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We Return After 20 Years: D'Agostino's

We Return After 20 Years: D'Agostino's
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  • We Return After 20 Years: D'Agostino's

    Post #1 - July 9th, 2009, 11:17 am
    Post #1 - July 9th, 2009, 11:17 am Post #1 - July 9th, 2009, 11:17 am
    Really, really good pizza, IMO.

    On a whim, we went to D’Agostino’s on Southport and Addison last night for the first time since the late eighties. Am I correct in thinking it is now twice as big as it was back then? (The corner part of the building, which is now dedicated to a spacious dining room, used to be the entire establishment, bar included—or is my memory playing tricks on me?) Anyway, I loved our large thin-crust sausage/portabello mushroom/green pepper pizza. Crackery and crackly around the edges, and every ingredient tasted super on its own and in combination. I mean, it just tasted like quality in every department, and sometimes the individual flavors of the ingredients called out to you (like, “wow, that’s a really fresh green pepper”) and sometimes you just sensed the harmony of the ingredients playing together. The kind of goodness that makes you keep having another piece even though you're full. The place was bustling—but no wait for one of the couple of empty tables. Clearly, all those 53,000 times we drove past D’Agostino’s the last twenty years and said, “We really ought to go back there,” other people were.

    D'Agostino's
    1351 W. Addison St
    Chicago, IL 60657
    773-477-1821
    Last edited by riddlemay on July 9th, 2009, 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - July 9th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Post #2 - July 9th, 2009, 12:27 pm Post #2 - July 9th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    I have lived around the corner, at various times over the past 20 years, from D'Agosino's on Addison/Southport and the River West location. I will agree with you that the pizza is really good and I was glad to have it as my walkable, nearby go to pizza place. Added bonus they scoop many flavors of Homer's Ice Cream (at least at the RW location) and make all kinds of very competent ice cream creations.
  • Post #3 - July 9th, 2009, 12:37 pm
    Post #3 - July 9th, 2009, 12:37 pm Post #3 - July 9th, 2009, 12:37 pm
    I grew up around the corner from this place and it's pizza is cemented in my mind as the epitome of "upscale/quality" Chicago pizza. It was certainly a treat whenever my parents ordered from here (once every two months or so) and I remember that we considered it very "expensive."

    I haven't been back there in a year or two, but last time I was there the pizza was great - cracker crust, browned cheese (not too much) and quality ingredients. They also stock Peroni (which goes great with pizza) and maybe even Moretti if I remember correctly. Oh, and going back there in my mid 20's, it didn't seem expensive at all. In fact, it was a bargain.

    When I am back in Chicago I will definitely be hitting them up.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #4 - July 9th, 2009, 1:40 pm
    Post #4 - July 9th, 2009, 1:40 pm Post #4 - July 9th, 2009, 1:40 pm
    D'Ag's isn't bad, but the sauce is tooth-achingly sweet. We go to the location across the way from the Matchbox every once in a while, but if I'm given the choice between it and Coalfire, I'm gonna choose Coalfire 100 times out of 100.
  • Post #5 - July 9th, 2009, 2:06 pm
    Post #5 - July 9th, 2009, 2:06 pm Post #5 - July 9th, 2009, 2:06 pm
    Coalfire makes a great pizza - in the New American (or faux-Neapolitan or whatever) style. However a Chicago-style, cracker-thin crust pizza it does not (the better of the two 'traditional' Chicago styles, IMHO). For that reason Dag's is as worthy a destination as Coalfire. It does it's style pretty damn well, and it while it may not be Vito & Nick's it is certainly one of, if not the best, on the Northeast side. In short, go there and be not dissapointed my friends!

    Also, with all due respect to Coalfire, D'Agostino's has a better name (I mean really? Coalfire?? Should I name my burger place greasegriddle??) AND has survived decades in a neighborhood that has changed considerably and seen countless restaurants come and go.

