A few weeks ago , we were fortunate enough to be invited to the twenty fifth anniversary of Trattoria Gianni. The night turned into a real celebration as the Blackhawks came from behind to win the Stanley Cup. But for us, it was a night of great food , good music, and new friends.
Gianni Delisi is the reason that this place has stayed the test of time. The food is authentic and the restaurant has seen its share of famous people. Maybe its location has something to do with the famous folk that show up . Trattoria is located right across from the world famous Steppenwolf Theatre. Before the theatre opened its doors in 91, celebs like Sophia Loren and “Ole Blue Eyes” himself stopped to dine and chat with Gianni. The late great Ron Santos also used to hold his benefits for diabetes at the restaurant as well. The thing that made our chat so pleasant was Gianni’s stories of performers that are literally household names. I was told that a frequent visitor is Piven standout , John Cusack. He will often just stop around for cappuccino . “He was supposed to come the night of the anniversary.” Gianni admitted. Steppenwolf founder, Gary Sinise was also expected that night as well, but couldn’t make it since his band was playing at Ravinia. Another frequent diner is the very popular star of ABC’s Scandal, Jeff Perry. He comes in every time he is in town. My favorite story involved the charming television and stage actor , John Mahoney. We got the chance to meet John at the Hugo Awards last year. Gianni said that when John does a show at the theatre, he likes to thank both cast and crew by treating them to a dinner at Trattoria. One time, he even brought in his two television sons , David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer. Gianni looks forward to seeing another one of his “regulars” when William Peterson takes the stage in “Slow Girl” at Steppenwolf. Superman fans will also be thrilled that Michael Shannon of “Man of Steel” has also dined at the popular bistro.
I have never been to a real Italian celebration , so I was pleasantly surprised at all the delicious food that was laid out. Everything from calamari to tomatoes and mozzarella filled the tables. There was very fresh salmon and pasta. The meal was topped off with the cake with the likeness of the restaurant on it . The entertainment was provided by the very talented Enzo Incandale. He serenaded the crowd with traditional Italian music. Dancing was also part of the celebration as well. Enzo’s daughter, Illiana had a great time . She is an accomplished musician in her own right , being the second runner up on “The Voice last year.
We left with a promise to return again soon. Gianni said he would let us know the next time one of his famous diners would be in the restaurant. Who knows when that will be?
These are some of the goodies that were present at the anniversary celebration! Mangia!
What a beautiful cake! And it was also delicious.
If these walls could talk…oh the stories they’d tell. Gianni took pleasure in telling those stories to us. Here is also our friendly bar tender who kept the wine flowing that night.
Enzo was so glad to give us a smile . He is very proud of his daughter, Illiana
Everyone enjoyed dinner on the patio that night.
Here I am with our new friend, Gianni. To twenty five more years!