Just off the Monroe blue line stop sits one of Chicago’s most recognized restaurants – Italian Village. Founded in 1927, it’s recognized as the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago. Between it’s legacy and seemingly endless list of awards and recognition, the Capitanini family must be doing something right.
After coming to the U.S. from Italy, Alfredo Capitanini opened Italian Village. Operating under the philosophy to “make good, simple food, serve it in ample portions and offer it with warm Italian courtesy,” the restaurant immediately became a favorite amongst Chicago diners. Since it’s opening nearly ninety years ago, the Capitanini family still own and manage the loop landmark. Al and Gina, Alfredo’s great-grandchildren, run the daily operations of Italian Village (and sister restaurants Vierve and La Cantina).
With entrees starting around ten dollars, Italian Village may not be a daily go-to restaurant for students on a budget. But considering the size of portions, it’s likely there will be plenty of leftovers to box-up and bring home for an entire second meal. I left the restaurant thankful the bottons didn’t snap off my pants and somehow had enough food leftover to make two lunches out of.
That being said, our bill was quite large. But considering we ordered two bottles of wine, appetizers and entrees, the prices were significantly lower than other Italian restaurants in the city. And even better than the prices were the staff. Our waiter was friendly, efficient and didn’t correct us when mispronounced our orders (something that seems to occur quite often at other restaurants). He even new a decent amount about the restaurant’s history, and offered to get his manager when he didn’t know an answer (it was busy, so I politely declined his offer).
This may have been my first time to Italian Village, but it certainly won’t be my last. Between it’s central location, great prices and fantastic staff, it’s likely the restaurant will around for another ninety years.
Contributed by Maggie Coffey