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Good spots for chicken Vesuvio?

Good spots for chicken Vesuvio?
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  • Good spots for chicken Vesuvio?

    Post #1 - August 28th, 2010, 5:16 pm
    Post #1 - August 28th, 2010, 5:16 pm Post #1 - August 28th, 2010, 5:16 pm
    Image
    Chicken Vesuvio at Harry Caray's

    Wherever and however it originated,* chicken Vesuvio has been one of Chicago's specialties since at least the 1930s. Most of the Italian-American spots around town serve some variant of this dish: chicken pieces, traditionally on the bone, and wedges of potatoes prepared -- typically in a two-step process -- with lots of olive oil, white wine, garlic and an optional sprinkling of green peas.

    Harry Caray's does a pretty iconic version: moist and meaty chicken with relatively crisp skin and lots of peas, but the garlic is much more subtle than I prefer.

    Where have you had good versions lately? (I'm also interested in variants: steak Vesuvio, veal Vesuvio, et al.)

    Harry Caray's
    312/828-0966
    http://www.harrycarays.com
    33 W. Kinzie St., Chicago

    *And please, let's not get into that again here!
  • Post #2 - August 28th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Post #2 - August 28th, 2010, 5:27 pm Post #2 - August 28th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Francesco's Hole In The Wall does a great job with their Vesuvio.

    Francesco's Hole in the Wall
    254 Skokie Boulevard
    Northbrook, IL 60062
  • Post #3 - August 28th, 2010, 6:03 pm
    Post #3 - August 28th, 2010, 6:03 pm Post #3 - August 28th, 2010, 6:03 pm
    At a recent dinner at Rose Angelis the couple next to us ordered the Chicken Vesuvio and kept raving about it. It looked and smelled fantastic but I can't speak to how it tasted personally.

    Rose Angelis
    1314 W. Wrightwood Ave.
    773-296-0081
    Senorita P.
  • Post #4 - August 29th, 2010, 4:45 am
    Post #4 - August 29th, 2010, 4:45 am Post #4 - August 29th, 2010, 4:45 am
    I know it's almost sacrilege to order it there, but the best version I've ever had is at Gene and Georgetti.
  • Post #5 - August 29th, 2010, 6:06 am
    Post #5 - August 29th, 2010, 6:06 am Post #5 - August 29th, 2010, 6:06 am
    LAZ's picture of the Chicken Vesuvio at Harry Caray's certainly looks right, and of the maybe 20 versions I've tried over the years in the area, this one ranks right up there. It's not swimming in oil either, which is a deal-breaker to me. However, a little bit of cracklings/wine/garlic sauce scraped off the bottom of the pan is OK in my book. And...the garlic needs to be omnipresent but have a mild/roasted taste, just a tad browned, as opposed to the clueless wannabes who throw an entire bulb of garlic in the dish & consider it authentic.

    Bruna's Ristorante on Oakley used to do a killer Chicken Vesuvio too, but haven't had it in at least five years. Same goes for Sabatino's.
  • Post #6 - August 29th, 2010, 6:54 am
    Post #6 - August 29th, 2010, 6:54 am Post #6 - August 29th, 2010, 6:54 am
    Myron & Phil's makes a great version as well.

    Myron & Phil
    3900 West Devon Avenue
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    (847) 677-6663
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - August 29th, 2010, 7:48 am
    Post #7 - August 29th, 2010, 7:48 am Post #7 - August 29th, 2010, 7:48 am
    I have not been there for years but my best memories of chicken Vesuvio are still located on Taylor St. at Rosebud.
  • Post #8 - August 29th, 2010, 12:23 pm
    Post #8 - August 29th, 2010, 12:23 pm Post #8 - August 29th, 2010, 12:23 pm
    iblock9 wrote:Francesco's Hole In The Wall does a great job with their Vesuvio.


    Many of the ones mentioned here are great but Francesco's remains my gold standard.

    As a teenager I fell in love with the version from Villa Palermo (in it's earlier, full restaurant, location further east on Devon that it is today). It still retains the flavor of earlier days, but not as good as I remember. (Their style is oilier than others, which I like).

    Villa Palermo
    2154 W Devon
    (773) 465-5400

    I'm not a fan of the place, but Bacchanalia in Heart of Italy has a number of "vesuvio" preparations on the menu (shrimp, porterhouse, veal, chicken, fish). I have the sneaking suspicion that they make a big tub of "vesuvio sauce" and throw it into a pan with whatever meat you've ordered, but your mileage may vary.

    Bacchanalia
    2413 S Oakley
    (773) 254-6555

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #9 - August 29th, 2010, 12:43 pm
    Post #9 - August 29th, 2010, 12:43 pm Post #9 - August 29th, 2010, 12:43 pm
    Hi,

    The one I make a home.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - August 29th, 2010, 2:03 pm
    Post #10 - August 29th, 2010, 2:03 pm Post #10 - August 29th, 2010, 2:03 pm
    The deal breaker for me is boneless chicken breasts. To me, it's not really Vesuvio unless it's chicken on the bone.

