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Where to Eat in Chicago on Easter

Where to Eat in Chicago on Easter

Celebrate spring in the most tasteful of ways with one of these great Chicago restaurants. Whether you are looking for brunch or supper, these holiday menus will not disappoint.

Brunch is not usually available at Gemini Bistro's Lincoln Park restaurant, but they’ll be offering a special one just for Easter. The whole menu can be seen here.

Delicious options abound at Howells & Hood this Easter. Create your own omelette, or try some of chef Scott Walton’s creations, such as buttermilk lavender biscuits or Oaxacan black mole chilaquiles. Live blues music will be played throughout the morning. It is $39 per adult for the buffet, which is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the menu and make reservations on their website.

If you’re looking for a special Easter supper, Found is a perfect choice. Chef Nicole Pedersen is serving up a multi-course meal just for the holiday. Enjoy dishes like leg of lamb with pistachio chimichurri and faro with dried fruit and herbs. House made French macaroons are a sweet end to the evening. The menu is $38 for adults and $18 for children and is available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Enjoy Easter with an amazing view at I|O Urban Roofscape. The newly offered brunch will be available on Easter Sunday. The three-course menu will include tasty dishes such as Urban Huevos Rancheros with chili-poached eggs, gringo salsa, and micro cilantro, lemon doughnuts with lavender honey, and sweet potato hash. The brunch is $35 per person and available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations can be made online.

Celebrate in style with Lockwood's Easter brunch offerings. From traditional dishes such as spring pea soup and country Easter ham to unique plates like French-cut chicken breast with lavender, Lockwood’s menu will help you usher in spring. The brunch is $59 per adult and $29 per child. You can see the full menu here.

Enjoy a four-course sharing menu with your loved ones at Mercadito this Easter. From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., diners can feast on dishes such as pastor tacos, Mexican French toast with cajeta and apple, and taquiza de pollo. A brunch cocktail is included. It is $30 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 312-329-9555.

Mercat a la Planxa will offer a three-course, six-plate tasting menu as well as a carving station and Spanish desserts this Easter. Guests can look forward to dishes like onill Coca, a braised rabbit flatbread with mascarpone béchamel, and Conchinillo Asado, roasted suckling pig, a Mercat signature item. Brunch is available for $45 per adult and $25 per child between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Make Easter an event to remember with a Michelin-starred brunch from Sepia. Chef Andrew Zimmerman will be showcasing a four-course menu focused on ingredients from local farmers. Enjoy cheese blintzes with lingonberries, croque-madame, and crunchy French toast with whipped mascarpone. Reservations are $50 per adult and $28 per child. The full menu can be seen here.

Enjoy a luxurious Easter brunch at Travelle in the Langham Hotel. This decadent menu includes white gazpacho with cucumber, grape, and crouton; smoked salmon benedict; and oysters with caviar and Meyer lemon. An unlimited mimosa cart is also available for diners to fully round out their holiday meal. Reservations are $90 for adults and $30 for children.

Chef Peter Coenen adds special Easter dishes to The Gage’s brunch menu this coming Sunday. Try the smoked rabbit confit or grilled lamb loin while enjoying the views of Millennium Park. Specialty Easter cocktails will also be available.


Colomba: Italian Easter Cake

Every year, we eagerly anticipate the return of la colomba di Pasqua, or the “Easter dove.” In Italy, this artisanal cake is a sweet sign of spring.

Easter's counterpart to the Christmastime panettone and pandoro, the rich and fluffy cake is traditionally made with high-quality flour, farm-fresh eggs, sugar, butter, and natural yeast that takes at least 30 hours to rise. After rising, the dough is then baked into the iconic dove shape and finally topped with pearl sugar and almonds.

Sound complicated? It is. Like panettone, colomba is one of the rare exceptions to Italian cuisine even the most traditional nonna will buy her colomba from the store, rather than make it herself. Expert bakers rise to the occasion, often adding their own twist by studding regional ingredients into the dough, from IGP hazelnuts in Piemonte to Amarena cherries in Emilia-Romagna.

Great, you say. But. why the dove?

Good question. We know that the first colomba came from Milano, but the story doesn't end there. The cake has inspired legends of peace stretching back to the Middle Ages. And they're all different.

In one version, the colomba marks the 1176 Lombardian victory over the Holy Roman Empire, when two doves miraculously appeared on the battleground. Another legend suggests that the peace-inspiring cake was first baked in the sixth century by a young girl, successfully pacifying the wretched King Albion of the Lombard tribe who was demanding tribute from her hometown of Pavia. He loved the colomba so much that he set her free and spared Pavia.

