Bus: 11, 82, 155(773) 267-0888 viavenetochicago.com41.996725 -87.717776 6340 N Lincoln Ave (at Drake Ave) West Rogers Park, Chicago
Lunch, dinnerAverage main course: $15
From the outside, this place looks like it was held over from the ’50s—or at least an episode of The Sopranos. But get inside and you’ll find a contemporary, family-friendly restaurant, the kind of place where many Northwest Siders throw wedding receptions (which is exactly what you’re likely to find in the banquet room). Serving a classy version of Italian-American red-sauce fare, the kitchen puts out melanzane stuzzicante (garlicky discs of fried eggplant), petto di pollo alla senape (juicy chicken breast in a shallot-mustard sauce) and big squares of cheesy lasagna at record speed; but a nice selection of grappa is on hand should you want to linger.