Author Archive for Luca Servodio

Bronzeville on the Bayou

Sitting before a massive dish of red, steaming Creole-style jambalaya, my mind echoed with Hank Williams’s famous line: “Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.” However, I did not find myself in a Southern backwater town but at Le Fleur de Lis, Bronzeville’s self-proclaimed “newest and best Creole restaurant,” located a stone’s throw away from the 41st Street Green Line stop.

Prix-Fixe à la Pilsen

Of the 200 plus restaurants participating in Chicago Restaurant Week, eight are south of Roosevelt Road. Pilsen’s May St. Cafe leads the octet with a stellar reputation and the Latin flare to back it up.

Sunny South Side Up

The Bongo Room, a South Loop extension of the legendary Wicker Park restaurant with the same name, is best described as the illegitimate brain-child of Willy Wonka and IKEA–a cozy yet modern spot where creatively concocted plates of food come readymade.

A Klas of Its Own

A few icy blocks into the heart of a seemingly endless row of drab, one-story businesses around 54th and Cermak, it begins to feel a lot like the Old Country. Three adjacent buildings suddenly appear, adorned with rustic wooden beams and quaint, pointy red-tiled roofs that tower over the neighboring taquerías and lingerie stores.

Fine China

Across the tracks from the Cermak/Chinatown Red Line station, an elderly man wearing a beret bundles up close to his wife’s fur coat as they stroll down Wentworth Avenue. The night air is chilly, but for some reason they stop…

Pigging Out

When I first heard of Honky Tonk BBQ, Willie Wagner’s Pilsen smokehouse that started making some considerable noise when it opened a few years ago, I knew it was time to get my oink on. Besides the roll of paper…

Breaded Bliss

As I walk through the old-fashioned wooden doors of Ricobene’s, the Diana Ross classic “I’m Coming Out” softly directs me towards the old school counter in a mesmerizing fashion. Ricobene’s is a family-owned Bridgeport institution. Started by twin brothers and kept in the family to this day, this well-loved eatery has been serving up a comprehensive menu of Italian-American classics, fast food staples–and bizarrely enough–house-smoked barbecue since 1946.