    I notice a few "I have not had it for X years." What is keeping you from visiting your favorite chicken Vesuvio spots or ordering CV?

    Cathy2 wrote:The one I make a home.
    Is that an invitation? :wink:
  • Post #11 - August 29th, 2010, 8:35 pm
    Post #11 - August 29th, 2010, 8:35 pm Post #11 - August 29th, 2010, 8:35 pm
    LAZ wrote:The deal breaker for me is boneless chicken breasts. To me, it's not really Vesuvio unless it's chicken on the bone.
    I echo your sentiments. The only thing worse than boneless breasts are bonless and skinless breasts. To me Chicken Vesuvio should be full of that oily gamey poultry flavor that only comes from skin and bones, without which it tastes like a lemon flavored celluose sponge. If you are afraid of a little chicken fat, order something else.
  • Post #12 - August 29th, 2010, 9:32 pm
    Post #12 - August 29th, 2010, 9:32 pm Post #12 - August 29th, 2010, 9:32 pm
    LAZ wrote:The deal breaker for me is boneless chicken breasts. To me, it's not really Vesuvio unless it's chicken on the bone.

    I notice a few "I have not had it for X years." What is keeping you from visiting your favorite chicken Vesuvio spots or ordering CV?

    Cathy2 wrote:The one I make a home.
    Is that an invitation? :wink:

    If the weather were only a little more cooler.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - August 29th, 2010, 9:57 pm
    Post #13 - August 29th, 2010, 9:57 pm Post #13 - August 29th, 2010, 9:57 pm
    My girlfriend ordered the vesuvio at Harry Carays and it came out very dry. Of all the food we ate in the past three months she thinks this one was the worst she had ordered.
  • Post #14 - August 29th, 2010, 11:55 pm
    Post #14 - August 29th, 2010, 11:55 pm Post #14 - August 29th, 2010, 11:55 pm
    The one I make a home.


    I have to agree with this sentiment. Chicken Vesuvio is such a dead simple dish to prepare are home that I can't imagine ordering it out. The version I prefer is from an old cookbook collection of Chicago resto recipes, "Specialties of the House" (1988), and was from Carlucci on N. Halsted St. No peas, no wine - just a good chicken, all of it, cut into eight pieces, unpeeled, quartered (or halved, depending on size) red potatoes, EVOO, minced garlic, 1/4 C fresh lemon juice, and fresh rosemary, with a good sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper. All of the ingredients are combined, tossed to coat, and marinated in a baking dish in the fridge for at least half an hour, and then baked in a hot (425) oven for about 35-45 minutes. (If you have an open bottle of dry white wine, you can swap some for the lemon juice, if you like, but it's just as good without it.)

    Good, simple eats.
  • Post #15 - August 30th, 2010, 5:30 am
    Post #15 - August 30th, 2010, 5:30 am Post #15 - August 30th, 2010, 5:30 am
    I notice a few "I have not had it for X years." What is keeping you from visiting your favorite chicken Vesuvio spots or ordering CV?


    I have been to Bruna's and Sabatino's in the last few months, but did not order chicken Vesuvio at either place, because I was in the mood for another one of their specialties--penne puttanesca (Bruna's) and osso buco (Sabatino's). And frankly, I'm still trying to find "the one". Tried CV at Capri/Downers Grove a couple weeks back, and although the taste was OK, there wasn't enough of the crisp skin/moist meat thing happening, AND it was swimming in oil. Didn't even take a doggie bag...

    Sundevil, I've always been under the impression on cooking CV at home that it's pan-fried, THEN roasted, in order to get that 'right' garlic taste, the one I mentioned upthread. 'Course, roasting at 425 like you say might do the trick as well.
  • Post #16 - March 2nd, 2011, 5:10 pm
    Post #16 - March 2nd, 2011, 5:10 pm Post #16 - March 2nd, 2011, 5:10 pm
    I'm in the mood for old-timey Chicago classics, so I'm bumping this thread. Any recent contenders?
  • Post #17 - March 2nd, 2011, 6:20 pm
    Post #17 - March 2nd, 2011, 6:20 pm Post #17 - March 2nd, 2011, 6:20 pm
    GATTO'S in Tinley Park. Opt for the boneless. Everything is good there.
  • Post #18 - March 2nd, 2011, 8:46 pm
    Post #18 - March 2nd, 2011, 8:46 pm Post #18 - March 2nd, 2011, 8:46 pm
    Adding onto what Dramisino said, not only does Gatto's have a pretty respectable Chicken Vesuvio, but they also have a Pork Chop Vesuvio that is enjoyable as well. Gatto's also has a second location on Rt 30 in New Lenox.
  • Post #19 - March 2nd, 2011, 9:22 pm
    Post #19 - March 2nd, 2011, 9:22 pm Post #19 - March 2nd, 2011, 9:22 pm
    The other critical part of CV is potatoes.
    So because of that, one of my favorite places for Italian, Dave's Italian Kitchen in Evanston, is right out.
    No potatoes, I'm not ordering the Vesuvio.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #20 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:12 am
    Post #20 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:12 am Post #20 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:12 am
    dramisino wrote:Opt for the boneless.

