Centerstage - Chicago's Original City Guide

Virtual L ®

Virtual L Locations Near Ventrella's CaffeWhat's near Ventrella's Caffe?

in Lincoln Square or Damen on the Brown line

Chicago Dining
By Style
Restaurants A-Z
Dining Guides
User Reviews
Find an error?
Are you the owner?
Tell Us Here

SUBSCRIBE to
CRUMB and FestFile is Centerstage Chicago's Weekly E-Newsletter.
Enter your email to get
our weekly newsletter:

Ventrella's Caffe

View Map4947 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 506-0708
Details Find What Else Is Nearby Ventrella's Caffe User Reviews

Editorial Review of Ventrella's Caffe

The amazing gelato.
THIS VENUE HAS CLOSED AND WILL RE-OPEN AS DOLCE CASA IN MARCH 2010.

When James Ventrella, a self-described "old rockabilly kind of guy," came across an empty spot on Damen Avenue, he knew he'd found a home for his cafe. With the original 1920s tin ceiling and bakery floor, a wood-burning fireplace added in the '70s, and abundant exposed brick, the spot just felt right. In opening the cafe, Ventrella added a half dozen dark-wood tables and a cluster of deep red chairs and sofa around the fireplace. The end effect is an open, clean-line look that wows diners in the details.

The same can be said of the menu, which focuses exclusively on Italian panini, often with an American twist, and gelato. The selection of panini rotates among the likes of tuna salad and fig and blue cheese, with the Ventrella (tomato, basil, provolone and giardinera) and Prosciutto (prosciutto, provolone and thin slices of green apple) offered daily. At $6-$7 each, the panini are paired with slices of sweet, juicy watermelon, and can be polished off with a shot of Lavazza espresso.

The gelato, though, is the real show stopper. Handmade by a local artisan who works out of his home, the creamy dessert comes in classic Italian flavors like stracciatella (a light chocolate chip) and nocciola (hazelnut) as well as more American varieties like the tart and creamy mandarin orange sorbetto, studded with dime-size chunks of sweet, melt-in-your-mouth orange. Flavors vary by season and by the mood of its maker, but you'll have your pick of six to eight options daily (and at only $4 for a double, you won't have to choose just one flavor).

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood

Styles Tagged To Ventrella's Caffe

User Reviews

Read other people's reviews and post your own opinion about Ventrella's Caffe too!

Hours

10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Directions to Ventrella's Caffe

Our directions are included with our maps of Ventrella's Caffe
chicago

chicago, metromix
-->