. dramatic, right? While we don't know the real story, we can tell you one thing for certain: one slice of colomba is worth a legion of legends.

Delicious on its own, colomba is often served with fresh berries, drizzled in dark chocolate, slathered in sweet spreads, or paired with whipped cream. Italians even will enjoy a slice with coffee for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up! And at Eataly, we love to pair the festive cake with a glass of Prosecco or dessert wine.

Bring the dove to your table with Eataly's sweet selection of colombe in our stores and online!


Polish Stuffed Hard-Cooked Eggs (Jajka Faszerowany)

The Spruce / Barbara Rolek

After breakfast, the table is set with the best linens, finest china and silver, and decorated with pussy willow branches and garlands of leaves.

The Easter lamb cake takes center stage, then the appetizer buffet is laid out. Appetizers are mostly of the zakąski or przystawski type—substantial small plates of cold dishes requiring a knife and fork—rather than the przekąski type, which are more like canapes. In the former category, anything goes, including stuffed hard-cooked eggs, sausages, smoked fish, caviar, aspics, creamed vegetables and more.

When all is ready, guests are welcomed by the head of the house with a wedge of hard-cooked egg (jaja na twardo) and wishes for health and happiness.


Can the virus be transmitted through raw food?

As far as experts are aware, at this time, you cannot get the virus from ingesting food. However if you were to touch food that contains the virus and then touch your mouth or eyes or other mucus membranes, you could get it. But the risk is extremely low.

“The current thinking is that you really have to inhale it or touch your face and have it come into contact with your mucosa,” said Dr. Jessie Abbate, an infectious disease specialist at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement France.

Martin Wiedmann, a professor of food safety at Cornell University, said it’s important to keep the big picture in mind.

“Nothing we do right now is zero risk, and food consuming has never been zero risk,” he said. “The lowest risk today will be packaged foods and canned foods. But that doesn’t mean we should not eat fresh vegetables. We’ve got to take care of our overall health, too.”


5 Restaurants Offering Easter Dinner Delivery So You Don’t Have to Hunt Down a Grocery Store Ham

Easter means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for some of us, it’s a thinly-veiled excuse for us to down as much candy, deviled eggs, and ham as the human body can possibly allow. This year, however, our Easter is looking a little different. Those trips to the grocery store to stock up on all of our classic Easter dinner favorites are looking more than a little terrifying these days, so why not treat your family and yourself to a more stress-free meal this year? Thankfully, there are several restaurants offering Easter day meal delivery (hello, Costco!), Easter dinner take-out options, and even online a la carte ordering of your favorite entrees and side dishes. You’ll still be able to indulge in a cozy Easter day feast, all while staying in the comfort and safety of your home.

1. Olive Garden

If you don’t mind skipping the traditional ham and fixin’s meal this Easter, you can pick up dinner at Olive Garden. They’re offering family-style meals that include the entree of your choosing along with sides of soup, salad, and breadsticks. You can place an order for delivery (free for orders over $40 in most states), or order online or call ahead and take advantage of their carside pickup.

2. Boston Market

Boston Market is offering heat-and-serve pick-up meals available April 10-12 as well as home-delivered Easter dinners that can be sent anywhere in the continental US (as long as you order by April 8). The options include a 12-person Easter dinner featuring spiral sliced ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, apple pie, cinnamon apples, and dinner rolls for $99.99, an option that includes a boneless honey-glazed ham and two pies, and a ham and turkey meal with all of the sides you could want, including 2 apple pies, that serves 12 people for just $119.99. Just heat, serve, and celebrate!

3. Williams Sonoma

If you’re looking for a more upscale Easter meal experience, William Sonoma has you covered. Their a-la-carte Easter dinner options include entrees like Belcampo rack of lamb (you’ll have to cook it yourself), chicken pot pie, and individual beef Wellingtons. For side dishes, choose from luxurious options like lobster mac and cheese, brie stuffed potatoes, and even full cheese and charcuterie platters. Just make sure to place your order by April 7 if you want your meal to get to you by Easter (certain items can be ordered through April 9 when you select next-day shipping).

4. Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory will be open for take-out and delivery on Easter, and if you order more than $30 of food (which, let’s be honest, you *will* do), you get a free slice of cheesecake when you add a slice of cheesecake to your purchase and use the coupon code FREESLICE.

5. Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is offering a heat n’ serve Easter family meal to-go that serves 10 people. It comes with a spiral-sliced sugar-cured ham, hashbrown casserole, sweet yeast rolls, three country sides, and two buttermilk pies for dessert. You can get it delivered (for free!), or opt for curbside pickup. Just place an order through 4/12, giving them 24-hour notice. Even better? Get $15 off your meal when you use the code EASTER15.

