Executive Chef Dean Zanella grew up in an Italian family, which meant he had no choice but to be immersed in Italian cuisine, what with his father and grandfather fighting over who grows the better tomato, his uncle blessing the rabbits they raised before his mother served them for supper, and the never-ending search for the perfect bakery. In 1994, as Executive Chef at Grappa, Zanella opened what Chicago Magazine dubbed one of the “Best New Restaurants” in the city. A mentor and a teacher, Zanella has supported programs such as Gallery 37 (a city-sponsored educational program spearheaded by Maggie Daley), where he taught high school students the ins and outs of being a chef. His most recent stint at 312 Chicago won him the accolade of top 50 hotel restaurants in America by Food & Wine Magazine.
Zanella has partnered with Scott Harris (Pizza Nella, Francesca’s, The Purple Pig) and Chef de Cuisine Ray Stanis (Blackbird, Avec, Osteria di Tramonto) on Aldino’s to serve up a menu of local and seasonally-driven Italian fare. Named after Dean’s grandfather’s, Aldino’s also incorporates his nickname, as well as his parents initials (Agnes & Lawrence). Local farms and produce provide the highest quality ingredients for well balanced dishes.
Aldino’s Market, slated to open in a few weeks, will feature Italian sandwiches, Sicilian style pizza, ready made salads, local cheeses, prepared foods, fresh pastas and dried goods. That’s amore.
Aldino’s is located at 626 S. Racine Ave.