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Shut Up and Mangia!, Issue #017= The Trattoria
January 28, 2009

"Shut Up and Mangia!"

“Non ci ricordiamo dei giorni, noi ci ricordiamo dei moment
(“We do not remember days, we remember moments“)

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Welcome to the 16th issue of "Shut Up and Mangia!". In this issue we present a tribute to the wonderful Trattorias of Italy. Trattoria dining is less formal and more casual than a ristorante and serves some of the best Italian regional dishes in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

These family owned establishments serve up simple traditional dishes bursting with robust flavor. Their recipes reflect their passion for simple Italian home cooking. By using the finest ingredients in Italy to create old world dishes, they define what family style cooking is all about.

Throughout the years and especially the last few years here in Chicago, Trattorias have been opening all over the city re-creating some of the best authentic recipes from Italy. Throughout this newsletter I will take you on a tour of some of these Chicago Trattorias and give you five Trattoria recipes you can enjoy at home.

Site News

Within the next few weeks we will be adding a special feature. You'll be able upload your favorite food photos and post your favorite recipes. You’ll also be able to create your own page to archive your favorite recipes and be able to prepare and comment on other guests recipes.

This feature will also be used to upload photos and stories in our "American Heritage Preservation" page and in a new Chef’s section. This section will be a place where renown or up and coming Italian chefs can promote themselves, their recipes and their restaurants. Also, don’t let me forget, you’ll be able to review your own restaurants. It’s a great feature and I’m looking forward to making it available to you. I will send a special announcement out when these feature are in place.

Now for the big ones. I’ve be very busy developing a few new things which will hopefully be ready in about six months to a year.

The first and biggest project that I have undertaken are the development of "" and "The Italian Food Network". Two very ambitious projects that I’m looking forward too and very excited about. The second project will be to make "Great Chicago Italian Recipes" available to you on your iphones. Again, a special announcement will be sent when these exciting projects are completed.

Great Chicago Italian Recipes is dedicated to adding new and traditional Italian recipes for your enjoyment. The site is getting bigger and better with the addition of “The Italian Grocer“ and the“The Great Italian Music Store“. Thank You for supporting this site. We are now two years old.

Chicago‘s Five Best Trattorias

Here are five of my favorite Chicago Trattorias.

  • Trattoria #10
  • is simply one of the best in the city. Open since 1989, this restaurant serves many original Italian dishes under the direction of Chef Doug D’Avico. They specializes in homemade ravioli, seafood, fresh risotto and pastas. Their menu changes daily so for more information visit their website at Trattoria #10 is located at 10 North Dearborn. For reservations call 1-312-984-1718

  • Riccardo Trattoria
  • is located at 2919 North Clark. Chef Riccardo Michi, formerly from Bice, established this authentic Italian Trattoria which serves various risotto dishes, thirteen pasta dishes and some great meat and seafood dishes. If your looking for true back home trattoria cooking, this is the place to be. For more information visit their website at . For reservations phone 1-773-549-0038.

  • Trattoria Gianni
  • is located at 1711 N. Halsted St.. Since Gianni Delisi’s family run Italian trattoria opened it’s doors in 1988, he has been serving a diverse array of regional Italian specialties. This trattoria in Lincoln Park’s theater district serves daily specials and offers a delicious dessert menu. For further details visit their website at For reservations phone 1-312-664-7907.

  • Zia’s Trattoria
  • is located at 6699 North Northwest Hwy. in the Edison Park neighborhood. Executive Chef Joe Calabrese's trattoria features an simple elegant menu boasting traditional regional recipes. The elegant yet simple décor creates a warm relaxed atmosphere. For further details visit their website at . For reservations phone 1-773-775-0808.

  • Trattoria 225
  • is located at 225 Harrison Street in Oak Park, Illinois. This warm and inviting trattoria offers wood-fired pizza, homemade pasta and a variety of gelato. Chef Craig Charlton uses organic products when available. For further details visit their website at For reservations phone 1-708-358-8555.

    The Best Trattoria Cookbooks

    Here are two are great books by two great cooks. These books depict the true, simple, elegant style of trattoria cooking.

    Chef Biba Caggiano has put together a collection of recipes from trattorias all over Italy. This book Trattoria Cooking: More than 200 authentic recipes from Italy's family-style restaurants is packed with authentic regional recipes.

    The second book Trattoria: Relaxed Italian Recipes for Home Cooks by Maxine Clark, covers a lot of the basics of trattoria cooking along with a vast array of authentic recipes.

    Great Trattoria Recipes

    Here are five of my favorite simple trattoria style recipes for you to try at home. The first recipe is a Breaded Mushroom appetizer followed by Beef with Peppers, Baked Ziti with Sausage, Chicken Arrabiata and Pears Poached in Chianti for dessert.

    Let me know how these Great Trattoria Recipes turn out.

    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.

    Mangia Italiano!

    Take Care,

    Phillip J. Speciale

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

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