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Easter Pie

My father in-law recently gave my husband Jack a priceless treasure – an envelope full of hand-written recipes from his grandmother that are over 100 years old! Among those recipes, was a recipe for an Italian Easter Pie.

As a child, Jack has distinct memories being served Easter pie at his Nanna and Grampa’s house. It’s full of eggs, cheeses, and Italian cold cuts and has a firm crust. This delicious pie is traditionally served at Easter in Italian households as a way to ‘break Lent’ – hence the name – Easter Pie!

There are actually many different variations of Easter Pie – some with 33 layers of crust (one for each year that Christ lived) called Torte Pasqualina and that is made with greens, ham, cheese and hard boiled eggs inside. Ours is a meat and cheese version called Pizza Giana (Giana means “God is gracious” in Italian) – and in fact, there are actually a number of names and variations for this type of meat and cheese Easter pie – all depending on what region of the country your Italian family comes from. There are even some dessert Easter pies!

Our Easter pie is dense, filling, savory and delicious! It’s made with Italian meats and cheeses – all of which are easily found at your local supermarket. You can make a pattern on the crust (we did a cross) for the holiday, or leave it plain – completely your choice!

Sadly, Jack’s grandmother’s old handwritten recipe was battered and yellowed to the point of not being fully-legible. So this recipe also draws inspiration from one of our favorite Italian cookbooks, The North End Italian Cookbook, as well as what Jack could read in the handwritten recipe and his memories of the dish his grandparents made for their family growing up.


At the heart of the restaurant is the Pastificio where our team creates fresh, hand-made pastas throughout the day, offering a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. Flour is power at Monteverde.

1020 West Madison Street
Chicago IL 60607
(312) 888-3041

© 2019-2020 Texahs LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Design of our Restaurant, including the bar and pastifico, is a trademark of Texahs LLC and is ©2015 Texahs LLC, all rights reserved.

Monteverde’s back! We couldn’t be more excited to welcome you into our dining room, patio and heated tent. Book your dinner reservations for Thursday-Sunday HERE!

We’re still offering our full menu for Takeout and Delivery here. If you prefer delivery, and find that your address is out of range, please check out UberEats, DoorDash and Gru bHub.


3 Restaurants, 3 Kitchens, 3 Menus

In 1 Convenient Location

The Village’s origins began on September 20, 1927, when Alfredo Capitanini opened the doors to what would soon become a Chicago landmark. Alfredo worked hard washing dishes and cooking in other restaurants for three years, saving his money so he could open his own restaurant. His new restaurant would boast the most comprehensive Italian menu in Chicago, with many dishes such as: cannelloni, saltimbocca ala romana, fettuccini alfredo and so much more. Alfredo designed the restaurant to give guests a “tour” of Italy with different themes throughout the restaurant, as well as dishes from those regions to match the decor. It gave Chicagoans a true Italian experience right in their own back yard.

Keeping with true Italian tradition, Italian Village was kept in the Capitanini family, and in 1955, the second generation of Capitaninis opened the doors to their second restaurant, La Cantina, in the lower floor of the Italian Village building. This restaurant possessed many delicious Italian dishes served with a variety of premier wines. La Cantina was beautifully decorated with wrought iron gates, decades-old wine bottles and wooden wine crates to take you back to a historic time in Italy, where only the best food and wine were served to friends and family alike.

With business doing so well for the Capitanini family, they decided to open one more restaurant in their Italian Village building called The Florentine Room. This room became Chicago’s first gourmet Italian restaurant, being named by the Chicago Tribune “Chicago’s Best Italian Restaurant.” Several years later, The Florentine Room was remodeled. With its new architectural and theatrical decor, its name was then changed to Vivere. Vivere is located on the main floor, keeping all three unique restaurants in one convenient location.

No matter what you’re looking for in your next dining experience, the Italian Village Restaurants can offer a variety of dishes and wine selections for any occasion. Visit us today and see why Chicagoans have loved Italian Village for over 90 years.

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Important Updates

Welcome back! All of us at the Italian Village appreciate your continued support. We have trained all of our employees on the CDC’s sanitation and safety protocols regarding Covid-19. All of our employees will be wearing face coverings, following social distancing, and complying with all local and federal regulations.