    For all of the above, 50 times out of 100, I will go to Dag's.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #6 - July 9th, 2009, 2:13 pm
    Post #6 - July 9th, 2009, 2:13 pm Post #6 - July 9th, 2009, 2:13 pm
    My wife and I pass by D'Agostino's a lot, especially when going to Cubs games (and on her trips to Anthropologie). For us, it was also the kind of place we repeated find ourselves saying that we have to go. We went once a few years ago and finally went again the other night after a Cubs night game (or should I say "nite game"). It definitely hit the spot, though we agree with sundevilpeg that the sauce is really sweet. It reminded me of tomato paste, actually. The overall pizza was a bit on the salty side. But we liked it. I probably would have enjoyed it less if the Cubs had lost the game. On the other hand, I probably would have enjoyed it more if a drunkard inside hadn't decided that seeing a guy in a Michigan shirt was the greatest thing ever, leading him to pound his fists on my back.
  • Post #7 - July 9th, 2009, 2:42 pm
    Post #7 - July 9th, 2009, 2:42 pm Post #7 - July 9th, 2009, 2:42 pm
    I wasn't going to say anything because everything that riddlemay said was true, but the whole time I was reading it, I thought how did he get past that sweet sauce? Maybe the Ogden Ave (the only one I have been to) sauce is different than Southport? I want to like D'ags more! We used to order it a lot, but that sauce is just too sweet. D'ags and Coalfire two different animals, can't even compare.
  • Post #8 - July 9th, 2009, 3:41 pm
    Post #8 - July 9th, 2009, 3:41 pm Post #8 - July 9th, 2009, 3:41 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    D'Agostino's
    351 W. Addison St
    Chicago, IL 60657
    773-477-1821


    riddlemay, I think your keyboard swallowed up the leading "1" on the address . . . or maybe it was those (alleged) N. Korean hackers. :)
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #9 - July 9th, 2009, 4:35 pm
    Post #9 - July 9th, 2009, 4:35 pm Post #9 - July 9th, 2009, 4:35 pm
    thanks for the reminder here. I never seem to think of this place, but I do enjoy the pizza along with the old school, pretension free atmosphere. With that said the sauce is sweet, which isn't quite my style, but I don't mind mixing it up a bit. My usual dine in pizza spots are Maries and Pequods. O'Fame for delivery (they have a great Wednesday deal BTW). D'ags will be visited very shortly.
  • Post #10 - July 9th, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Post #10 - July 9th, 2009, 4:58 pm Post #10 - July 9th, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Kman wrote:riddlemay, I think your keyboard swallowed up the leading "1" on the address . . . or maybe it was those (alleged) N. Korean hackers. :)

    My fault, I edited in the address, Riddlemay fixed it.

    Nice review, passed by 8-zillion times, never been. Now high on my list as I am a sucker for crisp cracker crust pizza.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - July 9th, 2009, 5:01 pm
    Post #11 - July 9th, 2009, 5:01 pm Post #11 - July 9th, 2009, 5:01 pm
    As for the sweet sauce, honestly, I didn't find our pizza to be sauce-heavy enough to notice any particular sweetness. I was pleased, in fact, that the cheese-to-sauce ratio was so heavily weighted in favor of the cheese; sauce (sweet or not) wasn't prominent at all, and that's the way I like it. I will be having the leftovers later tonight and will pay closer attention :) , but I did not get a "sweet" vibe out of our pizza last night. FWIW, I also didn't get a "too-salty" vibe out of it. I found that sprinkling a little salt on it (as well as hot peppers and black pepper) made it just right for me.

    P.S. Thanks to Gary for putting in the address, which I should have done.
  • Post #12 - July 9th, 2009, 6:30 pm
    Post #12 - July 9th, 2009, 6:30 pm Post #12 - July 9th, 2009, 6:30 pm
    D'Agostino's has long been in our rotation, probably the best thin crust in our vicinity apart from the artisanal joints, but I have to order pepperoni on it. Once there's something salty on it, the sweetness of the sauce doesn't bother me. The crust is very nice and all in all, it's a good example of Mike G's Rule of Pizza.
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  • Post #13 - July 9th, 2009, 7:00 pm
    Post #13 - July 9th, 2009, 7:00 pm Post #13 - July 9th, 2009, 7:00 pm
    riddlemay wrote:As for the sweet sauce, honestly, I didn't find our pizza to be sauce-heavy enough to notice any particular sweetness. .


