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Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana's Pies Deserve a Following; Monti's Redeems Cheesesteaks

Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana
Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana
Photo: Yelp

At Pizzeria da Nella Cucina Napoletana, the pies are top notch and Michael Nagrant has “rarely had better” and hopes the place will attract diners despite its location. The Margherita is packed with a “creamy circle” of fior di latte mozzarella, “tangy zip” of tomatoes and “spicy crispy charred anised perfumed” edge of whole leaf basil. The prosciutto has “sweet funk” and “translucent scrim” of fat and flesh while the sausage is a “lighter, more diffuse sprinkle” of pork. As for other menu items, the insalata di mare “conjures an afternoon lunching on the Amalfi Coast.” [Sun-Times]

Chicago may finally have a place that does the cheesesteak right with Monti’s. At the restaurant hidden away off Lawrence Ave., Mike Sula finds sandwiches that offer “mouthfuls of lacy, griddle-crisped meat,” ordering you to stuff them down as fast as possible. Variants include a cheesesteak hoagie and the Rocky, a sandwich “you go to war with” topped with giardiniera and jalapeno chilies. The pizzas are a “completely unexpected success,” “appealingly” greasy and customizable while a plate of fried calamari is “outstanding.” All in all, Sula writes that the cheesesteaks are so good “you’d be a philistine to ignore it.” [Reader]

The new Argent has to deal with a terribly awkward restaurant space, but “ the food is pretty good” according to David Tamarkin. In the upstairs sushi bar, there’s “unremarkable but solid” salmon maki and a “superb” piece of Hamachi sashimi. A skirt steak soaked in a sharp-sweet soy concoction is “very tender, very delicious” and roast chicken is “perfect.” Not so pleasing are the popovers that taste as they’ve been “reheated for your antipleasure” and moon pie that’s only “slightly better” than the packaged versions.

Eggy’s is yet another spin on the diner and it does the food right. Julia Kramer enjoys the beef-tongue sandwich and the “ridiculously good” fried whitefish sandwich. However, not all items are so successful such as the Peter and the Wolf, a hash of “chewy” pastrami and “stale-tasting” hash browns, and the “pale, underfried” fries. Desserts are “charmingly” simple but the standout is the “masterfully rich” chocolate sea-salt brownie. [TOC]

Monti's

4757 N Talman Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60625 Visit Website

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