My whole life I have been in the restaurant business. From the age of 10, I was already working in my parent’s restaurant La torre- I started out making salads and by the age of 16 I moved forward to pizzas and sautéing. In 1996 my parents both retired, sold their restaurant and moved back to Sicily. Over the course of 3 years I spent about 11 months in Alta Villa Milicia Sicily working on my parents olive farm and developing my passion for cooking. When I was home in Chicago, I would drive a produce truck and learned about the importance of quality product. At 21 years old I opened my first restaurant Spuntino’s, a small 900 square foot pizzeria in Park Ridge catering mostly to pick up and delivery. In 2006 I wanted something bigger, so I sold Spuntino’s and decided to open Affresco.
At the very beginning Affresco was only meant to be a small 10 table gourmet upscale pizzeria; after two years and a lot of construction it became a 4,500 square foot restaurant with 3 dining rooms and a patio with a capacity of 150.
Affresco features an Italian American menu with a modern take on old country Sicilian fare. I only offer the finest and freshest ingredients, fish and meats are delivered daily and are never frozen. Would you believe that the only freezer we have in the building is just big enough to hold gelato? My signature pastas (gnocchi ravioli, parpardelle) and sauces are made from scratch here in house with my own family recipes. Everything is made to order! Every morning I am up at 3:30a.m. and personally go to the international produce and fruit market to hand pick only the best product available. This is how I ensure the quality of ingredients used in our dishes.
Our Sicilian- American pizzas are made in our wood-burning brick oven along with many of our dishes. The Pollo Arrosto (whole chicken) has been a staple at Affresco and is roasted with fresh seasonings and finished off
right next to the fire. Our Linguini Pescatore is a longtime favorite among our guests- Manilla clams, East Coast Mussels, calamari, and king crab legs all done in the brick oven and served atop a bed of linguini in a spicy homemade tomato sauce. Our wood burning oven was also imported brick by brick from Italy; it is a functional focal point of this restaurant.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, we hope to see you soon!