Mille Lire’s Summer Pastas Are an Overlooked Gem in Oak Lawn

Jul 22, 2019 405

This has been a bad month for Mille Lire, Oak Lawn’s criminally underrated Italian restaurant. On June 30, co-owner Brian Ellard, wife Ornella and her two teenage children were killed in an airplane crash in Addison. The restaurant kept its doors open after the tragedy and Ellard’s co-owner and brother-in-law, Giuliano Matarese, continued to lead the kitchen.

But at 7 p.m. on a recent Friday, the expansive, well-lit, gorgeous dining room — which Ornella Ellard designed — sat nearly half-empty. Where is everybody, and why don’t they know how good this restaurant’s summer pastas are? Just look at the photo at the top of this story. Mille Lire has a bowl of spaghetti with a spicy Calabrian chile and cherry tomato sauce that’s garnished with half a freaking lobster ($36). And here’s the thing: It’s not even my favorite pasta there!

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