For all we know, the food might be perfectly tasty, and the prices, maxing out at $13.95, certainly aren’t unreasonable. No, the problem is in the restaurant’s narrative: we are presented with a story about three chefs (Gino, Sofia, and Romero; siblings!) who each bring a signature style to the table. Gino is a traditionalist, Sofia, a “health nut,” and Romero is billed as a “maverick. Their back stories are quite elaborate, given that they’re merely figments of a passive-aggressive marketer’s imagination.
But wait, there’s more! The chef story continues on the menu, where many dishes are marked with the initial of one of the chefs to indicate whether a dish is classic, healthy or modern. For example, a strawberry balsamico salad is labeled as “innovative and contemporary,” a salmon and shrimp Caesar salad is marked as healthy (doubt it), and a meatball sub is called traditional Italian (is that even really true?). Ahhh!! why do people need this cutesy performativity in their restaurants? Surely, no Chicagoan is intended to eat here. The menu actually calls Neapolitan pizza, “The ‘Urban’ Pizza!” Yes, urban’s in quotes, and there’s an exclamation point. Ugh, our nose could not possibly be turned up any higher at this moment.
Oh no, it can. The menu has several examples of one of our favorite grammatical pet peeves, the misused apostrophe. The best is that your baked goat cheese with marinara comes with toasted crostini’s. That’s wrong in so many ways we don’t even know where to begin. Let’s drop the ’, and then, for good measure, the s.
Alright, we’ve gotten the rage out of our system. We promise to be populist the rest of the day. Buon appetito!
[Photo: your humble chefs, Capi’s]