As I’m sitting here reminiscing about my last visit to L’Appetito, which a friend of mine highly recommended, I find myself mowing down a sandwich that I just just whipped together in my kitchen. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for a simple, yet satisfying sandwiches– which is why delis are attractive to me.
As simple as it is to create something between some bread– there are a lot of mediocre and sub-par creations out there. Fortunately, L’Appetito is everything that you’d expect from an Italian deli; from their subs to their pasta. They’ve stood the test of time– each bite will tell you why.
I was in the Gold Coast area, so I decided to pop into the L’Appetito in the base courtyard of the John Hancock Center (multiple locations).
You’ll first notice murals mimicking the view from a patio of a quaint Italian town and an adequate dining room for area employees and travelers alike to grab a bite and rest for a moment before they go about their day.
Besides having a phenomenal walk up deli– L’Appetito also has a market that offers Italian treats– such as cookies and spreads, wines and other imported goods.
If you are in need of a caffeine fix, L’Appetito also contains a coffee shoppe that offers up pastries to go with your drink. If you are looking for a light lunch, or a quick breakfast to get you going– stop at this counter.
I meandered over to their deli counter and took a few moments to soak up all of their sandwich offerings. I settled on a classic Italiano sub– it contains all of the Italian meat standards that you’d crave and expect : Capicolla, Genova Salami, Mortadella & Provolone Cheese.
To pair with your sandwich for a complete meal– their deli counter is filled with fresh pasta and salads that are sold by the pound.
With a full meal in tote, I decided to head back and eat out of the comfort of my room while I continued to hash out work for the day.
The sub was very hearty with toppings and large in size. The bread really made this sandwich– soft yet firm and exuding freshness. I managed to take down the entire sandwich in one sitting, but restraining myself to half with the pasta would have been more than sufficient; sometimes I lack self control.
The toppings tasted of high quality, and once again the freshness was found in every ingredient. Something many other sandwich shops lack. One of the things that I look for when I eat a sandwich is the ability to be able to taste each ingredient separately, yet having everything exist together in harmony.
That is precisely why L’Appetito’s sub sandwich remains towards the top of my list for favorite deli fresh sandwiches in Chicago.
The Pesto Tortellini tasted like something that I imagine my grandma would make– if she was Italian (but, she is German). The cheese filled pasta covered in pesto is not only cooked to the perfect firmness, but the flavor is balanced in an ideal manor. I ate it cold from the deli and it was spectacular. Warming it up could increase the appeal, but I didn’t find it necessary in the slightest bit.
L’Appetito, in my mind, is a quintessential lunch stop. It’s quick, delicious and offers a welcome variety of deli selections. It is restaurants like this that make it virtually impossible for me to step into a Subway when I need a sandwich fix. When most people think of Italian, they are imagining being immobilized by huge plates of pasta and copious amount of bread and oil. L’Appetito is the other side of Italian cuisine– one that focuses on properly created bread, quality slices of Italian meat, equally phenomenal slices of cheese and fresh vegetables.
Sometimes recommendations can be hit or miss, but I fully understand and appreciate the pressure that I received to step through these doors.
John Hancock Center
875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611