When the original Marcello's opened in Logan Square in 1947, it claimed to have the best pizza in Chicago. Three generations later, the father-and-son tradition lives on; the Lincoln Park location continuously serves up some of the best pies in the city.
Like most Italian restaurants, Marcello's is warmly lit and accommodates parties of every size. The large dining room, which is divided by a rich wooden wall, has booths and tables scattered about. Jars of olive oil, peppers and pastas as well as bottles of wine complete the relaxed, rustic decor. Bring a date or a large group because the ambience is relaxed and the mood, comfortable. There's also an average-size bar area with a few TVs. While pizza is Marcello's specialty, the extensive menu also includes pastas, burgers, sandwiches and chicken entrees. These dishes start at $7.95 for a half-pound burger and max out at $21.45 for a 12-ounce New York strip steak.
But if it's your first time, you best aim high and experience the pizza. As a nice touch, Marcello's offers its pies in three different styles. Choose from deep-dish, New York-style or the thin and crispy. Pizzas start at $10.45 and peak at $24.95 for an extra large gourmet pie. For a health-conscious choice, try the whole wheat thin crust. Specialty pizzas include spinach, basil and plum tomato and thai chicken. If you just don't feel like pizza, try a two- or four-piece broasted chicken dinner, starting at $7.65.
For dessert, stop at the attached bakery to indulge your sweet tooth. There's also a hefty drink menu, featuring a gourmet wine list and specialty martinis. Free parking.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: John Kristoff