Out of all of the cuisine in Chicago, Italian food is my favorite. Nothing makes me happier than pizza, toasted sandwiches, gelato and all different types of freshly baked breads. L’Appetito in the Gold Coast, was the first Italian deli to open in downtown Chicago and with two convenient downtown locations, is perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch.
L’Appetito has several deli sandwich options that showcase different regions of Italy, all made with meat, cheese and vegetables that are prepared fresh daily. All are reasonably priced and generously portioned. One of L’Appetito’s specialties is the tostino, which is a crispy, grilled sandwich that is very popular in Italy. The Milano tostino is made with smoked mozzarella and roasted eggplant, savory flavors that complement each other well. If you are looking for a traditional Italian sandwich, try The Roma. This sandwich is made with fresh mozzarella, marinated tomatoes, mushrooms and oregano. The Roma has the perfect amount of dressing and spices, and they don’t overpower other ingredients on the sandwich or make the meal messy or greasy. L’Appetito offers a sweet tostino as well, called Al Cioccolato. This is made with Nutella, a famous chocolate and hazelnut spread. If you are a chocolate lover like me, this is a dream come true. The toasted bread and Nutella combination makes this tostino feel like a pastry, not like a sandwich.
In addition to sandwiches and deli items, L’Appetito has a wide variety of pastries and dessert items. I tried the fragola gelato, which is strawberry flavored. This dessert was rich, creamy and I could taste the real fruit flavor. I would take L’Appetito’s gelato over ice cream any day. There are several gelato flavors available and the flavors change daily. Other flavors include pistachio, flor di latte (a sweet cream flavor) and cioccolato fondente (dark chocolate). Pastries and other dessert items change day by day as well. If you love
cheesecake, take it to the next level with the Italian Cheesecake. This decant dessert is made with ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese and it tastes slightly fruitier than regular cheesecake. In addition to the gelato and the cheesecake, any of the pastries offered at L’Appetito would make an excellent addition to an office party, a family party…or just to bring home to your apartment not to share.
Sarah Amundsen is a senior at Loyola University Chicago, where she is pursuing studiesin in public relations and marketing. In her spare time, she is interested in running, fashion and eating her way through Chicago’s many great restaurants.