Our first stop was L’Appetito (30 East Huron Chicago, IL 6061). Here we all met each other and enjoyed a tasting of Italian cappuccinos, Italian cookies and creamy gelato. L’Appetito was the first authentic Italian deli in downtown Chicago and remains as such 24 years later. L’Appetito’s uniqueness is obvious from the brand of coffee it pours, to the bakery filled with delicious Italian pastries and cookies, fresh gelato, and mouth-watering arancini and it’s grilled panini unlike any other in the city.
The cafe itself is amazing… a full gelato bar, stocked full of Italian wines, a few grocery items and of course, heavenly coffees.
We even got a canister of Italian Illy Coffee as a small gift from the owner! But by far, the highlight of this spot for me was the affogato. It’s rich vanilla gelato topped with a shot of espresso. As one person said at the table, ‘It’s life changing!’
Our next stop was Chicago’s French Market. There, we learned about Italian cheeses at Pastoral (131 N Clinton St. Chicago, IL 60606). Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine is a European-inspired neighborhood cheese, specialty and wine shop. They offer the highest quality, cut to order domestic and international specialty cheeses, fresh baked breads, perfectly chosen accompaniments and small production wines and some hand crafted beers.
Here, we had a delicious tasting of five different Italian cheeses, including:
Montasio Vino Rosso (Cow’s milk)
Padda (Sheep/Cow’s milk)
Taleggio (Cow’s milk)
Gorgonzola DOP Piccante (Cow’s milk)
Parmigiano Reggiano (Cow’s milk)
In 1865, Fancesco Bertolli opened a small store in Lucca, Italy selling regional foods including wine, cheese, olives, and olive oil. Since then, Bertolli has grown to include a broad range of restaurant quality pasta sauces and frozen meals that stay true to its heart of authentic Italian cuisine. Bertolli has been bringing authentic Italian, chef-inspired, restaurant quality meals to everyone’s home tables for more than 150 years.
So thank you Bertolli for a delicious adventure in Chicago and to Zocalo Group for hosting on behalf of Bertolli!