“When the food is done, it’s done! I give you another thing,” Dario Vullo explained to The Pipeline last night, as he described the style of his traditional Italian restaurant, Nando Milano Trattoria, which plans to open tonight at 2114 W. Division (in the former Dee’s Place spot).
The trattoria’s name derives its inspiration from Vullo and his fiancee, Amy Yetsook’s, adorable dog, Nando.
Unique items on the tasting menu include eggplant bruschetta (pictured), asparagi e uova, or grilled asparagus over sunny-side up eggs and parmesan cheese, three kinds of pasta (one kind pictured), a breaded bone-in pork chop with rustic roasted potatoes, and, for dessert, zuccotto al cacao, or chocolate layered sponge cake with a chantilly cream.
Most recently Vullo worked as server/ general manager of his cousin Riccardo’s Trattoria in Lincoln Park, which received a prestigious Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide.
Though we can’t speak for any of the items on the tasting menu, The Pipeline was graciously invited to enjoy a bowl of pasta with the team of Vullo, Amy, chefs Alessandro and Alessio (cousins of Vullo’s), and food photographer Johnny Volk as they prepared for opening day.
Though we don’t accept food from places we report on, and if we do, it is clearly noted, it was around 8PM on Sunday night as we were looking into the window of the trattoria. We then learned that real estate broker Melissa Jennings had already told Vullo about the pipeline (we’d hinted at it back in January). Having missed dinner due to walking around, we decided to settle into a stool at the bar and enjoy what can only be described as the most amazing pasta we’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming anywhere. And we’ve eaten a lot of pasta… ala Aldi/Ragu in a jar… chain Italian restaurants… smaller quaint indie spots, etc.
We realize words like “amazing” are trite, though not being “foodies” and having many other stories to report on, plus a fast approaching magazine deadline, we will begin and end at amazing and encourage readers to visit the trattoria, partake in the tasting menu, and add your thoughts as a comment! Be forewarned that Vullo’s family and extended family’s roots in the restaurant industry go back decades and hospitality doesn’t just seem to come as second nature, but appears to be their good nature. Two guys from local indie record label Drag City, pictured, found themselves peering into the space last night as well. And if you can’t tell by the photo, they came inside and had a blast, too.
Hours, to our knowledge, begin at 5PM. No website yet, though check back at www.nandomilano.com in a day or two. Find Nando Milano on Twitter , at @NandoMilanoTrat. For more information call 773-48-NANDO)