Monday, January 10, 2011

Bertucci's Corner

My Cousin Ben lives in Milwaukee but was in town last week for business. He used to live in Chicago and knows the area really well. While in town his company put him up at the new JW Marriott. The interesting thing is that the hotel has one of the newest, most popular Italian restaurants, The Florentine, and yet Ben wanted to travel all the way to China Town for his favorite Italian place. So we headed south and sifted past all of the Chinese restaurants and souvenir shops until we stumbled upon Bertucci's Corner.

Logistics
Bertucci's Corner has a very charming and authentic feel to it. It seems to be a neighborhood hang out with some loyal customers hanging out at the bar (you know, the type that's still griping about the smoking ban). We were sat right away, but by the time we left a small crowd had assembled. This place would be perfect to go to before a White Sox game, but I have a feeling that you may have to fight a crowd at that time (and should thus make a reservation).

The service was all handled by one nice lady who referred to us as "use guys." The cost was completely reasonable, and the portions were gigantic. Most main dishes were around $12 with appetizers close to $7. A while ago this place was on Time Out Chicago in the "save this restaurant" category. It's not a good sign for the success of the restaurant, but they seemed to be doing alright for a weekday dinner.

The Food
We started with an order of Calamari for the table. It was lightly breaded and mostly just a nice standard calamari. Then each of our meals came with a house salad. Also a pretty standard salad, but there were a few more veggies that you usually get.

 The Calamari

The House Salad

For our entrees Ben got the Pork Chop Vesuvio, his friend Rob got the Spaghetti and Meatballs, and I got the Eggplant Rolatini. Ben really liked his dish which seemed to be a very large portion done just right. Rob called his dish classic. The Eggplant Rolatini was basically an Eggplant Parmesan rolled up, filled with ricotta cheese, and covered with marinara sauce. It was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and loaded with flavor. It also came with a side of pasta. I think a key to everything was how good the sauce was. It had a very acidic quality to it and was the perfect consistency, not to runny or thick.

The Eggplant Rolatini

The Side of Pasta

The Pork Chop Vesuvio

 The Spaghetti with Meat Balls

Overall
Bertucci's Corner lives up to most every expectation you might have of a neighborhood Italian restaurant. The food is huge, reasonably priced, and warms your bones. The checkered floor and the mural on the wall makes it look the part too. If they really do need saving then I suggest you get yourselves down to China Town for some baller Italian food. I'm giving Bertucci's Corner 4 out of 5 Pearls.


Bertucci's Corner on Urbanspoon

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