    I find the sauce to have a sweet quality that I find to be a plus, especially with a liberal amount of crushed red pepper applied.
  • Post #14 - July 10th, 2009, 9:45 am
    Post #14 - July 10th, 2009, 9:45 am Post #14 - July 10th, 2009, 9:45 am
    iblock9 wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:As for the sweet sauce, honestly, I didn't find our pizza to be sauce-heavy enough to notice any particular sweetness. .


    I find the sauce to have a sweet quality that I find to be a plus, especially with a liberal amount of crushed red pepper applied.

    Upon eating some of the leftovers last night, I was able to pry (literally) into the sauce layer and focus on just getting a taste of that. It was not too sweet for me, but maybe my sweetometer is calibrated differently from some others'. (There is such a thing as too-sweet-for-me, but this wasn't it.) Anyway, as Mike suggested with the pepperoni, it could be that the saltiness of the sausage was just enough to balance the overall taste for me, or the addition of the salt and liberal hot crushed peppers I sprinkled on. Could even be that D'Agostino's deliberately uses a sauce with some sweetness because they know that when people have sausage and/or pepperoni and/or anchovies and/or hot peppers and/or salt as needed (and many inevitably will), the net result will be a good balance.

    One other thing I liked about Dags was that it was full of people having a good time, happy to be there. Boisterous. But not obnoxious. Like the pizza, a good balance! We were in a good mood going in there, but an even better one being there and on our way home.
  • Post #15 - July 10th, 2009, 10:08 am
    Post #15 - July 10th, 2009, 10:08 am Post #15 - July 10th, 2009, 10:08 am
    7-8 years ago, during a 6-month stretch of unemployment (let's be honest, it was a glorious time, especially since it fell over the summer), a friend & I would meet up at different bars once a week to try various cheap Monday-night food specials at bars ($5-sirloin steak-type stuff)...but once we stumbled onto D'Ag's 12"-one-topping-and-a-domestic-pint-for-$6 deal, we pretty much stopped going anywhere else (except when we were in the occasional mood for a lousy steak, then we did go back to Lion Head pub for the $5 sirloin-and-potatoes deal).

    Sitting at one of the sidewalk tables on Addison, enjoying a tasty 12" peperoni and a tall, cold pint of Amstel Light on a warm June evening...good times.
  • Post #16 - July 10th, 2009, 2:35 pm
    Post #16 - July 10th, 2009, 2:35 pm Post #16 - July 10th, 2009, 2:35 pm
    I am a fan of Dags for sure. Love the thin crispy crust and I don't mind the sweetness of the sauce as I think it is balanced with salty pepperoni and or sausage as said in earlier posts. I lived in Ukie Village for a couple years and would order from the River West location quite a bit. Unfortunately I don't think that location is all that great. I would consistently get guys answering the phones that were just clueless. I'd have to repeat my order a few times, they got my order wrong a couple times and worst of all some of the pies I would get were super skimpy on the toppings. After those mishaps I tended to stop ordering from there.

    A few months back found myself quite hungry after a film at the Music Box. Decided to try the one on Addison again. I've been there once with friends years ago and remembered it being pretty good. Completely different story than River West, perfect pie, nice crispy crust, no skimpy toppings, great friendly service and all this within the last hour of closing. I've never eaten in the River West location but those experiences alone turned me off. I'm all about the Addison location though and will hold out for that if I have a craving.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #17 - July 10th, 2009, 2:55 pm
    Post #17 - July 10th, 2009, 2:55 pm Post #17 - July 10th, 2009, 2:55 pm
    Big fan here. With the cracker crust and sweet sauce, it's as close as you'll get to St. Louis-style in Chicago. Of course, its missing the key ingredient, provel cheese.
  • Post #18 - July 10th, 2009, 8:59 pm
    Post #18 - July 10th, 2009, 8:59 pm Post #18 - July 10th, 2009, 8:59 pm
    Lived in the area for a while and my personal opinion is that Pat's is a much better Pizza.
    "I drink to make other people more interesting."
    Ernest Hemingway
  • Post #19 - July 12th, 2009, 4:03 pm
    Post #19 - July 12th, 2009, 4:03 pm Post #19 - July 12th, 2009, 4:03 pm
    Marshall K wrote:Lived in the area for a while and my personal opinion is that Pat's is a much better Pizza.

