Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



SAVOR Tuscany on Taylor; Victory Italian
DISH Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"That's Italian!"

Besides being the slogan for a popular spaghetti sauce, that was my immediate reaction after visiting a pair of restaurants that seemingly encompass the essence of Italy—albeit in different ways.

Tuscany on Taylor ( 1014 W. Taylor St.; )—located, fittingly, in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood and just steps away from the University of Illinois at Chicago campus—is the onlyTaylor spot in Chicago. ( The others are in Oak Brook and Wheeling. ) And, for anyone looking for classic Italian dishes done well, this is the spot—and it's been serving said classics since 1990.

The casual restaurant has tantalizing antipasti such as polpi ( grilled baby octopus ), bruschetta ( with Roma tomatoes, basil and EVOO ) and carpaccio di Manzo ( with arugula salad, shaved parmigiana and truffle oil ). Soup and salad options include calamari done three ways, spinach salad and Caesar salad with chicken, among several other items.

The pizzas ( cooked in a wood-burning oven ) are delightful. I especially liked the Regina—which counts Tuscan sausage, roasted pepper, mushroom and mozzarella as its toppings. Entrees are also done well: The chicken parmigiana was absolutely wonderful, and the duck was solid, if unspectacular. However, all the standards are there, ranging from veal piccata to linguini with scampi.

And the hits keep coming with desserts. Although the cannoli cake I had seen online wasn't available when I was there, the chocolate mousse cake was a more-than-suitable substitute, and other options include cheesecake, tiramisu and cannoli.

Tuscany on Taylor sticks with the tried-and-true—and definitely succeeds.

Victory Italian

While Tuscany on Taylor does its thing, River North restaurant Victory Italian ( 434 W. Ontario St.; ) also takes patrons to Italy—albeit with a more ambitious style.

Victory ( the latest establishment from the Victory Restaurant Group, founded by Chef Joe Farina and Anthony Gambino, and featuring Director of Operations Yvonne Farina ) even describes itself as "upscale" on its website, although you don't need to wear a suit or dress to enter. However, the cuisine may have you thinking you're in a place that's considerably more expensive. ( And this place reminded me of the wonderful Centro—a now-defunct spot what was in the spot now occupied by Imperial Lamian. )

An appetizer pizza is almost necessary. Choices—divided into olive oil- and tomato-based ) include fungi ( wild mushroom, fontanelle and rosemary ); Elmwood Park ( red sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, Italian beef and hot giardiniera ); and Vendura ( asparagus, caramelized onion, mozzarella and balsamic glaze ), among others. Another must-try app is the meatball salad, which comes with a giant beef-and-veal ball that is supremely tasty. However, those are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are other options like mussels, roasted Brussels sprouts, fried and grilled calamari, jumbo stuffed mushrooms and more.

The garlic bread, which comes with every order, is among the best I've ever tried—thick slices topped with parmesan ( that somehow tasted even better after I got home—and topped it with white truffle oil ).

And as for the pasta dishes, they're compelling. The agnolotti dish stuffed with ricotta, parmesan and bacon is a 2018 Baconfest winner ( although, strangely, this was the least intriguing dish for me, although it was nonetheless quite good )—but I liked the pappardelle Bolognese even more. However, there are scores of pasta dishes and other entrees ( pork chop Calabrese, crispy brick chicken, etc. ) that would make things nightmarish for the indecisive if everything weren't so good.

Lastly, save room for dessert—it's certainly worth it, thanks to items like tiramisu ( supremely good ), the not-too-large cannolis and various gelatos.

I mentioned that Victory's style is ambitious. And while ambition doesn't guarantee success, it works wonders in this case. ( BTW, checking out the interior is a must. Just try to see how many famous faces you can identify from the portraits that fill the walls throughout this restaurant. )

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

DINING Cochon555 winner, Lent offerings, St. Patrick's items 2019-03-12 - —Chicago "Prince of Pork" Chef Daniel Espinoza, of Cantina Laredo, came out on top at the annual pork-centered event Cochon555. Espinoza will represent ...

Gay News

DINING (Re)openings, Italian culinary cruise, St. Patrick's items 2019-03-05 - —Argentine gelato producer FRIO Gelato will open a new location at Navy Pier later this spring. This will mark the company's fourth location ...

Gay News

Cochon555 returns March 3 2019-02-27 - With an all-star cast of chefs who specialize in whole animal cooking paired with farmers responsibly raising delicious heritage breed pigs, Cochon555 returns ...

Gay News

SAVOR Boleo, The Whistler 2019-02-27 - It's interesting to see the Loop during the week. As soon as five o'clock hits, droves of people leave the office-laden area as ...

Gay News

DINING Walton Street's fried chicken, Blue Door, Mardi Gras 2019-02-26 - —Walton Street Kitchen + Bar, 912 N. State St., is now serving a fried-chicken Sunday evening special. The dinner consists of a three ...

Gay News

DINING Barton G., the place to be 2019-02-26 - Barton G. The Restaurant recently opened its Chicago location, with all of the pomp and circumstance that one expects from Miami-based visionary Barton ...

Gay News

'Chicago Magic Lounge: A Family Show' Feb. 16 2019-02-13 - "Chicago Magic Lounge: A Family Show" will take place Saturday, Feb. 16, 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. The ...

Gay News

DINING New Nico chef, DropShot, Valentine's Day options 2019-02-13 - —Joe Lambert has been named the new executive chef at Nico Osteria and the Thompson Chicago hotel, 1015 N. Rush St. Lambert has ...

Gay News

SAVOR Taureaux Tavern; Black Restaurant Week 2019-02-12 - Those fluent in French probably know what Taureaux Tavern ( 155 W. Van Buren St.; ) is all about—especially when its location ...

Gay News

Cider Summit at Navy Pier benefits Heartland Alliance 2019-02-12 - Part of a tour that takes place throughout the United States, Cider Summit took place Feb. 9 in Navy Pier's Aon Grand Ballroom. ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.