    Why???
  • Post #21 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:13 am
    Post #21 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:13 am Post #21 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:13 am
    JoelF wrote:The other critical part of CV is potatoes.
    So because of that, one of my favorite places for Italian, Dave's Italian Kitchen in Evanston, is right out.
    No potatoes, I'm not ordering the Vesuvio.

    I'm with you on that. I don't think it even qualifies as Vesuvio without potatoes.
  • Post #22 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:46 am
    Post #22 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:46 am Post #22 - March 3rd, 2011, 11:46 am
    Conveniently enough, we’re having a catered lunch for my daughter this Saturday (Catholic Confirmation) at Ambrogio's . It’s family style serving and they have several different packages to choose from. We opted for the cheapest knowing we'd be ordering from the menu as well.

    Package 1:
    sausage & green peppers, chicken vesuvio, with hot potatoes, spinach patties, mostaccioli, & salad


    I had the Chicken Vesuvio last time I was there and enjoyed it quite a bit and I’ll be sure to post an update after Saturday.
  • Post #23 - March 3rd, 2011, 5:15 pm
    Post #23 - March 3rd, 2011, 5:15 pm Post #23 - March 3rd, 2011, 5:15 pm
    zoid wrote:Conveniently enough, we’re having a catered lunch for my daughter this Saturday (Catholic Confirmation) at Ambrogio's . It’s family style serving and they have several different packages to choose from. We opted for the cheapest knowing we'd be ordering from the menu as well.

    Package 1:
    sausage & green peppers, chicken vesuvio, with hot potatoes, spinach patties, mostaccioli, & salad


    I had the Chicken Vesuvio last time I was there and enjoyed it quite a bit and I’ll be sure to post an update after Saturday.


    Congratulations to you and your daughter. Looking forward to your report on the event.
  • Post #24 - March 3rd, 2011, 8:08 pm
    Post #24 - March 3rd, 2011, 8:08 pm Post #24 - March 3rd, 2011, 8:08 pm
    I had CV at Sabatino's a few months ago. I'd never had it before, so I can't compare to other restaurants, but it was pretty much out of this world. I still think about it sometimes, and I want to go back for more!
  • Post #25 - March 4th, 2011, 10:27 am
    Post #25 - March 4th, 2011, 10:27 am Post #25 - March 4th, 2011, 10:27 am
    I like the version at Basilico Ristorante in Norridge.
    4701 N. Cumberland
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

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  • Post #26 - March 5th, 2011, 8:08 am
    Post #26 - March 5th, 2011, 8:08 am Post #26 - March 5th, 2011, 8:08 am
    I still think Rosebud on Taylor ST. makes the best Chicken Vesuvio, among many other dishes. I think Nonno Pino's in Edison Park ( Far Northwest Side of Chicago ) makes an excellent Chicken Vesuvio as well. The pino puffs at Nonno Pino's ( shredded zucchini with 3 cheeses formed in a light puffy ball ) are great appetizers, too. I've had a lot of family parties at Nonno Pino's over the years and their food never disappoints. The owners got their start at Trattoria Peppino in Elmwood Park.
  • Post #27 - March 11th, 2011, 7:58 pm
    Post #27 - March 11th, 2011, 7:58 pm Post #27 - March 11th, 2011, 7:58 pm
    deepdish wrote:I think Nonno Pino's in Edison Park ( Far Northwest Side of Chicago ) makes an excellent Chicken Vesuvio as well. The pino puffs at Nonno Pino's ( shredded zucchini with 3 cheeses formed in a light puffy ball ) are great appetizers, too. I've had a lot of family parties at Nonno Pino's over the years and their food never disappoints. The owners got their start at Trattoria Peppino in Elmwood Park.

    Thanks for the reminder of this place. I'll have to get back there -- I recall liking it very much., but I haven't been back for years. I also remember they did an ice cream dessert with a balsamic vinegar sauce that was exceptional.
  • Post #28 - March 12th, 2011, 3:10 pm
    Post #28 - March 12th, 2011, 3:10 pm Post #28 - March 12th, 2011, 3:10 pm
    Via Veneto makes a good Petto Di Pollo Vesuvio.

    6340 North Lincoln Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60659
    (773) 267-0888
  • Post #29 - March 14th, 2011, 12:49 pm
    Post #29 - March 14th, 2011, 12:49 pm Post #29 - March 14th, 2011, 12:49 pm
    I always thought the standard was Tufano's.

    Tufano's Vernon Park Tap
    1073 W Vernon Park Pl
    Chicago, IL 60607
    (312) 733-3393
  • Post #30 - March 15th, 2011, 11:58 am
    Post #30 - March 15th, 2011, 11:58 am Post #30 - March 15th, 2011, 11:58 am
    Sabatino's is good for chicken Vesuvio. Club Lago (Orleans & Superior) has a decent one as well.

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