So, in the space most recently occupied by the 3rd and final location of an old Old Town standby chinese restaurant (golden dragon - but now long gone) there has for many months now been a sign advertising "Vito and Kessleman - a Jewish Italian Deli" but no signs of progress.
Then last week notes went up that they were hiring.
And on Saturday they opened.
I stopped by last night on my way home and looked over the place, the menu, and ordered a hot pastrami sandwich for takeout.
First, a quick overview of the menu - one side is "Italian" the other side is "Jewish" (with one Irish dish of Corned Beef added for fun. Prices are somewhat high, generally $8-10 for sandwiches, slightly more for the few entrees they offer. They also have side dishes (different on each side), some appetizers, salads, and a few other notable items.
Second, the space - seats about 35 (if you get really comfortable) and has a small bar. At the moment they seem to be packing people in, in the spring and summer they will expand considerable by being able to use their large (but hidden from sidewalk view) outdoor patio.
Third, the food. My first impression is "very good", though I have to try more of the menu to give it a fair verdict. The prices are high, but so is the quality and they clearly make all of their sides in house. So the potatoe salad was not just very tasty but also not overly creamy. The pasta salad with veggies and salami was quite good. The pastrami (imported not made in house) but very tasty and the rouben a very good example of the sandwich.
From what I saw on other people's plates looks like they do everything fairly well.
At the moment they are BYOB, clearly they will be applying for a liquer license but until then they have a great menu and some fun options (a "jewish" antipasta plate and an "italian" version, as well as pretty decent looking cheese plates - bring the wine and enjoy).
Vito and Kessleman is located in the 1600 block of Wells, across from Second City. They just opened so I'm not sure if their hours have been set yet, but check it out, living across from them, I know that I will be.