Thanks to a flag from VitalInfo, called an audible for dinner last night and schlepped out to Giannotti II in Oakbrook Terrace to meet a Naperville Colleague.
I used to love Giannotti at Cumberland and Lawrence--in a span of three years we had been dozens of times, but sadly, it closed several years ago. Last night, I found out why: the irresistable hegemony of Walgreen's et al.
Meanwhile, the Oakbrook Terrace location was superb: the real deal Italian Steakhouse, the food even better than its other location.
This is one of those places where enjoyment of the food, itself good to very good, is truly augmented by the service and the atmosphere.
What atmosphere? Smarmy lounge, obnoxious cigars, big drinks, professional caring old time waitresses and floor staff, superb bread, great local characters. Oh, and pretty good food.
Crisped hot sausage and and garlicy escarole, preceded by a very flavorful escarole en brodo. Very good calamari and linguine marinara. Forgettable spinach with rice. Really wanted the Italian pork chops and peppers or the chicken vesuvio, but, but, am really trying to maintain newtonian equilibrium here.
Just two Offensive Line sized business guys, trying to keep our svelte figures. It was so good that my Naperville colleague made a Valentine's Day reservation for himself and his wife.
Confession: All of us grew up together in NYC, where its commonly acknowledged that there are only three kinds of restaurants worth a damn: Italian, Italian and Italian.
I just wish it didn't take me 90 minutes at rush hour to get from Glenview out to Oakbrook Terrace (25 minutes on the return).