photo: Courtesy of Nick Filandro
Need a quick, inexpensive meal after a long day of shopping on Armitage Avenue? How about a pre-show dinner before heading to Steppenwolf Theatre
? Pasta Palazzo offers the freshest ingredients in its classic Italian dishes, plus great atmosphere and terrific service to boot.
Located near the many shops on Halsted Street and Armitage Avenue, Pasta Palazzo has a neighborhood feel that pairs nicely with its surroundings. Inside, brightly colored tiles and a rainbow-like assortment of colors adorn the walls, and delicious aromas of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic permeate the space. Seating at the handful of high tables is a tad cramped, but you won't mind the friendly patrons who frequent Pasta Palazzo. You'll find families, couples young and old as well as groups of friends stopping by for a bite to eat. Grab a seat at the bar for a front-row view of the chefs preparing your dish. The menu sports a few appetizers, including grilled calamari for only five bucks. But the real gems of the menu are the pasta dishes, which are all $7-$10. The adequate portions ensure that you’ll get your fill and might even have leftovers to spare. Try some of the extras like chicken, sun-dried tomatoes or scallops for a couple dollars more. Not in the mood for pasta? There's a wide selection of salads, sandwiches and a soup of the day. You'll also find daily specials on a chalkboard inside. Everything's served hot and fresh and the service is refreshingly speedy.
As a nice touch, "healthy pasta" dishes are available, which are served with no butter or cheese. You can also substitute whole wheat pasta in any dish for just one dollar. It's cash only here, so be sure to stop at a nearby ATM.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: John Kristoff