March 2005

Chicago | Illinois | Italian20 Mar 2005 10:10 am

This south side place on busy 95th Street (southwest side of the Windy City) gives hope that culinary treats can be enjoyed away from city center and the North Side. Snobs beware – the South Side has other great Italian restaurants besides those on Taylor Street and in the old Italian neighborhood around Cermak Road. High ratings in the local Daily Southtown brough me here to give it a try.

The wine list, though not extensive, offered a variety of choices, though no focus on any single style. If you want Italian red, maybe 3 or 4 bottles to choose from – with one Barolo as an example. But prices are fair and you can select a decent bottle for a reasonable price.

Bread is very good, with the usual olive oil and butter choices.

Sticking with pasta with broccoli was a good choice. The olio aglio was perfect with plentiful garlic and good oil; plenty of veggies made this a high cruciform experience. Don’t forget your dark green vegetables – keep the guy/gal with the sickle away as long as possible.

The menu is extensive, and they serve pizza (which looked pretty good) as well.

$ to $$ depending on wine

4849 West 95th Street
(just west of Cicero Ave. on south side of street)
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 425-6262

Mexican | New Mexico | Santa Fe20 Mar 2005 09:28 am

The red-brick Santa Fe station house, constructed in 1904, houses Tomasita’s – “a distinctly Northern New Mexican restaurant.” Another place where the “locals” go, though we noticed many strangers. I had their Saturday special: Carnitas Antonio (nice name) with tender strips of beef marinated with onions and green chile with special sauce and the obligatory rice and refried beans. Tortilla soup here also worth a try. Oblige yourself with a Margarita while waiting for a table.

Service is extremely friendly, even to strangers.

500 South Guadalupe
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 983-5721