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Recent Reviews

Re: “La Bocca Della Verita

La Bocca died on October 1, 2007, along with its creator, Cesare D'Ortenzi. What was once a proud lion on Lincoln Avenue is now the faint memory of a mighty roar. The menu remains the same, but the staff and vibe has changed, and not for the better. What was once tolerated as a "hands off-laid back" approach to table servic, has now deteriorated to the point of no return. The lack of basic food or wine knowledge there is sad, to say the least. Gone are the creative specials that made dinner there so memorable. When Cesare ran the joint, there was electicity in the air. Now, there's nothing more than a flicker. For those of you who remember the golden days of La Bocca, when a vibrant and polished Roman greeted you with a taste of something special he had cooked for "the family", there will always be those memories to cherish. The rest of you will simply have to settle for the "americanized/homogenized" version now being offered up. Thank you, Cesare, for teaching Lincoln Square now to eat something besides Brats.

Posted by Mary Cascella on 10/20/2007 at 11:48 PM

Re: “Trattoria Trullo

Over all I think Trattoria Trullo is off to a good start. The food is regional and authentic, with something for everyone. However, they need to work on their staff. When the only truly competent people on the floor are the bussers, there's something wrong. The best appetizer by far is the insalata de mare, which is well marinated and perfectly balanced. The pasta with chunks of real lobster in a creamy garlic sauce is heavenly. The classic canolli and espresso is remarkable. If only the staff could learn to service their tables and get the food to you when it's still warm, I'd give them a higher rating. Like anything new, some fine-tuning is in order.

Posted by Mary Cascella on 10/20/2007 at 11:20 PM

The square kitchen is a welcome addition to the ever growing Lincoln Square restaurant scene, The room decor is fresh, new, and tasteful. Everything from the menus, to the art on the walls stays true to the "square" theme.
The fried calamari was perfect. The dressing for the pear and red oak leaf salad was divine. The entree assortment is simple and straight forward - pick your meat/pick your sauce. The sandwiches are unique. The separate dessert menu is a great concept. The wine list is excellent. The lighting makes the room warm and inviting. Our server was top notch. I beleive these folks are on to something good!

Posted by I love food on 11/06/2003 at 7:14 PM

Buddies' is a great place for a better Sunday morning breakfast. Although the choices are pretty typical, they're all fantastic. You'll find the bloody mary, mimosa choices, and great coffee. The service was quick, friendly and efficient. The room is bustling without being noisy. The sides are delicious, the corned beef hash, steak and eggs, and omeletts are tasty and presented well. I highly recommend Buddies as a place to start your day without going broke first thing in the morning. Definitely a better choice than the Golden Nugget!

Posted by I Love Food on 11/06/2003 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Ranalli & Ryan

Ranalli's has been one of my personal favorites for close to 10 years. Their consistency, quality, and service never waivers. The crowd is young and sporty, and the decor reflects what young people want in a bar. The seating is comfortable, the music is great, and there are televisions everywhere for the jocks.
Ranalli's claim to fame is their Philly style sandwiches. The bread is ample, and they pile on the meat. The roasted peppers and melted cheese pull it all together and make these sandwiches world class.
If beer is your pleasure the assortment here will make you squeal.
When it comes to the pizza, my choice is the double decker. Yes-that's 2 super thin crust pizzas stack, club style. The panzerotti's are super, if you're into pepperoni, and lots of green peppers & onions. They're basically a pizza, folded into a pocket, and baked.
Late hours and fast delivery make Ranallis a classic ace in the hole for us North siders.

Posted by Mary Ann Cascella on 08/25/2003 at 7:08 PM

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Recent Comments

Re: “La Bocca Della Verita

I hosted a family party at La Bocca over the summer, and there's no doubt that I've raised the bar for family parties! From beginning to end, everything went right. The planner made it simple to choose a family-style meal that included a choice of entrees. Their homemade pastas were not your typical rigatoni with meat sauce. The salad was simple and fresh, with a classic oil/vinegar dressing. The entrees included a Roman style chicken, a classic salmon, and a signature veal choice. The desserts were home made and the wines were both righteous and reasonably priced. The servers were awesome and everyone there made us feel welcome. I can recommend this restaurant without any reservations. They made the evening one to remember!

Posted by Mary Cascella on 09/08/2004 at 11:29 PM

Re: “La Bocca Della Verita

Great variety of breads.
Killer wine list - all Italian and all good.
The kind of place that you want to share your entree so your friends can taste how good it is!
Hip music from different countries, styles and paces.
Unbelievable home made pastas.
Fresh fish that's really fresh.
Wickedly good desserts.

Posted by Mary Ann Cascella on 08/23/2003 at 12:05 PM

Re: “La Bocca Della Verita

What a find! After walking past this place for years, on our way to the Davis theatre, we finally decided to give it a shot. Unlike the last reviewer, I liked the fact that the decor is mismatched and eclectic! This place is a close to a REAL Roman trattoria as you're going to find anywhere in the states. The pace was relaxed, and we never felt like anyone was hovering over us, waiting for us to finish and leave. The wine list is kick butt for those who enjoy Italian wines. In fact, this place is all Italian, all the way! My date had the home made potato dumplings (gnocchetti). They were light and fluffy, cheesy and wonderful! Don't go there if you're looking for spaghetti and meatballs - go if you're looking for real Italian food!

Posted by M.A. on 04/04/2003 at 5:19 PM

Re: “Chicago Joe's

Chicago Joe's is a bustling neighborhood restuarant, that is makes everyone feel at home. The crowd is mixed in age and personalities. The bar is a great room, for diners who like to mix, smoking, drinking, dining and carrying on! There is something on the menu for everyone, and all of it is good. Between the four of us, we polished off the peel-n-eat shrimps, chicken fingers, oysters rockefeller, ribs, cheeseburgers, and key lime pie - and got out of there for under $60.00 (not including tip or liquor). The waitress was a little scattered and slow, but we never had to go looking for her, so all in all, the service was acceptable. Since they have one menu, you can count on having a consistently great meal there, no matter what time you go. I'll go back, for sure!

Posted by M.A. on 04/04/2003 at 5:05 PM

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