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    Post #1 - November 16th, 2009, 10:35 pm
    Post #1 - November 16th, 2009, 10:35 pm Post #1 - November 16th, 2009, 10:35 pm
    Don't hold it against Via Roma that it is serving up some delicious, straight forward and ridiculously low priced Roma influenced Italian Foods out of the same space that formerly housed Little Amsterdam. This gem has been open for breakfast and lunch since early September. Two weeks ago they extended their hours to Friday and Saturday night.

    Alessandro Forti, formerly of Sapori Trattoria is doing the cooking and has ownership along with his partner Lisa Leslie. This is a small space that has maximum seating for 40 with little waiting area, so be forewarned if making the trek. It's also BYOB which tends to increase the after dinner lingering effect. So far no reservations are being taken. Lisa related they already have a lot of private parties through the holidays and may consider more evening hours starting next year.

    Last Saturday night they were still at full capacity at 9.00. Eventually shared a four-top with another waiting Roma born couple we quickly became friends with. Bucatini all'Amatriciana had perfect noodles blended simply with low acidic tasting tomatoes and pancetta/guanciale (not sure which). No onion detected which is the way it should be. A shrimp and clam risotto tasted as good as it can be made. Cheese and pesto pizza was workman like. Another table was raving about their veal, whatever preparation it was. My cannoli was filled just before serving and tasty. The bread is not baked in house but was outstanding. It's still early but it sure seems like Via Roma is a hit and a welcome addition to this area.

    Via Roma
    686 Lee Street
    Des Plaines, Illinois
    847-768-7461
  • Post #2 - November 17th, 2009, 7:53 am
    Post #2 - November 17th, 2009, 7:53 am Post #2 - November 17th, 2009, 7:53 am
    Lisa Leslie the former basketball player?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - November 17th, 2009, 9:02 am
    Post #3 - November 17th, 2009, 9:02 am Post #3 - November 17th, 2009, 9:02 am
    Bucatini all'Amatriciana had perfect noodles blended simply with low acidic tasting tomatoes and pancetta/guanciale (not sure which). No onion detected which is the way it should be.


    Just wondering: "the way it should be" according to whom? That some individuals, including some raised amidst the tradition of Roman/Latian cookery, may prefer it without onion is true but if the claim here is that it is somehow not canonical -- from the standpoint of the traditions of Rome/Lazio -- to include onion, then that is quite wrong. In my estimation, the use of onion in this dish is thoroughly traditional, so too in the most closely related dishes, and including onion in bucatini alla matriciana seems more common in traditional recipes than omitting it. For example, I am certain that Ada Boni, la regina della cucina romana, presents the dish in her classic book with onion included and no further comment in that regard (though she often enough acknowledges variants in her recipes).

    A recipe posted by the present writer very much according to the mainstream tradition is found on this site here.
    For more on this topic from an historical perspective, see:
    Buccini, A.F. 2007. "On Spaghetti alla carbonara and Related Dishes of Central and Southern Italy." In: Eggs in Cookery: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2006. Richard Hosking (ed.), pp. 36-47. Totnes, Devon: Prospect Books.

    Does Via Roma offer any other dishes that are especially representative of Roman cuisine? The offerings you mention specifically -- pizza with pesto, shrimp and clam risotto and cannoli -- are not.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #4 - November 17th, 2009, 1:09 pm
    Post #4 - November 17th, 2009, 1:09 pm Post #4 - November 17th, 2009, 1:09 pm
    Antonius wrote:Just wondering: "the way it should be" according to whom? That some individuals, including some raised amidst the tradition of Roman/Latian cookery, may prefer it without onion is true but if the claim here is that it is somehow not canonical -- from the standpoint of the traditions of Rome/Lazio -- to include onion, then that is quite wrong. recipes).

    Antonius


    I guess I should have added "from what I believe based on what I was told by some native Italians". I am certainly no expert or am I Italian.

    As to other Roman dishes I can't say as this was a first time visit at the end of their service with the food being ordered by others at the table. As to the "Roma influenced" statement ,that came from a brief conversation with the chef owner. I was just trying to relate all the information I had from my one visit on a place that seems to be above the norm in an area often categorized as the culinary wasteland.
  • Post #5 - January 30th, 2014, 4:39 pm
    Post #5 - January 30th, 2014, 4:39 pm Post #5 - January 30th, 2014, 4:39 pm
    Any current thoughts on this spot? My friend is a die-hard free-byob person and this place has it.
  • Post #6 - September 25th, 2014, 7:18 am
    Post #6 - September 25th, 2014, 7:18 am Post #6 - September 25th, 2014, 7:18 am
    Via Roma is one of our regular spots and I would highly recommend it. We probably go about once a month or so and have never had a bad meal there. No corkage BYOB with decent stemware. A plain but nice little patio for outside dining in good weather too. They have no web site and don't update their Facebook very often. I tell Lisa all the time she should be posting the specials etc...
    I just want to eat what I want and be left alone.
  • Post #7 - December 11th, 2022, 5:18 pm
    Post #7 - December 11th, 2022, 5:18 pm Post #7 - December 11th, 2022, 5:18 pm
    bbqbyrds wrote:They have no web site and don't update their Facebook very often.


    It's been awhile since this thread was last updated, Via Roma now does have a website: http://viaromadesplaines.com/

    They've also moved to a new address in Des Plaines: 470 E Northwest Hwy, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Parking on NW highway and behind the restaurant as well.

    Via Roma is still BYOB Beer & Wine w/no corkage fee

    Mrs Willie & I hadn't been for awhile so went this past Friday evening.

    Special of beef carpaccio was delicious, good quality/flavorful beef, with some arugula & Italian cheese

    The zuppe de pesche was full of flavor, great stew and chock full of calamari, shrimp, mussels, fish, octopus. My only complaints were that they used tiny clams that were overcooked and the small shrimp had very little flavor. Huge portion, took 1/2 home which I had for lunch today.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #8 - May 18th, 2024, 2:26 am
    Post #8 - May 18th, 2024, 2:26 am Post #8 - May 18th, 2024, 2:26 am
    Was in the northwest suburbs for an appointment and had a very pleasant lunch at Via Roma. The menu special of beef cheeks with rigatoni in a (slightly spicy and well-balanced) marinara paired nicely with the Amarone we brought. Note that on the patio, we were given small plastic cups, like the ones on an airplane. We did not ask if our own glassware would be allowed, but given that an above post referenced stemware, I am guessing that it was intentional to only use plastic outside. There is still no corkage fee, and ice buckets are available on request for $2. We would very happily dine here again

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