We have some special procedures that we must follow to ensure the safety of our customers and staff:

For your indoor Dining safety we have installed a new Trane Horizon dedicated outdoor
air filtration system. This unit provides up to 100% outdoor air to our dining room. This allows for a constant 24/7 change over in the dining room and a constant supply of filtered dehumidified fresh outdoor air. Sufficient outdoor air increases indoor air quality. ×

  • We require face coverings to be worn over the nose and mouth while on-premises except while eating and drinking at your table, including but not limited to using the restrooms and exiting the restaurant.
  • All reservations will be limited to 1 hour and 45 minutes starting at your reservation time.
  • If you are running behind, we will hold your reservation for up to 15 minutes past your reservation time.
  • Per state law, we can only accommodate parties of up to 10 people at one table.
  • If you need to make any changes to your reservation, please let us know prior to your arrival at the restaurant.
  • No outside food and beverages allowed (this now includes personal bottles of wine, birthday cakes, desserts, etc.).

Thank you for your patience as we all try to get back to normal operations. We look forward to serving you soon – Thank You for continuing to support the Italian Village family!

Italian Village Restaurants
71 W. Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603
312.332.7005


How To Eat Safely During The Coronavirus Crisis: Tips, Resources, FAQs

Life in Chicago has changed dramatically this past week, from schools and restaurants closing to evolving policies around social distancing and public events. As Chicagoans — and most people across the country — hunker down at home over the next few weeks, Curious City is answering questions about how to safely deal with food, cooking and eating during coronavirus.

Please keep in mind that what is known about the virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, is still evolving. This information does not constitute professional medical advice. For questions regarding your own health, always consult a physician.

How safe is it to shop at the grocery store?

The main issue with grocery shopping is your exposure to other people and contaminated hard surfaces like grocery carts, freezer handles and credit card swiping machines. Delivery services also involve some contact with people who may handle your produce.

"Stay away from other shoppers, [and] don't hover over someone's shoulder trying to get the last toilet paper," said Martin Wiedmann, food safety professor at Cornell University.

For this reason, you should shop as infrequently as possible and at off-peak hours. Stores including Jewel-Osco, Dollar General, Target and Whole Foods are even creating special hours for seniors and vulnerable populations. You may also want to check with elderly neighbors to see if you can shop for them.

When you must shop, keep a safe distance from other shoppers, wear gloves, wash hands, wipe down surfaces and don't touch your face.

Cook County Resources

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said people can call (708) 633-3319 to speak with county public health professionals or email questions to [email protected] The county is also launching a text alert system that people can sign up for by texting ALERTCOOK to 888-777.

Can the virus be transmitted through raw food?

As far as experts are aware, at this time, you cannot get the virus from ingesting food. However if you were to touch food that contains the virus and then touch your mouth or eyes or other mucus membranes, you could get it. But the risk is extremely low.

"The current thinking is that you really have to inhale it or touch your face and have it come into contact with your mucosa," said Dr. Jessie Abbate, an infectious disease specialist at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement France.

Martin Wiedmann, a professor of food safety at Cornell University, said it's important to keep the big picture in mind.

"Nothing we do right now is zero risk, and food consuming has never been zero risk," he said. "The lowest risk today will be packaged foods and canned foods. But that doesn't mean we should not eat fresh vegetables. We've got to take care of our overall health, too."

Can the virus be transmitted through cooked food, like bread?

See above. The current information suggests that ingestion is not an infection pathway for Covid-19 whether through cooked or raw food.

"If you eat it . it goes into your stomach [where it cannot be transmitted]," said Dr. Jessie Abbate, an infectious disease specialist at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement France. "Along the way, it could potentially come into contact with your mucosa [where it might theoretically attach and infect], but it's very unlikely that this is how it transmits."

Can the people who prepared my food transmit the virus to me?

Experts say the virus is transmitted person-to-person, through the air or on hard surfaces where it can live up several hours or days. Again, it is not thought to be transmitted through the ingestion of food, but there may be a low risk transmission through fecal contact, where a food worker does not properly wash hands. All food service professionals are supposed to be trained in safety procedures to avoid such transmission, however.

What are my takeout and delivery options, and are they safe?

In the Chicago area, a site called Dining at a Distance has been building a database of more than 1,000 local restaurants and their options for pick up, delivery and other ways to support restaurants.

If you opt for pick up, experts recommend doing so at off-peak hours when you will not likely be waiting in a room with others. If possible, wait outside away from other customers.

If you are doing delivery, you may want to opt for "no contact" delivery, where the delivery worker leaves the food at your door or other desired location indicated in your online or phone order. But don't forget to tip. These people are doing important work in trying times. Same principles apply for grocery delivery.

After you get the takeout or delivery dishes, treat packaging as you would any surface out of your control by wiping it down, washing or discarding it, and washing your hands again. Again, all professional workers are supposed to be trained in safe food handling, but these are special times. Transfer food into your own clean dishes and enjoy.

