'Nella Pizza e Pasta is a Michelin Bib Gourmand Neapolitan concept from renowned pizzaiola Nella Grassano. Nella follows an Italian theme not only with its food but with the entire atmosphere. Serving brunch through dinner, Nella has the best Italian cuisine you can get in Chicago. From delicious breakfast options to pasta and pizza, Nella has everything you need for a lovely dining experience.'
'Nella Grassano, the chef behind Nella Pizza e Pasta, grew up in Naples and worked at lauded North Side pizzeria Spacca Napoli before opening her own spot, which subsequently earned a spot on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list. Her pies offer a wondrous chew and char. The menu is fairly traditional; the ortolana (mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, red sauce, basil) is a standout. There are also Neapolitan breakfast pizzas.'
'In a year when Chicago lost 18 Bib Gourmand, a Neapolitan restaurant won the honor. Nella Pizza e Pasta has developed a following of people who like their pizza light, airy and wood fired rather than en casserole. The owners, Nella and Frank Grassano provide an authentic Neapolitan experience from the starters to the deserts. Pastas are light, with an emphasis on seafood. However the star of the show is the pizza. Cooked in a custom made oven with clay from Vesuvius, the pizza is the alpha to the deep dish omega. Would recommend a visit.'
'Thanks to the wood-burning oven…the crust is baked to a uniform golden brown, adding a crunch without drying out the dough. Each slice has a firm base and a pleasant chew, without the wet center that's traditional to other Neapolitan pies. The dough is rustic and flavorful without distracting from the high-quality toppings.'
'Over the years, Nella Grassano has been known for drawing crowds to now-closed restaurants in Lincoln Park, but now she has a truly stunning space in Hyde Park, complete with a cozy patio. Most importantly, each pizza comes out with a crust dotted artfully with char marks, a tell-tale sign of a ridiculously hot wood-fired oven. With each bite, you can taste the splendid interplay between the almost campfire notes of the exterior playing off the remarkably soft interior.'