L'Aventino Forno Romano

355 E. Ohio, Chicago, IL, 60611

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L'Aventino Forno Romano

L'Aventino Forno Romano - Chicago

L’Aventino Forno Romano in Streeterville specializes in new takes on a traditional Roman pizza called “pinsa.”

Like all pizza, pinsa is infinitely variable. Unlike all pizza, however, pinsa’s crust has a light, airy texture, and the pizza itself is oval-shaped. Unusually long fermentation time renders the dough lower in gluten than regular pizza dough.

L’Aventino Forno Romano in Streeterville specializes in new takes on a traditional Roman pizza called “pinsa.”

Like all pizza, pinsa is infinitely variable. Unlike all pizza, however, pinsa’s crust has a light, airy texture, and the pizza itself is oval-shaped. Unusually long fermentation time renders the dough lower in gluten than regular pizza dough.

Chef Adam Weisell told us that he grew up in Italy, where he developed a love for the food of “the boot.” Before he opened L’Aventino, he worked at Mint 54 in San Francisco and at La Scuola in Chicago’s Eataly.

L’Aventino is described as an “elevated neighborhood pizzeria,” and the night we visited, the place was living up to its name. The restaurant is literally elevated, with three floors of dining, though the dining spaces on each floor are intimate and cozy. There are only a little over forty seats in the restaurant, so spreading that over three floors leaves lots of room for private conversations and small, friendly gatherings.

This is not your “bros and beers” kind of pizza place. With the pinsa, Weisell is going for something a little bit out of the ordinary, at least in Chicago and the United States. Although L’Aventino is not the place for pitchers of Old Style, there is a very impressive wine list. L’Aventino is where you go to enjoy a crafted pizza and a few glasses of vino in a relatively quiet, very relaxed atmosphere.

There’s a half-dozen red and a half-dozen white pizzas, with daily specials and constantly changing toppings. It’s clear, Weisell wants to keep it fresh. The night we visited, we enjoyed a sausage and mushroom red pizza as well as a special of the day: white pizza with gorgonzola and pear. Both pizzas had a very light crust, though each was crispy on the bottom, with delicate charring all around.

For dessert, we recommend the biscotti. For some inexplicable reason, most Chicago restaurants do not offer cookies (our favorite dessert). Weisell believes this is because restaurants feel the pressure to make fancy desserts, but sometimes, simpler is better. At L’Aventino Forno Romano, the ovens are hot and ready (mostly for pizza) but when deployed to make biscotti, these ovens turn out beautifully crisp and light after-dinner bites that go perfectly with a glass of Moscato.

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