Plan of Attack
A dinner-party game plan at the new Half Italian Grocer
Olives and cannoli at Half Italian Grocer
Want to craft a Mediterranean dinner party on the fly? Head to Logan Square’s new Half Italian Grocer, a market and sandwich shop stocked with the makings of an effortlessly impressive night of eating.
Antipasti: Set out a spread of snacks, including Castelvetrano olives ($11 per pound), piquillo peppers, The Scrumptious Pantry’s pickled lemon cucumbers, and tomato bread from D’amato’s Bakery. Make a Basque-inspired salad of Ortiz ventresca tuna, Matiz piparras peppers and slivered onion drizzled with Castillo de Canena olive oil and Arvum Pedro Ximénez vinegar. To drink: a crisp Cortese from Piedmont, or a flowery Tuscan Vermentino.
Dinner: Grab a bag of fresh linguini ($2.25) from Chicago’s Perfect Pasta, a container of house-made marinara sauce ($5), a bunch of basil, and a hunk of imported Parmigiano-Reggiano or Wisconsin-made Sarvecchio to grate tableside. To drink: a rustic, earthy Italian red, like the Terre di Gioia Pinot Nero ($14).
Dessert: A lining of Tcho chocolate keeps the shells of house-made cannoli crisp. They’re packed with sweetened, chocolate-studded ricotta and showered with ground pistachio; snag a few, along with crumbly, almond-studded biscotti, to serve with Crop to Cup coffee. If you need a Clever dripper to brew your next cup, Half Italian sells those, too.
Half Italian Grocer, 2643 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-227-5600 or halfitaliangrocer.com
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