McCormick Place’s dining scene received a boost over the weekend when a new Italian restaurant, Il Culaccino, debuted. The restaurant is from the owners of South Side stalwart Franco’s, which has been around since 1986 in Bridgeport. The new restaurant includes a wine bar, a tree-covered patio, and Chicago Italian-American classics like chicken Vesuvio. Ownership hopes to install a retractable roof on the patio by fall.
The restaurant is about a minute walk from Wintrust Arena, as the South Loop area continues to see development. Il Culaccino management markets it to students at nearby Illinois Institute of Technology and White Sox fans at Guaranteed Rate Field in Bridgeport. The Italian spot sits at the corner Cermak Road and Indiana Avenue at the Lex Tower at 2134 S. Indiana Avenue.
The menu includes prime steaks, pastas, and salads. Il Culaccino is the fifth restaurant the Ruffolo family owns. They’re also behind Franco’s at the Fountain in Millennium Park, Franconello Italian Restaurant in Beverly, and Jam ‘n Honey in Lincoln Park/DePaul.
McCormick Place convention-goers have few options nearby. Places like Il Culaccino give them more close choices so they don’t have to drive downtown or further away from the convention center. It’s also a boon for South Loop residents who want more dining options nearby.
Il Culaccino is open daily for lunch and dinner. Check out the menu and some food photos below.