Monday, October 15, 2012

Fornello Trattoria

Since I'm in Cleveland for the month, I've asked a few of my trusted friends to help me out with some posts. Here's one from The Professor.

Location: 1011 W Irving Park
Cost: About $25 per person

My girlfriend, Erika, had a Groupon for Fornello Trattoria that expired on October 17th. She moved away from Chicago and passed on the voucher for me to use before it expired. With inclement weather on a weekend night and a bout of laziness, Brian and I decided to use the voucher for delivery. After seeing Rachel Ray's comment that Fornello's was "Chicago's Italian Hot Spot!", we were immediately excited but a bit skeptical.

Fornello Trattoria, located at 1011 West Irving Park Road, is not too far from our apartment in East Lakeview. Delivery was quoted at an hour and the food arrived right on the dime. The food came in a mix of plastic and aluminum containers hot and ready for consumption. The restaurant provided Italian bread, napkins, and silverware to go with the food. Everything came in separate stapled bags to keep hot and cold items separate. Fornello clearly has delivery experience, which was also evidenced on their website.

The Groupon was for $40. Our meal came out to $13 plus tip in addition to the groupon. For two, our meal was $25/person. 

The Food
Brian and I split everything since we were so hungry. We ordered a Caprese Salad, Veal Parmigiana with side spaghetti, Linguine with Baby Calamari, and a Tiramisu. The Caprese was standard, not bad but not spectacular. The dish was short on olive oil and absent balsamic. The entire dish was bland. The Veal Parmigiana was cut into three medallions and smothered in cheese. The Veal was cooked appropriately and had good flavor. The side of spaghetti was bland and the tomato sauce tasted like it came from a can. We couldn't finish the linguine with baby calamari. Our main issue was the calamari. It was overcooked and tasted too fishy to represent fresh or high quality calamari. The pieces were all large, which was unexpected due to the description on the menu. The Veal was by far the better of the two. The linguine and calamari went in the trash. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and this one didn't disappoint. It wasn't the best I've had but definitely hit the spot after the disappointment with the calamari. It was also large so I had a nice amount left in the fridge for a snack on Sunday.

 The Caprese Salad

 The Veal Parmigiana

 The Linguine with Calamari

 The Tiramisu

After we read Rachel Ray's comment on Fornello's website we were immediately skeptical. Generally that feeling was spot on. While the Veal and Tiramisu were good, the other dishes were either bland or entirely missed the spot. If you're looking for mediocre Italian delivery you can't go wrong with Fornello's, just make sure your expectations are appropriately set.

The Professor's Grade: D+/C-
Fornello Trattoria on Urbanspoon


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