La Gondola

May 16 2008 - 5:54 AM

La Gondola is tucked away in a small space of a "strip mall" shared by Jewel-Osco on Ashland in Lakeview. Blink, and you might just miss this hole-in-the-wall joint. The restaurant literally had about 6 tables and a single waiter bustling around the small space.

Between our party of 12 people, we ordered just about everything on
the menu. Most of the dishes were perfect for family style (which made
the prices incredibly reasonable) and each was more flavorful than the
one before. My favorite of the dishes we ordered was the
Rigatoni Porcini. The dish called for two simple ingredients: imported
porcini mushrooms and tomato cream sauce. The restaurant took just
those ingredients and delivered a combination beautiful to the
palette.

I also found myself going back to the Rigatoni Gondola dish often.
Well, really, any one of their dishes with cream sauce was simply
delectable. Or maybe I just have an affinity for rigatoni.

Any one of the dishes we ordered truly impressed. The Chicken Monte
Carlo was very tender. The three-layered Eggplant Parmigiana was baked
in a delicious marinara sauce. And the salmonate risotto (with
mushrooms in addition to the salmon) was rich in flavors. The next thing I try would
have to be the stuffed gnocchi – pillow soft. Gotta love the name. I
think La Gondola has increased my expectations for unrubbery gnocchi.

End the meal with their cannoli and a glass of wine, and you will leave a happy bloated camper.

2914 N Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL, 60657
(773) 248-4433

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