721 W. Grand Ave. (500N, 700W)
Chicago, IL 60610
Chicago Bistro Project "Quick Bite"
La Scarola, meaning "curly endive" in Italian is run by the Mondelli Family and is one of our favorite Italian restaurants in Chicago, perhaps only behind the Italian Village. You literally cannot go wrong with anything on the menu as all items are handmade and delicious, and the price is in line with most other Italian restaurants even though the quality of food is a step above most of the more popular River North and Gold Coast options. La Scarola also offers a classic Italian atmosphere in two smallish rooms: the front room with its open kitchen, fireplace and walls chockers with photos of celebrities who have dined here, and the back room features plastic grapevines, paintings of Italy and a wall mural of an Italian town. Even with its off-the-beaten-path location just northwest of downtown, you'll want to make a reservation and/or come early as the joint is often packed for lunch and dinner, unless you want to wait outside. If you like La Scarola you might also want to check out nearby Mart Anthony's in West Town, Club Lago in River North and Tufano's Vernon Park Tap in Little Italy. Afterwards, grab a nitecap at Emmit's Pub (filmed in Ocean's Eleven, Backdraft and Uncle Buck), which is just west at the corner of Milwaukee, Halsted & Grand. For more information, check out the La Scarola website. Chin-chin!
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– created by Sean Parnell