    The last time we went to Pat's (probably about two months ago) I had the disappointing perception that the ingredients that went into the pizza were neither the best nor the freshest. The time before that, when we had delivery from them, the pizza was salty out the wazoo.

    I used to like Pat's, and since it's the closest place to us and clearly our leading independent neighborhood option, I want to continue to like Pat's. Therefore I hesitate to post anything negative about them. The time we dined there a couple of months ago we were just about the only ones in the dining room, and that makes me even more loath to post a negative word; I'd rather see them thrive. Perhaps they're still doing a healthy delivery/carryout business. I hope so. And perhaps the fall-off in quality is only temporary, and they'll regain their footing in that department. I hope that, too.

    Is your opinion of Pat's based on recent patronage? When you say "lived in the area for a while" it implies past tense, but I can't be sure.
  • Post #20 - July 12th, 2009, 8:25 pm
    Post #20 - July 12th, 2009, 8:25 pm Post #20 - July 12th, 2009, 8:25 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    Marshall K wrote:Lived in the area for a while and my personal opinion is that Pat's is a much better Pizza.

    The last time we went to Pat's (probably about two months ago) I had the disappointing perception that the ingredients that went into the pizza were neither the best nor the freshest. The time before that, when we had delivery from them, the pizza was salty out the wazoo.

    I used to like Pat's, and since it's the closest place to us and clearly our leading independent neighborhood option, I want to continue to like Pat's. Therefore I hesitate to post anything negative about them. The time we dined there a couple of months ago we were just about the only ones in the dining room, and that makes me even more loath to post a negative word; I'd rather see them thrive. Perhaps they're still doing a healthy delivery/carryout business. I hope so. And perhaps the fall-off in quality is only temporary, and they'll regain their footing in that department. I hope that, too.

    Is your opinion of Pat's based on recent patronage? When you say "lived in the area for a while" it implies past tense, but I can't be sure.


    Sorry, It has been close to 3 years since I lived in the area and had Pats pizza. We tried others but always came back to Pats for our weekly Pizza. We only had delivery after they moved.

    In the future I will try to keep time frames in perspective when posting (some how it doesn't seem that it was that long ago) as much can change.
    "I drink to make other people more interesting."
    Ernest Hemingway
  • Post #21 - January 31st, 2010, 12:21 pm
    Post #21 - January 31st, 2010, 12:21 pm Post #21 - January 31st, 2010, 12:21 pm
    D'Agostino's Lakeview location is still putting out some of my favorite pizza in Chicago. Some people complain about the sweet and tangy sauce, but I differ on the subject. I appreciate how it offsets the richness of the cheese and its strong herbal/oregano qualities.

    The crust, thin and crunchy may suffer from a lack of actual char on the bottom, but is nonetheless very flavorful.

    Below is a large jalepeno (fresh, very spicy) and mushroom, easy cheese, well done thin crust pizza.

    Image

    I'd wager that Dag's is one of the best pizza places in the North Side, and certainly the best place to eat on the "Southport Corridor."
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #22 - January 31st, 2010, 1:19 pm
    Post #22 - January 31st, 2010, 1:19 pm Post #22 - January 31st, 2010, 1:19 pm
    I have always enjoyed D'Agostino's but since moving to the Harlem/Irving area it was a little trek. I am happy to see on their website that the will be opening a location in Park Ridge, on Higgins near Cumberland, which is about 5 minutes from my job. I do not think it is open yet but when it is I hope it tastes like the original Addison location.

