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The Chicago Traveler

Palermo’s Italian Cuisine

by Matt B on December 4th, 2007

For over 35 years, Palermo’s Italian Cuisine on 95th Street has been well-known among the South Side locals for its service, its atmosphere, and, most of all, its thin-crust pizza. Hungry customers pour into the comfy interior with a family feel and an Old World ambiance (old-fashioned décor, brick arches, food and wine posters, and beautiful paintings), all looking for the quality dishes Palermo’s has become renown for.

Palermo's Each and every recipe is a first-generation Italian tradition, having been brought straight from “the old country.” Start your culinary memoirs with the stuffed banana peppers: tender and juicy, they’re stuffed with Italian sausage and just the right amount of spice. The traditional antipasto plate is also a wonderful nod to authentic Italian cuisine, full of old-school meats, cheeses, and relishes. When you’re ready for entrees, the lake perch is lightly coated and sautéed in a special lemon sauce and served alongside a bed of delectable pasta. Fans of Portabella mushrooms will fall over themselves for the penne portabello, sautéed in fresh basil, garlic, and olive oil, and topped with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. But most people will tell you that they’re there for the thin-crust pizza.

Palermo’s has four different kinds of pizza: a regular crust, a deep dish, a Chicago-style deep dish, and the thin and crispy. All of them incorporate the restaurant’s impeccable sauce, which has just a hint of sweetness. You can actually observe and point out the layers of your topping choices, but most importantly, you can taste all those layers with just a bit of crunch from the crisp crust to finish the mouthful. The toppings are piled on in a traditionally Chicago way: underneath a piping hot bed of cheese.

Palermo's If you have any room left, try a dessert. You can stick with something traditional like the tiramisu or crème brulee, or try a bite of Nina’s cassata cake: layers of Italian cake filled with custard pudding, topped off with freshly toasted almond pieces.

When you see co-owner Anthony Calderone mingling around the room, be sure to say grazie! He’ll probably grace your table with a charming smile and a joke or two… that I can’t repeat here. Ha ha!

Photo credit: Palermo’s

Palermo’s Italian Cuisine ($$): 4849 W 95th St (Oak Lawn); 708-425-6262
Mon, Weds – Thurs: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Sun: 1:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
(Reservations recommended)
Street parking; valet available

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POSTED IN: Pizza, Restaurants

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