Over a decade ago, fresh out of the Culinary Institute of America, south-side native Laurette Vaccaro-Holley returned to her roots, opening this hybrid of bistro and corner tap just a few blocks south of Sox Park. The menu's a significant step up from standard bar food: New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp were six succulent crustaceans in a spicy beurre blanc, and Vaccaro-Holley makes a mean muffuletta ("Big enough for two," the menu says, and that's no lie). There are daily specials and a range of salads and sandwiches, but roughly half the regular menu is devoted to mix-and-match pastas and sauces. My spaghetti alla arrabiata was perfectly al dente and delectably garlicky, and my friend was pleased with his steak Vaccaro, tender slices of rib eye with green peppers and caramelized onions served over penne in a light, savory red sauce. Service can be gruff in the south-side manner, but that just means they think you can take it, right? Cobblestones is open on Sundays when there's a Sox home game.
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