Deli Dreams

More to love about Panozzo's

A good deli is hard to find.

Which is why we feel compelled to point you in the direction of the South Loop, where Panozzo's Italian Market is roasting locally raised meats, making fresh mozzarella, and sandwiching it all between slices of olive-oil-rich crescentine bread.

A brand-new menu of crescentine sandwiches is reason for a revisit to the five-year-old storefront, whose food program is run by chef John Asbaty. The springy, house-made bread is pan-fried in olive oil rather than baked. It forms the base of exceptionally flavorful sandwiches, like confit chicken thighs with roasted tomato pesto ($10), and Lake Michigan whitefish with fennel sofrito, aioli and almonds ($10).

There's even a version of an Italian beef, though here the classic Chicago sandwich is made with braised Slagel Farm beef shoulder, Parmesan cream, giardiniera and salsa verde ($10).

The deli case is stocked with house-made antipasti fodder, three varieties of lasagna, rigatoni with pork ragù, fregola with roasted broccoli, and more. In the refrigerators, you'll find pork rillettes ($9), bacon-cheddar spread ($7) and Bolognese sauce ($11); the market's excellent meatballs ($11 per pound) are stocked in the freezer.

It's the stuff of deli dreams.

Panozzo's Italian Market, 1303 S. Michigan Ave.; 312-356-9966 or panozzos.com