Restaurant for Two: a feature where I bring a friend to a restaurant and we write a review together. Coworker and new friend, L’Oreal, and I rode the Italian train at Bella Bacinos! She’s a blogger, too, so she helped contribute to this post.
Chicago is known for its Italian food…deep dish pizza and Little Italy, anyone?! So when L’Oreal and I went to Bella Bacinos, we had high expectations. Can the pizza be as good as the famous Lou Malnati’s? Will the pasta rival its competition? By the end of a seven course meal, we were officially stuffed, satisfied, and completely sure that this restaurant was delizioso!
“Love at first bite” is a real thing, especially when it comes to the seasonal bruschetta. This isn’t your basic bruschetta. With slices of prosciutto and balsamic drizzle, L’Oreal would have gladly eaten an entire plate of this delicious appetizer to herself, though she’d have to fight me for it.
Warm Goat Cheese Salad
Looking for a little more greenery in your meal? We both highly recommend the warm goat cheese salad. Actually, skip the salad and go straight to smothering the side of toasted bread with the nut-crusted goat cheese.
Another comfort food classic, the cavatappi is perfect for a chilly Chicago “spring” day. Sometimes alfredo sauces can be a bit heavy, but that was not the case with this light and creamy alfredo. Seconds…or thirds are acceptable, amiright? Actually, just hand over the entire bowl. Who needs leftovers?
For red-sauce lovers, try the penne bolognese with five (count ’em, five!) meats. Yum!
Pizza & Pizze
Prosciutto Arugula Pizze
If you prefer your carbs in the form of pizza, then try the prosciutto arugula pizze (yes, with an ‘e’). We know, we know … but Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza. While this may be true, there’s something to be said for its thin-crust cousin. With prosciutto di parma, baby arugula, mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce, you practically cover the four basic food groups… so that makes it healthy, right? Right on!
Spinach Supreme Deep Dish Pizza
When the waitress described the deep dish at Bella’s, we were skeptical. There’s no way it could be as good as its competitors! And, well, it did miss the mark a bit. But, don’t be worried, cheese-lovers, it was still pretty tasty. A thick blanket of cheese snuggled in with mushrooms and spinach for a twist on the classic.
No Italian meal is complete without a homemade cannoli sweetening up the end. Bella’s cannoli was rough around the edges and the shell was a little too overdone, but the sweet cream in the middle was perfecto and the fresh berries were the loveliest of last bites.
With its four locations, you’re spoilt for choice on indulgent Italian food at Bacinos:
75 E .Wacker, The Loop, Chicago
36 S. LaGrange Rd., LaGrange, IL
2204 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park, Chicago
248 W. Diversey Pkwy, Diversey Harbor, Chicago
*Featured Photo with Bella Baccinos outdoor patio courtesy of TimeOut.com