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...

The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii is inviting current and former parishioners to purchase a paver for placement in the Shrine’s Garden of Remembrance. “If you’ve ever had a special moment in this sacred place, if you’d like to honor a loved one or commemorate a special date, please consider being a part of our Garden of Remembrance,” Shrine Rector...

One of the most thrilling and glamorous events in the Chicago-area Italian-American community is the contest to determine who will reign as La Bella Regina of the Columbus Day Parade. “Few events in the community can match the pageantry of the annual Columbus Day Queen Contest,” says JCCIA Executive Director Jo Ann Serpico. “The queen will be the s...

Little Italy Fest-West will once again bring the Old Neighborhood to suburban Addison this summer. Attendees will enjoy the same great food and entertainment at the same great location this year. Only the dates will change. Staged at Centennial Park on Lake Street at Rohlwing Road from July 25 to 28, the four-day extravaganza has been sponsored for...