Chicago >Caffe La Scala
Classy, comfortable Little Italy restaurant scores with traditional fare in an upscale, Prairie-inspired space..
Framed vintage Italian posters spruce up the walls of the cozy, carpeted dining room, whose rich wood and stained-glass accents give the place a Prairie-inspired warmth. While quiet at lunch (a few businessmen, some UIC faculty), come dinnertime, the space buzzes with an amiable mix of students and longtime regulars from the neighborhood.
La Scala's kitchen churns out generous portions of authentic, classic Italian fare, from caprese salad and meatball panini to steaks, veal, chicken and fish dishes. For starters, there's fried calamari and stuffed artichokes, but it's the sublime spicy banana peppers stuffed with herb-specked sausage in spicy marinara that you won't forget. Pastas are nearly perfect, from tortellini in delicate tomato-cream sauce with prosciutto and mushrooms to firm, delicious gnocchi in a meaty bolognese. Dessert offerings include tiramisu, cannoli and a chilly, creamy tartufo dusted with cocoa powder.
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