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    Post #1 - April 15th, 2018, 9:25 pm
    Post #1 - April 15th, 2018, 9:25 pm Post #1 - April 15th, 2018, 9:25 pm
    It is always great to be surprised, in a good way, by a new restaurant find. New to me is BarTucci which is tucked away at 3426 N Harlem Avenue—right next to the fresh pasta shop that has been a fixture on Harlem for many years.

    BarTucci has been one of those places I have driven by on the way to someplace else and I always say to my wife that we need to try that place. Well tonight was the night. We were both hungry early and stepped in about 5:30, joining one other table enjoying a birthday dinner.

    The waiter was super friendly and advised that the restaurant was BYOB. At first, we thought no wine, but he said there was a liquor store in the next block. I stepped out briefly and returned with a bottle of red—although intrigued by the MD-20/20 available in a hot pink color.

    For appetizers we chose the eggplant meatballs in a tomato sauce with ricotta. They were very light and quite delicious. Also, we choose the ricotta with honey, nuts and toast points. While the dish could easily serve as a dessert, it was a tasty starter. Both dishes were quite generous, and could make a nice light supper with perhaps a salad. We saved room by boxing up half the appetizers to enjoy tomorrow.

    On to pasta. I chose bricole served over cavatelli. The meat was well done and the pasta perfect. The dish was just what I needed on a cold rainy Sunday night. It tasted like what mom or grandma would make when serving dinner starting around 4 pm on a Sunday. Mrs. Johnnies had the pappardelle with mushrooms. It was light and equally delicious. Portions were also generous and she will be enjoying leftovers tomorrow.

    Dessert? Of course, although quite full I wanted to see if the dolce would be as tasty as the pasta. We were not disappointed. Cannoli were made with very light shells unlike the typical dark brown thick ones found in most restaurants and bakeries. It was filled with very lightly sweetened ricotta. The match was made in heaven and we polished off two which is the standard order. In addition, tiramisu was ordered. It was nothing like the usual glop one finds in Italian restaurants. It was light, mostly real lightly sweetened whipped cream, and the cake or lady fingers blended seamlessly with the other ingredients. Delicious.

    We have been to Italy many times and have picky Italian friends. I told my wife BarTucci would satisfy them and is equal to some of the best food we have eaten in Italy. With lots and lots of Italian food in Chicago, and having eaten at many of them, I strongly recommend trying this restaurant. I hope others experience is as good as mine and will look for comments.

    3426 N Harlem Ave
    Chicago, IL 60634
    (773) 887-4416

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