Craving Bacino’s

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Bella Bacino’s holds a sweet place in our hearts, as we remember it fondly as the place both Jason and I worked when we moved in together way back in 2005.  The pizza there is one of our favorites, and through this pregnancy I have craved nostalgic food!  We had the Margarita and also the Sausage and Mushroom pizzes ( thin crisp crust) and mussels to start as we relaxed on the patio sipping San Pelligrino and enjoying the warmish weather, spring is here people!!  It was such a beautiful night, and true to form Jason was not without his camera, so we snapped some great pictures of my belly’s progress.  We are so happy and so excited that it is April and baby boy should be here very very soon!


Pending Parents must get out to eat as much as possible….


As the title suggests, we are feeling the urge to really enjoy our “freedom” before have a baby, this isn’t helping the “saving money” factor, but we are finding balance!Pictured above is our all time favorite burger, it’s perfect, read more about it when we posted here.  Usually this is a 1-2 hour wait but as I am rather round these days, they pulled some strings and 10 minutes after we put our names on a list, we were ordering up our food!  Pictured: craft beer, root beer on tap and the classic Double Burger… nom nom nom


Above: Korean tacos at En Hakkore 

NIGHTWOOD: Brunch Heaven



Nightwood is located at 2119 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608 and way too close to our home.  They make the best donuts on earth and since that’s what I am craving during this pregnancy… guess who gets to eat them?  Pictured here is a cream filled donuts with chocolate glaze and crunchy nibs, oatmeal pancakes with lemon curd and blueberries ( amazing combo), and Swedish meatball omelette with their “tots”.  These tots are shredded potato packed into a ball and then deep fried to perfection.  They always serve their toast from the wood burning oven with homemade jams, Intelligentsia coffees and fabulous house made cocktails.


FEB_HomesteadRestaurant Week


“The annual culinary celebration features special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity).

Over 250 restaurants take part so get a taste of the city’s rich, culinary diversity: Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Thai and more! Between the neighborhood favorites and downtown hotspots, you can feast on delicious multi-course menus all across the city and suburbs.” LINK for 2015

We enjoyed a wonderful meal with our friends Heather and Fernando at Homestead on the Roof

” The impressive roof deck draws crowds in nicer weather, but Homestead now stays open year-round, and their flavorful menu is worth a trudge through the snow. Their Restaurant Week menu features the Loup de Mer I had recently, with perfectly crisped skin and flaky, slightly-sweet flesh flavored perfectly with savory Serrano ham. The dessert menu is a highlight with Chris Teixeira’s ingenious flavor pairings. A tangy buttermilk sherbet is flavored with sweet beets and served alongside deeply rich chocolate flecked with fragrant thyme. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that it’s all on top of a luscious bed of marshmallow. Homestead on the Roof’s restaurant week menu is $33 for 3 courses and $44 for 4 courses for dinner.” — Melissa McEwen

Homestead on the Roof is located at 1924 W. Chicago Ave.

Grange Hall Burger Bar Restaurant Review


This new burger restaurant popped up on the ever growing strip of Randolph Street between Halsted and Ogden.  They use wonderful grass fed hormone free beef and you can literally taste the freshness and the difference.  We loved that you got to pick your meat ( beef, turkey, veggie)- size of patty ( 6oz or 9oz), type of bun, cheese and additional toppings. They come with mayo/ mustard/ ketchup/ pickles/ lettuce/ tomato/ onion- BUT you can make great combos like Jason’s ( pictured) that has local applewood smoked bacon and a fried egg on top.  Their sides are so unique and really flavorful- the fennel baked beans are awesome with bacon, and white onions, and the Cucumber Ranch-style potato salad with lots of egg and green peppers will inspire our own potato salad to get an update!  Check them out:

Restaurant Review: Davanti Enoteca

Davanti is a great new spot in Little Italy, it has quickly become so popular that the wait can be 1-2 hours.  The interior is rustic, wine bar with large windows and a great atmosphere.  We chose to go there for lunch, which is a great option so you don’t have to wait.  The menu features a nice selection of cheese and meats that you can select indivudually and on Fridays they do a 3 for $12, 4 for $14, or 5 for $17 deal.  Instead, we went with the homemade ricotta and local honey comb from the “Vasi” menu section- and it was AMAZING.  The bread was fresh and warm, the ricotta- so smooth and rich and that honey was perfection to top it all off:

Next we had the beets, roasted, with walnut butter, candied walnuts and creme fraishe.  It was a great mix of flavors, we love beets and goat cheese!  The beets were sliced a little large so the balance was off, but they still tasted great:

Then we tried their polenta “of the day” which has a tomato and sausage sauce- this was incrdible, the polenta was white and creamy- perfect and they served it from the sauce pan on to our table on a cutting boad then topped it with the sausage goodness- this was so warm, comforting, hearty… so perfect for the snowy afternoon we were having:

Next was a ravioli, a giant one, filled with ricotta, a soft cooked egg and spinach in a butter sauce.  The pasta was a little thick around the edges and not anything “special” but the flavors of the runny yolk with the spinach and ricotta made for a nice rich filling ( we’d probably not get this again…):

by now, we were stuffed but had alrady gone for it- a pizze.  It sounded so good- garlic, chili oil, kale, prosciutto with fresh mozzarella… Jason liked it, I wasn’t impressed.  I think pizzes should be light thin cracker crisp crust with light toppings that have a perfect flavor punch, and this was just too thick, not crisped up, heavy cheese, and the prosciutto was just thick pepperoni.  Again, Jason enjoyed it, and the leftovers, he claims, were even better then fresh…

and of course, we were celebrating after getting engaged, with some prosecco and wine off their very extensive list.  Both were perfect!  Definately give this little spot a try, we think it will be fun to go back and just do the fresh cheeses, meats and wine with some friends!

Brunch at Simmone’s

Breakfast burger, perfectly cooked beef ( burgers are good here), fried egg on top intensifies the richness.  Ate the bacon separate from the burger…

Caramelized red onion, mozzarella and bacon omelet topped with avocado and served with hash browns- sounded perfect… unfortunately, it’s hard to find a good cooked omelet out- as you can see it’s a golden brown crust- yuck.  The onions were sauteed in a gallon of oil at best- not caramelized… and in a pool of grease you could see glistening fried hash browns.  The bacon was not crisp, rather a little on the rubbery side…. The toast- very good! 
Overall for Simone’s BRUNCH: The service,- fantastic, the outdoor patio- heavenly, but stick with drinks at and lunch/ dinner for this spot because brunch was heavy on the grease, low on the freshness and no good.

Dinner Out- Osaka2 on Taylor Street


On Thursday night we checked out the Little Italy market going on down Taylor Street between Ashland and Loomis. They had a lot of vendors selling all the neighborhood favorites… Pompei Meatball Subs… Rosebuds Oregano Chicken wings… Leona’s breaded ravioli…. but we were craving something a little less heavy and right down the block- SUSHI! We really love the new Osaka 2, there is another location in the loop but this is just minutes from our door step (and they deliver!). They are BYOB, inexpensive, and the sushi is always hand made, fresh and delicious. Our top favs to order there include Hawaii Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Philadelphia Roll, and of course California Rolls are always a good choice. They make tremendous smoothies- Peach Mango anyone? And if you aren’t a raw fish lover, they offer a few other great choices like Teriyaki Chicken and miso soup! Check them out, we’re sure you’ll love em.

UPDATE 2011: Sadly Osaka 2 Go location on Taylor has closed, you can find them at their other location in the Loop still.