Surprise! A restaurant with a patty-slinging name in a suburban strip mall just happens to serve top-notch pizza. Once you figure out that the big chef is Cristiano Bassani (Bice, Coco Pazzo, Carlucci), the spacious layout, cloth napkins, charming service, and sophisticated bar start to make sense. And the stocky paisano clearly knows the secret … Read more
Assistant dining editor Carrie Schedler and Coalfire founder J. Spillane face off on the ideal shape for a slice.
Nothing says tradition like a third-generation dough recipe, a well-worn rotating deck oven, and irregularly shaped blasts from the past—like this cheesy, saucy specimen. 2124 W. Lawrence Ave., 773-275-1700
Luxurious white tablecloths, a sleek glass-topped communal table, and über-modern barstools say “ristorante” more than “pizzeria,” and plenty of avant-garde pasta, carne, and pesce dishes stream out of Tocco’s kitchen. But the two timeworn wood-burning ovens behind the bar also have a story to tell. It’s the story of chewy-centered, delicately scorched crusts that refine … Read more
A pizza primer, from Neapolitan to Quad Cities and everything in between