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Fooditor Restaurant Review

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It’s Friday night, and those with higher ambitions for a night out than pizza and Netflix are out at Park Ridge’s most popular Italian restaurant. It’s barely out of town—the city starts on the other side of Canfield—yet it feels like something that’s gotten kind of rare on Chicago’s food scene, a restaurant full of regulars. Nobody has the look of not being sure what the restaurant specializes in; nobody has to be asked if they’ve dined with us before, or to have the way the menu works explained to them.

There’s solitude at the bar, and laughter at the tables, and family conversations as unselfconscious as if they were taking place at home. John Giannini, one of the two chef-owners, who’s 36 and could pass for a decade younger, comes out and chats up a table of older folks who probably remember him as a kid. Waitstaff whips between tables with plates like toreadors dancing around bulls, while in the tiny kitchen, they’re dishing as many dishes into to-go containers as onto white china, in this age of GrubHub.


By: Michael Gebert