    Soon to be open at:

    742 Higgins
    Park Ridge IL 60026
  • Post #23 - February 1st, 2010, 6:47 pm
    Post #23 - February 1st, 2010, 6:47 pm Post #23 - February 1st, 2010, 6:47 pm
    The new Park Ridge location of D'Agostino's opened today. There is also a Family Night scheduled for Thursday nights from 6-8 pm with an in-house balloon artists, and I see specials posted for every night of the week on their website.
  • Post #24 - December 17th, 2012, 12:53 pm
    Post #24 - December 17th, 2012, 12:53 pm Post #24 - December 17th, 2012, 12:53 pm
    The D'Agostino's in Wheeling has been open for a few months (in the former Hackney's), and for meeting a former co-worker for lunch it seemed apt.

    I've been hankering for thin crust, since my go-to place (Mug's at Wolf & Central in Des Plaines) has been rebuilding from a fire since summer, so I tried the 10" personal for lunch.

    I remember having Dag's (on Addison) years ago, and it was pretty good, but perhaps my standards have been raised, or my taste buds are wearing out. This was one of the blandest pizzas I've had outside a Chuckie Cheese: Great cracker crust, but a sauce that tastes only of sweet tomatoes, flavorless cheese, flavorless sausage. I wasn't to the point of being bad, just really really bland, where adding salt might have been an improvement, but I can't bring myself to do that to something covered in cheese just on a philosophical basis.

    My lunch partner had what she said was a good salad, but the raspberry vinaigrette looked like the pink corn syrup they serve at an IHOP (she liked it, but I know I'd never want to order it).
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #25 - December 17th, 2012, 8:55 pm
    Post #25 - December 17th, 2012, 8:55 pm Post #25 - December 17th, 2012, 8:55 pm
    Yeah, like others, my issue with D'ags is first and foremost the sweet sauce. I really can't get past it. That's also why I'm not a fan of Palermo's and Aurelio's, but obviously the style has its proponents, as they do well here. The pepperoni idea intrigues me. I'm one of those freaks that is not a fan of pepperoni--I'm a sausage guy all the way when it comes to meat pizza--but I could see pepperoni playing well with this style. I'll have to try it next time I find myself at one of these places.
  • Post #26 - December 17th, 2012, 8:59 pm
    Post #26 - December 17th, 2012, 8:59 pm Post #26 - December 17th, 2012, 8:59 pm
    Binko, you may be right... but I've considered going on the Nothing But Sausage Pizza diet. Pizza without sausage is silly. You can add spinach, mushrooms, even pepperoni, but I gotta have da sossidge.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #27 - December 17th, 2012, 9:05 pm
    Post #27 - December 17th, 2012, 9:05 pm Post #27 - December 17th, 2012, 9:05 pm
    JoelF wrote:Binko, you may be right... but I've considered going on the Nothing But Sausage Pizza diet. Pizza without sausage is silly. You can add spinach, mushrooms, even pepperoni, but I gotta have da sossidge.


    Spinach? SPINACH?! Heathen.

    For me, sausage and/or the following: mushrooms, onions, green peppers. Or maybe hot peppers or giardianiera. No spinach on my sausage pizza, please. Even garlic kind of throws it off for me.
  • Post #28 - December 17th, 2012, 9:25 pm
    Post #28 - December 17th, 2012, 9:25 pm Post #28 - December 17th, 2012, 9:25 pm
    Binko wrote:Yeah, like others, my issue with D'ags is first and foremost the sweet sauce. I really can't get past it.

    I have the same issue with D'ags - a really sweet sauce - although I also find that the crust is nothing special.
  • Post #29 - December 18th, 2012, 12:30 am
    Post #29 - December 18th, 2012, 12:30 am Post #29 - December 18th, 2012, 12:30 am
    BR wrote:
    Binko wrote:Yeah, like others, my issue with D'ags is first and foremost the sweet sauce. I really can't get past it.

    I have the same issue with D'ags - a really sweet sauce - although I also find that the crust is nothing special.


    +1
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - December 18th, 2012, 11:46 am
    Post #30 - December 18th, 2012, 11:46 am Post #30 - December 18th, 2012, 11:46 am
    The revival of this thread made me re-read it, and I just wanted to give an update of my mini-review of Pat's that's contained within it. I'm happy to report that the slippage I noted in 2009 seems to have been rectified. On our last few visits to Pat's I've found the toppings to be of good quality and the crust very tasty as well.

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