This post is part of a three-part series on Chicago restaurants. Stayed tuned for parts two and three!
When you think of Chicago and food, often Chicago-style pizza comes to mind. That thick, deep-dish pile of toppings and gooey cheese served in a small pizzeria with red-checked table cloths is almost synonymous with Windy City cuisine.
Well, it might surprise you to find out that my favorite Chicago pizza place doesn't have deep-dish pizza or red-checked table cloths. But it does have a sleek, chic atmosphere, wine and goat cheese.
Maybe it's not a big surprise.
I'm talking about La Madia and its innovative, wood-fired pizzas and extensive wine list. Located on Grand Avenue, this isn't your mama's pizzeria -- La Madia boasts fresh, seasonal, flavorful creations whether it's pizza, pasta or desserts.
When we went to Chicago a few weeks ago, we knew this is a place we wanted to hit because the food is always nothing short of spectacular and the service is typically impeccable. This time was no different.
We started with our favorite appetizer -- a warm, cheesey tomato sauce and pizza bread combo called Pizza Fondue. It's a simple starter and fun -- you get to rip off hunks of chewy, puffy wood-fired pizza dough and dunk it in the warm, tangy sauce. Delightful.
Then we ordered a couple of pies, the Triple Pepperoni and the Laura Chenel Goat Cheese. We've had the Triple Pepperoni several times; it's a thin, meaty pizza finished with white truffle oil, which takes it right over the top. Who knew rustic pepperoni would be so good paired with a sophisticated truffle oil?
The other pie was dotted with goat cheese, melted leeks, garlic and pancetta -- a fantastic spin on a "white" pizza, savory and cheesy.
We went with a Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley to pair with our pies, and it was a lovely wine, nice and jammy.
As always, our service was wonderful. Our waiter was patient with my obnoxious picture-taking, and even posed the bottle of wine so I could get a shot of it. He was attentive and informative and helped make our experience a great afternoon visit.
The desserts at La Madia are also fantastically indulgent, but we skipped them this time around. Be sure to save room if you ever have the opportunity.