NEWS FROM : MIDWEST  

Jim "Otto" Ottolini balks at the concept of inspiration, at least in the traditional way of understanding it as a spark that ignites an action. He sees it as the opposite: That you begin with a first step, then see if it catches you in a way that makes you want to go further. That's how he describes his entry into the world of beer — a career in wh...

The management team of Mici (pronounced mee-chee) Handcrafted Italian has its roots firmly planted in Italy and its sights set on growth in the U.S. Founded by siblings Jeff, Michael, and Kim Miceli, the Denver-based, fast-casual Italian concept was built by combining old family recipes with an understanding of modern family life; the food is whole...

The primary forces motivating Italian migration, at its height from 1880 to 1920, were overpopulation, a series of crop failures and agricultural depressions, and a general discontent among the contadini, the "peasants." And, at the time, the United States of America was in a position to receive newcomers.  Technological advances in America, railro...

Members of the Berlusconi family only argue at reunions over who gets to cook. That's according to restaurateur Antonio Berlusconi, whose new restaurant, Bella Vita, opened Sunday at 208 St. Louis Ave., in Fulton. Bella Vita is open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. seven days a week and offers lunch specials and a children's menu. Berlusconi's family hails from V...

Portillo's, the casual Chicago-based restaurant known for its hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, is set to open a second Minnesota location in Maple Grove at 12251 Elm Creek Blvd N Tuesday. The Maple Grove location follows the 2017 opening in Woodbury. Leading up to the restaurant's opening, Portillo's partnered with two local community organiza...

Get ready for this year's Italian Film Festival and join us on Thursday, February 8th, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, at the Tek Box in Minneapolis. You will enjoy Italian specialties (Antipasto, Frappe - tasty Carnevale treats - , Torta della Nonna - a classic Tuscan-born tart- ... just to name a few) with great wines and live music performed by Talking St...

I appreciate when a restaurant has a firm grasp on its identity. Come Back Inn, the long-standing eatery at the corner of Swan and Breckenridge streets, is such an establishment. The homey, neighborhood vibe coupled with dishes that are unabashedly covered in bubbling layers of cheese, speaks to the restaurant’s distinction as an Italian-American p...

Grand Island is home to the impressive Hall County Courthouse, a stately structure designed by noted architect Thomas Kimball of Omaha. Now, Grand Island residents can be proud that their city’s downtown has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. “The district contains an intact collection of late-19th and early- to mid-20th-ce...

One of the longest running shows in off Broadway history, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is one-of-a-kind entertainment – an immersive comedy show staged as an evening of nuptials. Together with their Italian-American families, Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale cordially request the honor of your presence to celebrate their holy matrimony at The Old Glass P...

Laura Norris’ great-grandparents were Italian immigrants, and she grew up visiting them and their favorite Bronx delis. The experience turned her into a lifelong lover of Italian food. But as an adult she also dreamed of one day opening an Italian deli of her own. In late 2013, after a longtime career in non-profits, she opened not a deli but a nei...

Bill and Pam Valentino have moved their Italian restaurant, Billy Vee’s, from Panora to West Des Moines. The couple opened Dec. 8 in an old house on Fifth Street in Valley Junction that formerly housed Tres Amigos Mexican Restaurant. Billy Vee’s seats about 60 in five dining rooms on the main floor of the house, said Pam Valentino. The menu include...

Born in Italy, Virginio Ferrari came to Chicago in the 1960s, and he blossomed into an internationally sought-after sculptor. The artist recently turned 80 years old. “Chicago Tonight” visited him in his Bridgeport studio on the eve of what promises to be another big year for him. Phil Ponce: You’ve seen his abstract work “Being Born” at the Ohio S...