, snacks and oth...

The fast-casual pizza concept opened its first location in Rome in 2003 and now has three units in Italy and two in Chicago, with stores opening soon in New Orleans and Miami. It serves pizza al taglio—priced by weight, extravagantly topped and cut with shears. The crust is focaccia-like, made from a high-moisture dough that’s airy yet chewy. The c...

Legendary high school basketball coach Gene Pingatore—the winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history—died on Wednesday night at the age of 83. St. Joseph won two state championships (1999, 2015) under Pingatore, while also capturing six sectional championships during a high point from 1982 to 1988. During his tenure, Pingatore helped prod...

When I first meet Rachael Lowe, she isn’t the “picture” of a fine-dining sommelier I had in my mind. Down-to-earth and gregarious, she doesn’t speak in esoteric or rarefied tones, even though she is brilliant in her descriptions of the style, producer and terroir of the 800 labels on Spiaggia’s wine list. For over five years, Lowe has been the beve...