The Italian Village"
"An Italian Night Out"

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What can I say about a Chicago landmark that has been in business for eighty years. The Italian Village Restaurants has been owned and operated by the Capitanini family since 1927 and has been successful ever since. Alfred Capitanini, who immigrated to this country, offered authentic Italian cuisine at a very good price.

Years ago I would go to the Village often and have always enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. Service is always top notch since a majority of the staff has been around for quite some time I’m sure they have everything down to a science by now.

The Italian Village has three restaurants under one roof, “The Village”, “La Cantina” and “Vivere” and boasts the largest wine cellars in the Midwest. All three restaurants share a 45,000 bottle wine list, which sommelier Ron Balter maintains on a daily basis.

My wife and I decided on eating at “The Village” located on the second floor. Designed like a little Italian town, “The Village” is a very cozy and romantic place to dine.

We started with an order of “Baked Clams Oreganata” and an Italian antipasto which was excellent. Baked clams have always been my favorite since I was young.

For our entrees we ended up ordering the “Rotolo di Polo” which was chicken rolled with sausage, prosciutto and sage and served with fettuccini alfredo and my wife’s all time favorite “Pollo alla Vesuvio” which is served with Vesuvius potatoes and loaded with herbs and garlic.

Needless to say both dishes were delicious but I especially enjoyed the “Rotolo di Polo”. The best “Chicken Vesuvio” we ever had was at “La Fontanella” on 24th and Oakley.

I don’t drink as well as when I’m with my wine guys, they usually bring something from their private collections to the table, but we did have a simple bottle of Lungaritti Pino Grigio which was fine with our meal.

To top off the evening we simply enjoyed coffee with Sambuca . This time we were just to full for dessert.

The Italian Village is the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago and a great part of Italian-American history. They are located at 71 West Monroe. For reservations phone 312-332-7005 or visit their website at

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