First Look: Italian Hotspot Elina’s Ushers in Chicago’s Red Sauce Revolution

Oct 07, 2021 249

BY: Lisa Futterman

Chicagoans have always loved Italian-American restaurants—we’ve got several neighborhoods chock full of them—so no matter where you find yourself, a platter of Fried Calamari or an order of Chicken Parm is always within a fork’s reach. And lately, a whole new crop of markedly fancy Italian spots have opened up around town, including Boka Group’s Alla Vita helmed by Michelin-starred chef Lee Wolen, the South Loop’s Apolonia with SKY chef Stephen Gillanders, and Adalina in the Gold Coast, led by Soo Ahn of the late Band of Bohemia.

Their menus—front-loaded with garlicky Caesars, gooey arancini, elegant plates of crudo, and plenty of pasta, often rolled, stuffed, or extruded in-house—dip into the holy trinity of age-old tradition, farm fresh ingredients, and luscious carbs. (Pro tip: don’t skip pastry chef Kim Mok’s fantastic desserts at Alla Vita—especially the swoon-worthy Nutella Sundae.)

Read more


You may be interested