Italian food’s been done to death in Chicago, but Italian drinks are a different matter, says Rockit Ranch Productions partner and bartender Brandon Phillips. Rockit’s crew, including Kevin Hickey (The Duck Inn), are working hard at Otto Mezzo, 311 W. Chicago Ave., to ensure the new River North bar will open on April 26. It’s one of the season’s mo...

When: May 24th at 6pm - Where: Italian Cultural Institute, 500 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450 - What: The 2nd Edition of this bestselling biograpy of one of the most important Italian intellectuals of the post–World War II erapresented by Author Barth David Schwartz Author Barth David Schwartz will present the 2nd edition of the bestselling biograph...

A new Italian-inspired cocktail bar is coming to River North. Brandon Phillips, named “Bartender of the Year” by Chicago Tribune in 2016 announced the opening of a new Italian-inspired cocktail bar, named Otto Mezzo – set to open Wednesday, April 26 at 8:30 p.m. The cocktail bar will join Rockit Ranch Productions, the Chicago-based hospitality grou...

An Evening with Alberto Moravia, a dramatic (and comedic) reading of 3 of Moravia's short stories. by Lawrence Garner. May 2nd at 6:30pm. Italian Cultural Institute. 500 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450. Chicago, IL. Free and open to the public. Lawrence Garner will give a dramatic (and comedic) reading of 3 of Moravia's short stories from his antholo...

Siena Tavern co-owner Fabio Viviani lived in the area for less than six years before he scored one of Chicago's greatest honors -- having a day named for him. He joked that it also didn't take long for that recognition to go to his head. "I was like, 'Hello, what are we waiting for?,'" Viviani told the Tribune in a recent chat at Siena Tavern in Ri...

Italian ice is unquestionably an essential summertime Chicago dessert. The basic recipe for the iconic frozen treat is fairly agreed upon: a proper ice should contain sugar, frozen water, and whole fruits or juice. Italian ice comes in a multitude of flavors, but the most classic and widespread variety is lemon, sometimes also called frozen Italian...

There’s only one way that the Fiat 124 Spider should be driven. And that is with the top down! I was hoping for that to be the case during my early-spring week with the 124 Spider but the weather didn’t cooperate. Top-up driving is one of those necessities to keep the rain out and the heat in, and that’s what I needed. Or, on a really hot and muggy...

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans will present Chicago Cubs executive Michael Lufrano with its prestigious Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award at a gala on June 17 at the Loews Hotel in Rosemont. “During his 12-year tenure with the world champion Chicago Cubs, Mr. Lufrano has built strong bonds of trust with the community and...

Comitato Tricolore Italiani nel Mondo will host its eighth annual Festa della Repubblica on May 28 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in Chicago. The event celebrates the birth of the Italian republic, and it bears the distinction of being the only such celebration outside of Italy to feature a parade through the streets. Festivities will begin w...

At a recent awards banquet, Judie Vitiritti-Lynch was so engaged in talking to her former students that she didn’t hear the emcee announce her name. A colleague prompted her to walk up to the podium, because she had won the Italian Consulate in Chicago’s first-ever Midwest Award for Leadership in the Teaching of the Italian Language and Culture. “I...