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...

Tony Mazzola was ready to call it quits after nearly four decades of owning Italian restaurants. The lease was expiring on the O’Fallon building that housed his latest version of Mungo’s, and he was thinking about heading to The Hill in St. Louis to find a job working for someone else. Then Mazzola, 67, of Fairview Heights, got an offer he couldn’t...

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...

Mario Ortigara was born in his parents’ home on the South Side of Chicago, where brother Benny welcomed him. A few years later, sister Mary joined the family. Anna Panozzo and Domenico Ortigara were from small towns in the Piedmont region of Italy, where they met and married. They lost their first-born son to illness before immigrating to Chicago,...

Hungry? A new neighborhood Italian spot has you covered. Located at 738 N. Wells St. in River North, the fresh arrival is called Torchio Pasta Bar. This new business specializes in fresh pasta that's made in-house. From spaghetti to rigatoni to orecchiette, this spot hopes to satisfy your pasta and Italian food cravings. In addition to pasta, the m...

Last week was the first of the three main events that I will help plan throughout my internship, The Authentic Italian Table!  The three-day food expo features a total of 15 renowned Italian restaurants in the Chicago area as well as various food and wine sponsors.  The event aligns with the True Italian Taste Project to showcase  authentic Italian...