LTH Home

Via Veneto -- terrific Italian at Lincoln & Devon

Via Veneto -- terrific Italian at Lincoln & Devon
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Via Veneto -- terrific Italian at Lincoln & Devon

    Post #1 - August 30th, 2010, 3:57 pm
    Post #1 - August 30th, 2010, 3:57 pm Post #1 - August 30th, 2010, 3:57 pm
    Until now, Via Veneto has been mentioned in several other threads…

    Sunday Dinner…
    “solid Italian”

    Must-Have Mussels
    “They do so many seafood dishes so well.”

    …Best pumpkin ravioli
    “I would trust any pumpkin ravioli made by any member of the Barbanente family.”

    Date Night suggestions…
    “…a cute little joint on Lincoln and Devon…”

    Best gnocchi in town
    “Amazingly light and pillowy. As a matter of fact, the whole meal was excellent.”

    …without having one of its own.

    Via Veneto deserves our attention because it consistently serves quality food that is well-prepared, in a most pleasant setting and at reasonable prices.

    Our family has been going here for more than twenty years and we have never had a problem regarding freshness or quality. One of the strengths of the kitchen at Via Veneto is their seafood*. Grilled calamari and octopus are always available, as are several varieties of fresh shellfish and finfish. The same applies to the pasta* and the refreshing salads* that they offer. The meat entrees – chicken vesuvio, veal, sausage, giambotta – are also first-rate. And the desserts are sinfully delicious.

    The seating areas are nicely spaced and pleasantly conversation-friendly. Waitstaff are knowledgeable and helpful, particularly if you are lucky enough to be at a table where Angelina (a Barbanente family member) or one of the other long-time servers is working. They make you feel at home.

    We have come to think of Via Veneto as our Go-To Place when visitors come to town or when we are dining with folks who want to try “a new place”. They can always find something on the menu that looks interesting. We know that they will enjoy it. We will all have a good time. And even paying the bill will keep a smile on our faces.

    *Today, we enjoyed a Mixed Grill (calamari, octopus, shrimp and salmon) in an understated balsamic sauce, Spinach Fettuccine with Salmon in a vodka cream sauce and a Beet Salad with mixed greens and gorgonzola cheese. Outstanding.

    Via Veneto Ristorante
    6340 N Lincoln Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
  • Post #2 - August 30th, 2010, 5:37 pm
    Post #2 - August 30th, 2010, 5:37 pm Post #2 - August 30th, 2010, 5:37 pm
    I haven't been there since they were on Peterson! Definitely a great place, thanks for reminding me of it. I need to head back there soon. I can't say enough good things about the place.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris
  • Post #3 - September 2nd, 2010, 6:33 pm
    Post #3 - September 2nd, 2010, 6:33 pm Post #3 - September 2nd, 2010, 6:33 pm
    Totally agree. We were there probably close to three years ago with my then 7-year-old son and the food and service were top-notch. Considering that Skokie does not offer much in the way of Italian (Maggiano's, I'm looking at you), this is an easy choice.

    Thanks for the reminder.
    "You should eat!"
  • Post #4 - September 5th, 2010, 6:10 am
    Post #4 - September 5th, 2010, 6:10 am Post #4 - September 5th, 2010, 6:10 am
    Jim: Thanks for opening my eyes to this place. For "old school" Italian dining, atmosphere plays an important role for my family & I...can you tell me what kind of vibe / surroundings Vian Veneto offers? Do they have booths in their bar area? Is the restaurant one big room, or are there various rooms and you have a personal preference of one over the others? Thanks in advance...
    Formerly Tony Spilotro
  • Post #5 - September 5th, 2010, 10:00 am
    Post #5 - September 5th, 2010, 10:00 am Post #5 - September 5th, 2010, 10:00 am

    Judging from your screen name, you are a much better judge of “Old School Italian” than I am. So, let me tell you why my family has been enjoying Via Veneto for so long. Since I have already mentioned how much – and why – we enjoy the food, this comment will focus on the setting and the vibe.

    First, the setting. The entry foyer consists of the bar and a small waiting area that is sometimes used by people who are having drinks, but not for sitting at the bar. The main dining area is divided into two sections, so that you don’t feel as if you are in a giant eating hall. One of these is pictured on the home page of their website and the other section is behind the brick wall on the right. Both are equally enjoyable. Comfortable spacing. Nicely decorated (understated when compared to many Italian restaurants). Conversation-friendly. Also, a Banquet Room (pictures on the website) and a second eating area inside, with a typical sidewalk eating area on the outside.

