Think your favorite little Italian restaurant is the most authentic place in town? Well, tell that to Italy’s National Institute of Tourist Reseach and the Italian-American Chamber of Commerce, which selected only eight restaurants in town that met the specifics standards. Of course, Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia made the list, but we would have seriously doubted any list that left it off. Also, Piccolo Sogno, Coco Pazzo, Tocco, Pelago Ristorante, The Village, Merlo on Maple, and Volare rounded it out. Sounds straightforward, right? But Chris Borrelli from the Tribune dug a little deeper, and figured out what those specifications for authenticity were a little less stringent than we first thought.
Turns out the rules were pretty straightforward. There had to be someone at the restaurant that spoke fluent Italian, the menu had to be written in Italian as the first language, the olive oil had to be Italian, and there had to be five authentic Italian recipes. But the most important criteria for being included was that the restaurant had to send in an application. According to Borrelli, only eight restaurants applied, and they all made it.
So, which restaurant do you think should have sent in an application?
[The Most Authentic Italian Restaurants in Chicago [The Stew/Trib]