-Here we go again
Trip's back to Previous Haunts
As Valentine's day nears I thought it appropriate to post about our latest stop. I thought people might be googling "where to eat in Chicago on valentines day" and so with that its also time to introduce our newest series. It being a look back at places already featured here on S'C'&C. Our first stop is to a place that's been around the neighborhood longer than me and who's pizza was already featured HERE. La Gondola used to be at the corner of Ashland and Montana back in the early to middle 80's until they moved a few blocks north into the large strip mall at Ashland and Oakdale. I know that places in strip malls can be good in spots like Las Vegas and Arizona but there aren't many good strip mall dining options in Chicago. With the exception of La Gondola.
a great Valentines Day stop
It might not look all that comforting and romantic from the outside but once you step inside it doesn't feel like your in a strip mall anymore. Its a very cozy place and there's only five tables to eat at and they'll have some old school Italian music playing at a decent level and a nice wine selection. The owners are from Italy and have been using their families recipes handed down generation after generation. Most of the food at La gondola is made from scratch including their sauce and Italian sausage. Its a great place to go out with a date or if your lucky enough to live in the area, get delivery from. They also do a very good take-out business since its easy in and out with plenty of parking at the mall. During the wintertime I always make sure I get an order of their Stracciatella soup. A secret recipe of the popular Roman soup, his with spinach, brought from Rome by the chef at La Gondola. I don't know whats in it but its great and I always dip my bread in it and soak up every last drop. Here is a look at a few of my favorite dishes from a great neighborhood joint and here's to 25 more years. Cheers!
Stracciatella soup from La Gondola
some of the best veggie soup I've had
^You gotta respect a spot that does everything from scratch. There are no short cuts to memorable tasting food items.
Linguine with white wine clam sauce
^here we have one of, if not my favorite, non tomato based pasta dishes. La Gondola does up a really formidable version of linguine with a real clam sauce. Nothing canned here.
Rigatoni Bascaiola (signature dish)
^Creamed tomato sauce with fresh mushrooms and sauteed Italian sausage and fresh sage tossed in rigatoni make up the house's signature pasta dish. If I'm feeling like something red I'll always get this or the spaghetti and meatballs. Its hard too pass on the Bascaiola, its very much a trademark dish.
Its hard to believe that La Gondola is in its 25th year. Everything is pretty much good and nothing disappointments over there. Its not just the pastas but also the pizza, seafood and chicken dishes. Its a great place to eat if your around or live in the area, if your going out and want a romantic date or ordering pick up and want something good it really works great no matter what you want. If choosing to dine in, the service is excellent. Reservations are accepted and I would recommend getting them seeing as though there's 5 or 6 tables. They also have a full service bar and always have people dining in celebrating whatever it is they are. Ciao down!
La Gondola Restaurant
2914 North Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657