When you go to dinner and want a real conversation – you know to catch up over a few courses – Italian dinners are the way to go. I feel like we bond when we eat together, but especially over wine and pasta.
Trattoria Gianni is located at 1711 N Halsted St across from the Stephenwolf Theater in Lincoln Park’s theatre district.
It’s been around for over thirty years and you can tell why when you walk in the door and are greeted by the owner, Gianni. Known for traditional Italian dishes, celebrity sightings (some of Gianni’s regulars include John Malkovich, Nicole Kidman, Gary Senise, John Cusak and mayors), and a Chicago theatre district favorite, it’s one of my favorite spots in Chicago.
For national pasta month (October), we stopped in to try all of the pasta – literally. They have gluten free pasta and whole wheat pasta options.
For a basic but good dish, go for the signature dish – Rigatoni alla Nocerina. It has sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, basil in a cream sauce. Gianni has been serving this dish since they opened over thirty years ago, when they first opened.
For something seasonal and exquisite, a favorite is the Pumpkin Ravioli. It was rich and provided a seasonal favorite, pumpkin, without being overpowering.
Lastly, if you love a good red sauce, I would try the Tagliatelle Bolognese with home-made tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce, pecorino cheese and basil.
Dinner is never completed without dessert – cannolis and Tiramisu. And of course, good conversation. At this dinner party, we all took a spoonful of Tiramisu and dished on our dating life. There was a lovely lady next to me who told me she met a man and she wasn’t really interested, but he asked her out. She didn’t know what to say, so she said, yes. She started to like him and they had a beautiful 50 years of marriage before he passed away. Her dating advice was simple – luck.
And on that note, I appreciated this lucky moment – a girl’s night of pasta.
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.