photo: Courtesy of Nick Flandro
If you are still upset about "The Sopranos" ending and you have the "Godfather" trilogy stuck it your DVD player, try to get out of the house. And when you do, visit Trattoria Gianni, a place so authentically Italian, you'd expect the Capone family to be manning the door.
The family-owned restaurant is small and intimate with two fireplaces. As there are only about 20 white linen-covered tables, expect the exposed-brick room to be packed on the weekend. If there's not enough room for your family amidst all the others, consider the private dining room, which can seat up to 50. Everyone is sure to be happy with the location; it's right across the street from the Steppenwolf Theatre and just blocks from Old Town's North Avenue shopping district
The wine list is extensive, and all hail from Italy, including the Grappa. The dinner menu includes classic dishes like zuppa di pesce and cappellini al pomodoro (entrees run $11-$23). Before you decide, make sure to check out the specialita del giorno (the daily house special). Take your time, too; guests are known to settle in and stay awhile, savoring every last bite of the sweet, crunchy cannoli.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Pasha Carroll