While I consider myself to be a health-conscious person, Italian food is one of my weaknesses. In high school, I played several sports and all of my coaches encouraged athletes to eat carbs for energy. Though I am not on the swim team or the track team anymore, my love for bread, pizza and pasta is here to stay. Calo Ristorante in Andersonville is perfect for any carb-lover, especially if you’re celebrating a birthday or special occasion and plan to indulge.
Most of the time, I wouldn’t think to order pizza at a sit-down Italian restaurant, but Calo Ristorante’s thin crust pizza stands out from many others I’ve sampled in Chicago: crispy and cooked to perfection. You can detect the fresh ingredients in the homemade sauce and if you want classic and simple flavors, cheese pizza is the perfect choice here. If you want to add more flavor, try the vegetarian delight, which even non-vegetarians will enjoy. Topped with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, onions, zucchini and carrots, you’ll feel practically virtuous. Calo Ristorante also delivers its pizzas, so you can always satisfy a highbrow late night pizza craving, which I admit I’ve done this more than once.
Calo Ristorante also has plenty of pasta options. Even though you’ll find traditional pasta dishes on the menu, such as alfredo and ravioli, the pappardelle con funghi is a clear winner. Porcini, portobello and shitake mushrooms add a hearty, savory flavor to the pasta alongside fresh, grilled shrimp topped with a creamy chardonnay wine sauce drizzled with white truffle oil. The ziti vodka is another hot item, made unique with the addition of grilled chicken, sun dried tomatoes and green peas in a classic vodka sauce. Calo Ristorane’s pasta dishes are sevred in portions large enough to take home leftovers – which happen to be perfect for tomorrow’s lunch, dinner or late night snack.
Calo Ristorante, 5343 North Clark Street. For more information, call 773-271-7782 or visit www.calorestaurant.com.
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.