“This is going to sound strange,” said Fabio Sorano, who owns the side-by-side establishments, Letizia’s and Enoteca Roma in Wicker Park. “But there’s a clash between clienteles—between dinner people and bakery people.” So when Sorano and his mom Letizia set out to open a spot in Logan Square, the goal was to unify the bakery and restaurant concepts.
The fusion is taking some time. Letizia’s Fiore is on deck to be “a cafe that meets a wine bar that meets a restaurant that meets a lunch place”; right now, with dinner hours and a wine list on hold until later this winter, it’s pretty much a coffee shop that serves substantial (if a bit heavy) doughnuts for breakfast and simple Italian food for lunch. A piadina is a sandwich on pita-like bread. While I appreciated the slimness of the cotto (Italian-style ham, pictured) one, I wished for some mustard to mitigate the dryness. Interior pieces of square-cut “Roman”-style pizza are a decent choice—the crust is tough, but the toppings are simple and satisfying. Soups are perhaps the safest bet: Hearty, bean-laden vegetarian chili or creamy, sweet tomato are fresh and filling. (Avoid pairing the soup with a “garlic bomb”—it turns out to be uneventful garlic bread.)
For my money, one of the enormous arancini and a cup of soup is the perfect fuel for powering through whatever screenplay or novel you’re working on in the back room. If that sounds like a meal that might clash with the bakery folks, don’t worry. Sorano has put up some warnings, perhaps to make sure people here get along better than at the Division location: How else could you explain the at least eight signs in this one room that say “Please do not stand on the furniture”?
2456 N California Ave (773-342-4400). El: Blue to California. Bus: 52, 74. 6am–6pm. Average main course: $8.