Food, Wine, Spirits
Restaurants I've run into lately
Pizza Barra in Oak Brook.
5-6 years ago I was introducted to Chef Chris Macchia when he was the Executive Chef at Coco Pazzo, one of my favorite Itlaian eatieries anywhere--Italy included. I know that's a tall standard, but Chris was a killer in the kitchen to whom I could simply say, "Chef, please bring food" and never even look at a menu. Chris never disappointed. After all, who woudl know better what was the most fresh, the most tasteful, the most seasonal items in the kitchen? I still go even though Chris is now long gone and on to his next adventure.
Chef Macchia has teamed up with Richie Labriola of Labriola Bakery fame in the old "Grotto" location west of Oak Brook Center on Butterfield Rd. It's called "Pizza Barra" and again, Chris doesn't disappoint. Three different styles of pizza are the stars there. Traditional, a thicker crust version, and a coal-fired grouping of really creative ingredients that don't resemble what you'll find at most neighborhood pizzerias. The small plates aren't all that small, either, but all deliver sizeable tastes.
Friendly service, great location and an open air patio that will serve up music several nights per week once the snow clears and the weather permits.