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Is there good pizza in Chicago?


paulraphael
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By which I mean, the opposite of Chicago-style. Fightin' words, maybe, but I was raised in Chicago on a diet of Giordano's, Uno's, and Papa Milano's ... and then moved to NYC, where, pizza-wise, at least, I grew up. Now I go back to Chicago for the holidays, and the family x-mas tradition of Giordano's and champaign is hard to get through. It's not just me. My sister's teenage kids, who had the privilege of growing up down the street from one of DC's best Neapolitan pizza places, couldn't stomach more than half a slice (a brick?) of stuffed pizza.

 

Surely there are options in the Neapolitan / neo-Neapolitan style. We'd need something for takeout. 

 

Ideas?

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Chicago is FULL of pizza restaurants -- many of which make a very good, thin-crust pizza similar to those served in New York.  It would be helpful if you posted the area of Chicago you'd prefer for recommendations.  On the  north side of the city, I like Pat's Pizza (2679 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago) but others abound.  Many may annoy you because Chicago pizza restaurants often cut theirs into squares rather than triangular slices, but I'll bet most will accommodate you if you ask for triangular cuts.

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Robert's Pizza Company, in Streeterville, is on the list for my next visit.

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Robert Garvey, a New York native, has been an entrepreneur, business owner, playwright, teacher and most recently, certified Pizzaioli from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli.

 

There's Coalfire -- two locations now, in West Town and Lakeview

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At Coalfire we serve a thin crust, coal-forged pizza that emerges slightly charred and bubbly from our 800 degree oven fueled by clean burning coal.

 

Renaldi's Pizza, in Lakeview -- close to a true NYC pie.

 

 

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Hi, Marmish. Glad to know you're still around. Thanks for the Forno Rosso recommendation. I'll make it a point to get there next time I'm in town. The Randolph location is just down the street from J.P. Graziano. (Paul, if you go to Graziano's, remember that they do close early (4 or 5 p.m.). Get the Mr. G sub.)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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15 hours ago, donk79 said:

Is this where the tradition of sardines on pizza began?

 

Sardines is shorthand for "enemies of the Gambino family."

 

My mom has given Forno Rosso the thumbs-up, so that will be our Christmas eve dinner. Unfortunately, they close at 3pm, and we'll be eating later than that. The pizza will have to suffer delivery and reheating. Not a fair test, especially for something in the napolitano style. I'm guessing we'll still like it more that Giordano's. I hope to try the pizza fresh out of the oven sometime.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

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5 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

Sardines is shorthand for "enemies of the Gambino family."

 

My mom has given Forno Rosso the thumbs-up, so that will be our Christmas eve dinner. Unfortunately, they close at 3pm, and we'll be eating later than that. The pizza will have to suffer delivery and reheating. Not a fair test, especially for something in the napolitano style. I'm guessing we'll still like it more that Giordano's. I hope to try the pizza fresh out of the oven sometime.

 

 

Hmm. I might be worth asking them if, given your circumstances, they'd sell you an unbaked pie or two. I don't know how it'd keep over a few hours, but...

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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2 hours ago, Alex said:

 

Hmm. I might be worth asking them if, given your circumstances, they'd sell you an unbaked pie or two. I don't know how it'd keep over a few hours, but...

 

I doubt they'd do that, and we could never do justice to the dough in a household oven. That would be a disaster. I think it will be fine. I've ordered neapolitan pies often from Roberta's in Brooklyn, and heated up leftovers the next day in a toaster oven. Reheated isn't as good as freshly delivered, which isn't as good as straight out of the oven. But it's very good. People who find the napolitana style too limp and soft might actually prefer it.

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On 12/17/2016 at 9:18 PM, Alex said:

Hi, Marmish. Glad to know you're still around. Thanks for the Forno Rosso recommendation. I'll make it a point to get there next time I'm in town. The Randolph location is just down the street from J.P. Graziano. (Paul, if you go to Graziano's, remember that they do close early (4 or 5 p.m.). Get the Mr. G sub.)


Thanks Alex! I pop in every once in awhile.  Hope all is well with you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forno Rosso was pretty good! 

 

Definitely some well made pies in the Neapolitan tradition. After reheating in the oven they had dried out a bit, as predicted. This made the crust less interesting, but it also made the slices easier to eat (none of us is such a traditionalist that we use a knife and fork). 

 

These were definitely the best pizzas I've had in Chicago. In Brooklyn they'd get probably get a B or B-. A bit heavy on the cheese, and the crust, while more flavorful than the usual Chicago cardboard, isn't exceptionally so. My guess is that they retard the fermentation long enough to get some flavor development, but that they don't use a natural starter. I'm finding it hard to go back to commercial yeast pizzas after getting spoiled by places like Robertas. 

 

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22 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Forno Rosso was pretty good! 

 

Definitely some well made pies in the Neapolitan tradition. After reheating in the oven they had dried out a bit, as predicted. This made the crust less interesting, but it also made the slices easier to eat (none of us is such a traditionalist that we use a knife and fork). 

 

These were definitely the best pizzas I've had in Chicago. In Brooklyn they'd get probably get a B or B-. A bit heavy on the cheese, and the crust, while more flavorful than the usual Chicago cardboard, isn't exceptionally so. My guess is that they retard the fermentation long enough to get some flavor development, but that they don't use a natural starter. I'm finding it hard to go back to commercial yeast pizzas after getting spoiled by places like Robertas. 

 

 

Glad it worked out for you.

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