Back to Back Issues Page
Shut Up and Mangia!, Issue #005 -- Truffles
August 01, 2007

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” - Harriet van Horne

The fifth issue of "Shut Up and Mangia!" will focus on the truffle, one of the most expensive foods in the world.

Throughout history these delicacies have been revered by Kings and Queens. Throughout October until January the hunt for the holy grail of the food industry begins. I know I’m early but after making the Veal Marengo recipe earlier last week using white truffles I received from a friend, I couldn’t resist adding a few recipes to this newsletter.

Site News

  • Due to popular demand we will be featuring "Shut Up and Mangia!" t-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons and other fine products from Café Press beginning this month.
  • Still finishing up the last couple of page of the wine section. Things always seem to take longer than I think they will. Especially when “The Wine Guys” go off golfing in Alabama for a couple of weeks.
  • As always, send me your favorite Italian family recipe and I’ll be happy to post them. Also any stories for my new “Italian American Heritage Preservation” section would be much appreciated.

  • New Restaurants

  • Café Bionda was recently opened in Wicker Park by Chef Joe Farina. This restaurant is a spinoff of his popular South Loop location which features whole boneless crispy brick chicken with rosemary potatoes, pork chops sautéed with banana peppers, garlic and white wine, antipasti, pastas and other great Italian entrees. The Wicker Park restaurant is located at 1467 North Milwaukee Ave.. For reservations phone 773-342-2100. The South Loop restaurant is located at 1924 South State Street. For reservations phone 312-326-9800.

  • Table Fifty-Two is scheduled to open today in the old Albert's Cafe & Patisserie space on Elm Street. This long anticipated restaurant is the creation of Oprah’s personal Chef, Art Smith. Chef Smith will be serving fried chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy and chicken gumbo, plus wood-oven prepped pizzas and cedar-planked fish. Table Fifty-Two is located at 52 West Elm. For reservations phone 312-573-4000.

  • Piccolo is now open at 859 North Damen Ave. and is serving up some delicious Italian cuisine including soprassata, arugula and sliced fontina Panini, honey-lavender gelato and white anchovy and pesto-infused oil bruschetta. For reservations phone 773-772-3355.


    The Chicago Air and Water Show is scheduled for August 18 and 19 at the lakefront between Fullerton Ave. to Oak Street. Starting at 9:00a.m., the show will feature performances from the U.S. Air force Thunderbirds, the Lima Lima Flight Team, and the Aero Shell Aerobatic Team among a host of others. For futher information visit The Chicago Air and Water Show.

    The Chicago Outdoor Film Festival continues through August 28th. Every Tuesday night in Grant Park the festival offers a one-of-a-kind theater experience featuring classic movies on a 50 by 34 foot screen. Movies begin at dusk.

    Taylor Streets Festa Italiana begins August 10 through the 12th on Taylor Street between Loomis and Ashland Avenue. One of my favorite Italian festivals features live entertainment, food, fun and more food. For a full entertainment schedule and further information visit Taylor Streets Festa Italiana.

    Wild About Truffles

    For anything you ever want to know about truffles in North America, I found the North American Truffling Society. It’s amazing how much information they put together. Also two great site for purchasing the lucrative white truffle among others are Urbani Truffles and Sabatino Tartufi. Both of these source will solve all your truffle needs.

    Great Truffle Recipes

    For some great truffle recipes I hope your enjoy Cooking with Truffles. These recipes include an Asparagus Salad with Black Truffles, Chicken Risotto with Truffle Oil, Fettuccine with Mushrooms and White Truffles, Filet Mignon with Truffle Sauce and Truffle Mashed Potatoes.

    As always, I would appreciate any feedback on these recipes or any other on the site. Any other questions I could answer just contact me at Great Chicago Italian

    Final Thoughts

    Feel free to email this newsletter to a friend so they can Subscribe to "Shut Up and Mangia!" and begin to enjoy the many Italian recipes we have to offer.

    Take Care,

    Phillip J. Speciale

    That's a discovery! That's Italian! That's
    Great Chicago Italian

  • Back to Back Issues Page