It's safe to say that the co-owners of Maddon's Post ( 1119 W. Waveland Ave.; www.MaddonsPost.com )James Beard Award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano and Chicago Cubs coach Joe Maddonhave immersed themselves into this spot.
Everything, including the decor and certainly the cuisine, is an homage to the heritages/families of Mantuano ( Italian ) and Maddon ( Italian and Polish ).
Walking around the Wrigleyville restaurant ( which is predictably packed during the Cubs' home games ), there are nods to the ownersa giant, blown-up restaurant bill that Maddon signed, photos of families and even records of acts such as Prince and Led Zeppelin ( in the private room on the second floor ).
And then there's the food. Start, of course, with the appetizers that include hand-cut fries ( with rosemary and Parmigiano Reggiano ), the wood-fired mozzarella fuso and Dorothy's crispy potato pancakea must-have. Salads include varieties such as the refreshing Polish cucumber ( with creme fraiche and herbs ), Hazleton antipasti ( named after Maddon's hometown ) and others.
However, you're just getting started. Main dishes center on meatssuch as the kielbasa and claims, blackened whitefish and ( naturally ) baseball steak. The wood-fired pizzas include Joe's Pizza ( which includes Maddon's favorite topping: green olives ), Mortadella Cups, the classic Margherita and others. Pastas include some very tasty ( and properly layered ) lasagna rolls as well as braised brisket rigatoni and Mama K's pappardelle ( with pancetta, onions, cabbage and fontina ). Also, pierogies ( pan-fried and served in groupings of five ) are filled with pork sausage, farmer's cheese or potatoand they're absolutely addictive.
Lastly, I urge you to save room for dessert. The chocolate paczki ( which are almost bite-size, and come with strawberry jam ) will tempt the most carb-phobic individual, and there are Seany Boom-Boomssea-salt chocolate-chip cookies that marry the savory and sweet in a way that seems very tempting.
And drinks continue the homages, with Maddon's Post being the only place where one can try Haymarket "Try Not to Suck" draft beer ( Cubs fans will recognize that phrase ) as well as cocktails such as Maddon's Mule, El Mantuano and Toast to Hazleton.
Mantuano and Maddon probably could've put anything together in this spot and draw crowds ( especially on game days ). However, thanks to the attention they've put on their heritage-related touches, Maddon's Post that will have crowds returningeven in the off-season.