How do I safely store food?

Although authorities urge people to avoid hoarding, many have and will continue to stock up on food during this time. Inevitably, many will buy more than home refrigerators or freezers can hold. These are some aspects of the crisis that Cornell food safety professor Martin Wiedmann is worried about. He said consumers need to be careful about refrigerating excess food in the hall or on their porch, because most of those perishables need to be kept under 40 F for safety.

He also warned against things like washing meat in the same sink where you wash vegetables, causing cross-contamination. He noted you don't need to wash any meat you are going to cook.

"Wash your hands before you cook food. Keep raw food, raw chicken, raw meat, etc. away from produce. . Cook things at the proper temperature using USDA temperature guidelines," he said.

He said it's extra important to take these precautions today. "If someone gets foodborne illness now because of something else — not coronavirus — and has to go to a hospital or has to travel, that exposes them to greater risk."

What pantry staples should I buy to make versatile recipes for my household?

Chef Sarah Stegner said her top six pantry staples for this time are dried beans, onions, nuts, oatmeal, plenty of salt and some kind of oil.

For versatile meals, she recommends roasting a chicken (at 450 F until the thigh registers 165 F), or you can buy a roast chicken to-go from a restaurant.

"I like this because you can get multiple meals out of it," she said. "And once you have that chicken and [eat most of the meat], you take the bones and the trimmings and make a stock or soup out of it."

You can also freeze that soup to have it ready to go in case someone in your house gets sick.

Longtime Chicago chef, baker and restaurateur Ina Pinkney suggested keeping your refrigerator full of eggs and your freezer full of frozen soup. She also suggested cheering up the household by making breakfast for dinner, something like pancakes.

"I think it's the most comforting way to end a day," she said.

You can find the recipe for Pinkney's famously light, heavenly hot pancakes here. Pinkney said you can find the potato starch in the "Jewish food section of your grocery store."

How should I cook and care for a member of the family who is sick?

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention says that when someone in the household is sick, they should stay in their room and be cared for by only one family member.

The CDC further advises people who suspect they have COVID-19 to "use a separate bathroom, if available" and "not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water."

Authorities have not devised any special dietary recommendations for patients with the virus, but the CDC does recommend drinking plenty of fluids.

Is it OK to have friends over for dinner?

Experts say no, and the CDC recommends "limiting food sharing" in general. As unsavory as this is, we spit when we talk and touch our faces — more than we realize — and that can spread the virus, said Dr. Jessie Abbate, an infectious disease specialist at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement France. You can be carrying the virus, and be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic.

"If you're having a dinner party with someone who is infected and shedding [spreading the] virus, you're all gonna get it," Abbate said.

Essentially, when you have dinner with a neighbor, you're having dinner with them and anyone they've had dinner with over the last two weeks.

If you still want to have people over, Abbate suggested really limiting who you invite. If you have a friend across the hall that you want to see, she said "stick with them and no one else. Now you have a slightly larger family."

What are some ways to keep enjoying meals with other people?

While it's hard to be isolated from friends and family, especially during mealtimes, here are some creative ways Chicagoans are keeping meals fun and social.

— Call for advice. Prairie Grass Cafe chef Sarah Stegner is manning a cooking hotline from 2 to 4 p.m. everyday at (847) 920-8437.

— Stage virtual dinner and cooking parties with friends on apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts and Facetime, like this group of Italians.

— Share a challenge with household members to come up with the most creative dishes with the staples you still have on hand.

— Finally learn how to make bread. All you need is flour, water and salt. You don't even need yeast if you make your own sourdough starter with water and flour.

— Involve the kids. Chicago chef Cheryl Knecht Munoz is posting daily lessons and recipes you can cook with children home from school on her Sugar Beet Schoolhouse blog.

— Use the good china and light a candle, says Chicagoan Eilleen Howard Weinberg.

— Anshe Emet Day School chef Ben Randall is posting daily recipes for kids at SageBZell on Instagram

— Louisa Chu of the Chicago Tribune plans to start cooking through the Tribune recipe archives on Instagram as well.


Although traditions vary from family to family about what goes into the basket that is to be blessed on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday, what seems to remain constant is the colorful ribbons and greenery, pussy willows, or dried flowers attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.

The other must is the richly embroidered cover, symbolizing Christ's burial shroud, that goes over the basket. It's usually made of linen or other fine cloth and is embroidered with religious symbols related to the Resurrection and the celebration of Easter. These basket covers are passed down from generation to generation. A Ukrainian paska cover is similar to a rushnyk or embroidered towel except it has Easter symbols on it.