A new neighborhood Italian restaurant from a Naples-born chef opened this week in Hyde Park. Italian native and chef Gaetano Ascione, formerly of South Loop Italian stalwart Gioco, launched Ascione Bistro yesterday at 1500 E. 55th Street, the Hyde Park Herald reported.
The space in the Hyde Park Shopping Center, which previously housed bicycle repair shop DJ’s Bike Doctor, is now outfitted with a large front patio. Images of the interior space on the restaurant’s website show booths and two-top tables along banquettes, with touches of light wood, brass, and blue upholstery. When reached by phone, Ascione did not have time to share details on the menu or decor. He has not yet responded to questions sent by email. Reservations are now available online.
Ascione is opening the new spot in stages, first offering a limited menu as he hires and trains staff, according to the Herald, but customers can expect the restaurant to be firing on all cylinders in the coming weeks. The story did not describe food or drink options, and the bistro’s website does not have a menu posted. Diners can, however, anticipate a mix of classic and modern Italian dishes that represent the chef’s flexible style and the versatility of Italian cooking. A full bar is available, as well as non-alcoholic drink options.
When Ascione first arrived in Chicago, many reportedly warned him to stay away from the South Side of the city, but two years ago he toured Hyde Park and realized he was mislead. Reminded of little villages in England and Italy, Ascione hopes to evoke the same everyone-knows-everyone small town sensibility that he enjoyed as a child in Naples. The restaurant is family-friendly, and the chef hopes to see both kids and adults seated around the tables.
Ascione Bistro is now open in Hyde Park.
Ascione Bistro, 1500 E. 55th Street, Open 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.