Monday, March 12, 2012

Via Carducci

As one might be able to tell, I like to eat out and despite the fact that I don't eat out at Italian restaurants often, I really like Italian food. In fact, it is one of my favorites. I went recently to an Italian trattoria in Lincoln Park called Via Carducci. I didn't make a reservation but I figured if I went a little early, I shouldn't have a problem. Surprisingly, when I got there the dining room was full and I had to wait a little while. While I thought it a little odd that the place was full so early, I thought it also boded well for the food. There is a small bar in the front room where I waited which gave me time to look at the design of the room. It was a design style that I had seen a few times before. The walls were antique brick with worn plaster and a mural of the Italian countryside. Another wall had what looked like a worn and faded advertising poster and the ceiling had a mural that looked like a big hole in the roof that showed the sky. While the restaurant had the illusion of being a ruin, it also felt welcoming.

I was seated near the "broken" wall and made my order. I started with the Salumi e Formaggi, a collection of charcuterie and cheese which included salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, mortadella, and capicola, Parmagiano, Reggiano, Fontinella, and Pecorino that was served with olives, artichokes, tomatoes, and lettuce and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was good but it was quite a bit bigger than I expected. The description was vague as to what exactly was included in the dish. If I had known that it was as big as it was, I may not have ordered an entree.
As for my entree, I was actually kind of glad that I didn't go with the pasta. While all of the pasta dishes looked really good, they were all pretty big and if I had gone with the pasta, I am not sure I would have been able to move. The entree that I ordered wasn't light but it was lighter than the pasta would have been. I ordered the Chicken Vesuvio which actually was a dish born in Chicago (possibly at the former Vesuvio Restaurant). It was a boneless chicken breast with peas in a garlic, rosemary, and white wine sauce and served with roasted potatoes. It was very fragrant and tasted good and between that and my appetizer, I could have easily ended my meal there.
Against my better judgement (I was full already and if I continued eating I would start heading toward uncomfortable. I was also going to have to bike home.) I decided since I was out that I should at least look at the dessert menu so I wearily asked the waiter what the desserts were and decided on the Chocolate Truffle Cake. The cake came out and I thought that if it tasted as good as it looked, I would really enjoy it. It was and I did but I was so full at the end of the night that I didn't need to eat until lunch the next day.

I really enjoyed my meal here despite stuffing myself. I do know know the serving size and will know how to order the next time I come here.

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