Chicago is known for pizza. Downtown is full of places with the claim of the world’s best ones. From the thinnest crust to the world famous Chicago style, you can find the perfect style for every taste. Inside the Embassy Suites Hotel, is one pizzeria that can definitely claim that title. Pizzeria Via Stato is not just pizzas though, it’s a lot more. Recently, I got a chance to find out just how much more there was.
Coming into the restaurant, it is located in the lobby of the Embassy Suites in the heart of downtown Chicago and not far from the Magnificent Mile. Shopping and theatres are also centrally located. It is ideal because it is just off the lobby of the gorgeous hotel . Great food and shopping are convenient as well. All of the wines are Italian and that is no lie. I enjoyed a delicious bellini made with a housemade grapefruit puree and it was made with a prosecco , because Italians don’t believe in champagne. There is also a great selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. Don’t feel like alcohol? They also serve sodas in carafes and boast a lemonade that will take you back in time.
One of the most popular things here at Pizzeria is the small plates. The bread is warm and fresh ciabatta bread with sea salt. It is specially made for the restaurant by a bakery in town. There is only one way to enjoy it and that is with the roasted garlic and olive oil. I loved dipping it in the balsalmic vinegar savoring the sweet taste. The colorful caprese was a perfect spring dish with its vibrant red and green Large chunks of pulled mozzarella were flavored with basil and accompanied with juicy tomatoes. It reminded me of everything that is good about the summer. You can’t call a place Italian with out trying the meatballs. The meatballs are made with a tangy combo of veal and pork . I would venture to say that they are probably one of the best meatballs I have tried in Chicago.We were told that it is Chef David’s specialty and a staple in many dishes. Our favorite, hands down, is the roasted sweet onion. This dish is pure heaven. A parmesan coating is baked in a pizza oven until it is golden brown and sauteed in white wine. Mmm delish. But the ultimate word here is pizza …
Most people come for the pizza and now we know why. The crust is a thin Roman style that is so crunchy. Jen usually doesn’t eat the crust, and Jen munched it right down. Brad made an excellent choice , the margherita pizza. It is by far the most popular of all the pizzas. The mozzarella is fresh and the tomatoes are from san marazano. We also tried two other dishes , the chicken pesto sandwich and penne pasta. The sandwich was made with the same delicious ciabatta bread which worked with the arugula, chicken, and pesto. The penne pasta was cooked al dente which is the absolute best way for noodles. The mostaccioli was cooked with chicken and a spicy tomato sauce with a tiny kick to it.
Finishing up , we came upon the chocolate tart that is a specialty at the restaurant. The bittersweet chocolate tart was garnished with a frozen orange rind. The best way to enjoy it was to eat some orange and then take a bite of the tart. The crust was as light as a feather. Add some expresso specially made by the people at Intelligenista and you have an amazing dining experience. The food is quite good and reasonable. For lunch, diners can get soup , sandwich, and one of the awesome tarts for only 9.95 , but make sure to get in early because this deal only lasts from 11:30 to 3 pm. It is a great deal if you are visiting the Windy City for business or pleasure.
Pizzeria Via Stato and it’s sister Osteria Via Stato are located at 620 N State Street. Our thanks to Brad and Jeffrey for arranging such a pleasant dining experience.