Chicago Italian Food Means La Scarola with Jess Altieri and Wine Channel TV
La Scarola is in the book of legendary Italian Restaurant places to visit when you’re in Chicago. Period. You haven’t had Italian in Chicago unless you’ve eaten here. Don’t be fooled by the old, hanging sign out front. And yes, you will be asked to go and wait on Friday and Saturday nights at the bar next door, called Richards. Its the designated waiting room for La Scarola. And with a 70’s jukebox in there, it’s the perfect spot to chill before dinner.
Jerry Springer, David Schwimmer, Billy Dec, Jim Belushi, Morgan Freeman are only a few of the celebs who mangia at La Scarola. Here’s Springer and Armando:
The first time I showed up, Nicolas Cage was sitting by the door in his wife-beater tank top eating his pasta. That’s the type of place this is, everyone and anyone can show up at anytime because they all know what they’re going to get here- amazing, authentic Italian food.
I’m a meatball fanatic, and the ricotta stuffed meatballs with heavenly marinara sauce is to die for. The chicken parm, grilled salmon over risotto, cold escarole with lemon and veal chop the size of your head are a few favorites of mine. And don’t forget about the freshest cannoli in town for dessert; they were voted the best cannoli in Chicago not too long ago.
I had a chance to sit with one of the owners, Armando, and every time I see him I know it’s going to be a good night…filled with lots of tequila shots, don’t ask me why !
Chicken Parm was calling my name this night, so I decided to try some affordable Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Margherita.
I had only tasted the Santa Marg Pinot Grigio before which is a classic you can’t go wrong with, so I was excited to see how this stood up. At $30 a bottle, this bright, round full bodied Cabernet had ripe cherry and blackberry notes that went great with the marinara sauce. This Cabernet was nice for the price.
Watch WineChannelTV at La Scarola, you won’t want to miss this episode!