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Italian in Downtown Chicago

I wish I would have seen this post before my recent trip to Chicago. We had 2 Italian meals while we were there last week. One we hated and one we loved. Our first dinner out was at Volare on Grand Ave recommended by the Fairmont concierge. We sat inside which was stuffy, stale, dark, outdated (the patio view was equally unappetizing). We should have known better and left at this point as another guest did beside us just a few minutes after they were seated. The meal was equally as terrible, over salted and not authentic Italian at all. I couldn't believe how busy the place was. Had to be a tourist trap or just a good location for pple looking to eat within walking distance of the local hotels. We expressed our displeasure back to the concierge who recovered by recommending Viaggio on W. Madison. We were willing to go the distance - wasn't far from Mich. Ave. we walked it there ( a bit of a hike ), but took a cab back to the hotel @ $10 cab ride. The service was attentive, the food delicious, and the atmosphere was clean and casual. We had peppers stuffed with sausage & mussels marinara for our app - which my 8 yr old daughter loved sopping up her bread in the juice (YUM). Our entrees were pasta carbonara, spaghetti w/ shirimp, and red snapper vesuvio. We altered the entree a bit from the menu which they were very whiling to accommodate. We were absolutely stuffed and skipped dessert. Our third and final night we decided to eat Cuban, but highly contemplated going back for seconds. We will def. go back to Viaggio on our next Viaggo to Chicago!!

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Volare
201 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Viaggio Ristorante and Lounge
1330 West Madison, Chicago, IL 60607

Aug 04, 2011
foodie4fun in Chicago Area

Underwhelmed again at Scarpetta

Tonight was our first time eating at Scarpetta and I was surprised to hear your review, although I haven't been to his Manhattan restaurant so I can't compare. We had a 6pm reservation, which maybe early for a Thursday night there, not sure since it was not busy at all. We tried the lamb carpaccio (special), misto fritto, and heirloom tomatoes as our apps. The misto fritto was our least favorite, but sill yummy and light for fried food. They did bring out a sample of the polenta, which was amazing for cornmeal! It's not something I would have ordered, but something I would def. get if and when we go back. Our entrees, were the sable fish, trout, spaghetti with tomato sauce, and the strip loin. All were amazing. The spaghetti is simply delicious!! The sable fish was probably my least favorite, but the others I would order again! We also sampled the orccheitte & duck foie gras raviolis - very rich and original.Believe it or not we had room for dessert! We had the chocolate cake, strawberry/rhubarb shortcake & chocolate carmelina. They were all so good. Love the various textures of the carmelina, the chocolate cake was decadent, and the shortcake was light, loved the basil and cream...ah..... The service was top notch. We will be back to dine again!

Aug 04, 2011
foodie4fun in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Union Oyster House - is it worth it?

Thanks everyone for your feedback! 2 weeks to go before I can try some of the suggestions...and of course cancel my reservation! Will post feedback!

Jul 16, 2010
foodie4fun in Greater Boston Area

Balsamico? Anyone been?

I would recommend reservations at Balsamico. Quaint little place, with only so many tables. Family run, and seem to be learning and tweaking things as they progress. Menu is similar if not exactly the Sette Mezzo menu. The Salmon Bruschetta Salad on pizza dough is my favorite. After that the grilled fish selection w/ side of veggies or pasta is good. Chef is accommodating and always friendly. I agree servers are not on top of you, so it you want that sort of service, this might not be the place for you. We would go back.

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Sette Mezzo
936 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C2C2, CA

Jul 14, 2010
foodie4fun in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Union Oyster House - is it worth it?

We are coming to Boston for the first time and meeting up with some old friends. Already made reservations at Union Oyster House, but seemed like a tourist trap? Is it a must for the first time Boston visitor or are there any other "must" places to eat? Dinning w/ a 7 yr who eats anything and will be in town for 4 nights...need suggestions. Thanks!

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Union Oyster House
41 Union Street, Boston, MA 02108

Jul 14, 2010
foodie4fun in Greater Boston Area

Top 10 Food Experiences in Toronto

Pizzeria Libretto was recommended by a friend and out our way to get to, but definitely well worth it. We were warned to get there early and chose to sit at the bar. Although I thought the male bartender was hitting on my husband, it was quite amusing and the variety of bruschetta toppings other than your typical tomato was...memorable...yum... would definitly go back.

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Pizzeria Libretto
221 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

Jul 14, 2010
foodie4fun in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

2010 closings

I think Trillium was on Restaurant Makeover if I recall...guess that didn't help. Pass this location often, and parking maybe a bit of an issue...waiting for reviews on Cuscina Ristorante before trying that one. To: Toronto Fastfoodie...think the old Second Cup location on Avenue is going to be a bank.

Jul 14, 2010
foodie4fun in Ontario (inc. Toronto)