Heaven and Pizza

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If I get to heaven and it’s not a margherita pizza on a terrace in Positano, Italy, I am going to be shocked.

After one of the most insane (hair pin turns! Mount Vesuvius! The teeniest road ever carved directly into the side of a mountain! A fence as tall as my shin keeping us from the drop off! Italian drivers who aren’t going to let a little thing like oncoming traffic/that whole mountain thing keep them from passing! Sorrento!) drives in the world, we arrived in Positano and I am simply overwhelmed. I have never seen beauty like this. I have never seen lemons this big. I have never seen water this blue. It’s like glass married the sky and it’s baby is the sea.

I burst into tears when the woman showing us to our room opened the door to this terrace. A terrace for two to enjoy on our honeymoon, she explained.

Like I said- it is overwhelming, this little town on the side of a mountain.

Ryan laid down for a nap, the doors wide open, blowing in a breeze from the sea, so I walked up the diminutive, winding street until I found a ristorante with a wood fired oven and a family that invited me to sit with them for a glass of wine while my pizza cooked. Walking back to the hotel, I dodged Vespas and back on my terrace for two, sat down with my pizza for one.

Absolute heaven.


Thanksgiving 2.0

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We cooked a massive meal for our Thanksgiving of four yesterday so we invited friends over for a Thanksgiving 2.0 tonight…which turned into ordering Pequod’s…and playing Apples to Apples…and watching How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Thanksgiving, it was.

But we still have tons of leftovers. So if anyone wants to be a part of Tgiving 3.0, let us know…



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You know those weekends that are so simply great that Monday comes and you spend a decent part of the day questioning why the weekend is over and why can’t fun weekends like that last forever and why is it Monday already dammit? Yeah. That.

Highlights included the Sheffield Garden Walk with friends we have a blast with and do not see often enough, followed by Pequod’s and a Sunday spent at the beach. Add in a few good runs, errands and even some sleeping in and you pretty much have my best weekend ever. I’m excited about the upcoming week now but man, weekends occupied with music, pizza, beach and love are hard to leave behind.

And c’mon-Pequod’s? I love love love Pequod’s and hate hate hate that their delivery radius is like 2 square blocks. Our friend Allison is gorgeously 9 months pregnant and we sent the leftovers home with her and her cool husband…it was the right thing to do but man- Ry and I sure wished we had cold Pequod’s the following morning.

The Return of the Milano’s

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When I was a kid, my family came to Chicago pretty often.  Being from the west side of the Mitten, only a few hours from the Chi, anytime we were in need of great food and some shopping, we hopped in the car.  Like clockwork, our first stop when we got into town was Papa Milano’s.  It was my family’s absolute favorite Italian restaurant on the planet.  Their red sauce was TDF (to-die-for), the gnocchi perfection and the hostess never failed to be wearing electric blue eye shadow.

One night, we asked the cab to take us the to corner of Oak and State in anticipation of some Papa Milano’s gloriousness and…nothing.  Papa Milano’s had closed.

To say my Dad was devastated is an understatement.  “How could they close Papa Milano’s?  It’s a Chicago institution!  And I want their house salad and I want it now!”.  He wrote the family, begging them to reopen, somewhere, anywhere.  When Barney’s and a Citibank went up on that corner…well, it was (almost) enough to make my dear old Dad swear off Chicago and Italian food forever.

I follow Penny Pollack, Chicago Mag’s dining editor, on Twitter and last night, she tweeted the tweet of all tweets: “The Family Behind Papa Milano’s returns with Mama Milano’s“.  Come this May, a pizza bar called Mama Milano’s will be open at 1419 North Wells!

A pizza bar!  In Old Town!  Giuseppe Pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami and olives) for everyone!

It turns out that people other than my family have been missing the Milano magic in Chicago.   Something tells me that my Dad is going to be visiting me a lot come May…