    As to the “vibe”, please remember that we have known the Barbanente family since 1988, when we first came to the restaurant at its Peterson Avenue location. We have watched each other’s kids grow up and they have treated us like family, sometimes sharing with us goodies from home that they made for their own family occasions. It is difficult for me to be objective about how much our enjoyment of Via Veneto goes beyond the setting and the food.

    Here’s hoping that the above is helpful. I appreciate your concern for “atmosphere” and strongly encourage you to give Via Veneto – and the Barbanentes -- an opportunity to enchant your family as they have ours.
  • Post #6 - April 10th, 2011, 2:41 pm
    Post #6 - April 10th, 2011, 2:41 pm Post #6 - April 10th, 2011, 2:41 pm
    We made our first visit to Via Veneto in several years last night, and we have to wonder why we don't patronize the place more often!

    The atmosphere is nice. There is a family-oriented feel to the place, so one would not feel out of place if you brought children along to dinner, yet there are also dating couples, and folks who seem to be quite serious about their food and wine.

    To the details, we all passed on appetizers and went for main courses. One of us had one of the evening's specials, sauteed bay scallops over a vegetable risotto. I didn't get comments, but the fact that the dish was devoured in a matter of minutes, with nary a scrap left on the plate, suggested it was very good. My wife had the veal barolo, which was scallopine of veal in a barolo/tomato/cream sauce over pasta, enhanced with sliced portabella and shiitake mushrooms. The veal was tender, could be cut with a fork, flavorful, and the mushrooms were outstanding with the sauce. Add a bit of parmesan from the table, and you are right back in Italy. Outstanding!

    I did something I haven't done for many a year. I asked the chef to do something that wasn't on the menu. Back in the distant past (more than 10 years ago) there was a small restaurant called La Rosa's, near our house. They had a dish, pasta alla Scoglio, which was a wonderful melange of mussels, clams, and garlic, served over pasta with white wine, italian parsley and olive oil. I just loved it, and haven't had any since they closed.

    I asked our waitress if the pasta with mussels and clams, with marinara, which was on the menu, could be sauced differently. Her answer - No Problem! Then I described alla Scoglio, and she said that there were other dishes on their menu that were very close to that sauce preparation, so it would be no problem to reproduce the dish I wanted.

    10 minutes later, I had a perfect platter of pasta alla scoglio in front of me. It was perfect, just fantastically fresh shellfish, high quality olive oil, plenty of garlic, and loads of flavor. I devoured every bite, and sopped up the sauce with fresh Italian bread. It was garlic nirvana, and I really appreciate that they could go "off menu".

    For dessert, cannoli were authentic, according to my half-Italian bride, and their profiteroles were really good, with nice light puff pastry. All in all, a good ending to the evening.

    There is good work being done in their kitchen, so if you are on the North side and want really good Italian food, I would suggest that Via Veneto should be "on your radar".
  • Post #7 - January 27th, 2013, 9:34 pm
    Post #7 - January 27th, 2013, 9:34 pm Post #7 - January 27th, 2013, 9:34 pm
    Last night at Via Veneto was another reminder of how well they do pasta and seafood. One dish featured perfectly cooked and lightly crusted salmon over grilled vegetables, simply sauced and delicious.

    The other entrée was one of those basic Italian treats that make your tongue tingle with only five ingredients: house-made lemon linguini; chopped cherry tomatoes; slivers of sliced garlic; fresh-as-can-be shrimp; all sautéed in evoo. The linguini was sensational – bright, lemon flavor that added to, without overpowering, the shrimp and tomatoes. The sliced and sautéed garlic was just enough to balance the lemony highlights while guaranteeing to keep vampires at a distance. Creative and well executed, it was a new treat.

    This will definitely be one to remember asking for, even if it’s not on the menu. As rfleisch1 pointed out, above, the kitchen at Via Veneto is terrific about handling requests for off-menu items. They encourage you to ask and they seem to take pleasure in producing what you want. For example, because they always have calamari and octopus available, you can get Pazze Idee (grilled calamari and octopus in a balsamic sauce over spinach or pasta), even when it is not listed on the menu.

    Fun place; great food; nice people. It’s a shame they don’t get more love on the forum.