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In my normal day job, I tend to travel a bit.  I work in various suburbs and towns around the Chicago metropolitan area.   I really like exploring the surrounding areas by the remote site offices, as there is usually something I run into by mistake and it leaves an impression.  The really fun part is when I make mention to my family about the place and we get to share the experience together.

The office I was working in would be considered a public transit island.  Meaning, you couldn’t easily travel to location by our local rail commuter service.   I tried multiple different ways to travel home via different streets, hoping to magically shave off 15 minutes from the car drive home.  (This never happened, the shaving of the 15 minutes)  But, while cutting through Melrose Park on Division Street, I ran into this lighted little area lined with little restaurants.  Abruzzo’s caught my eye.  It looked like the type of place that my wife and family would enjoy.

I always tell my wife that I am trying to make memories, because we need to live for the day   Abruzzo’s is a restaurant that allows you to do just that.   As we approached the building, both it and the street were beautifully decorated for the holidays.   Upon entering the dining area, we were seated with a table with white table cloths, perfect place settings, and wonderful decor.  In my imagination I could see and hear Frank Sinatra holding court in the corner booth.   The charm just came at you from every angle.  Looking around, I just smiled.   It was magnificent.

Our waiter was at out table side very quickly, suggested some drinks, and listened as our daughter explain her food allergies.  He quickly broke down what she should have and not have and customized a dish with her in mind.   Just fantastic service from the Abruzzo staff.

Abruzzo’s features both homemade sauces and noodles.  And neither disappointed.   My wife ordered the home-made flat noodles with crumbled sausage in vodka sauce.  This dish is called “Maltagliati all Vodka”.  From the first bite, she was in heaven.  The noodles were firm and cooked perfectly, the vodka sauce was savory and just the right amount of flavor, and the crumbled sausage was awesome.

I ordered Pappardelle noodles, meat sauce, and a meatball.  It was perfect.  The noodles and sauce complemented each other and the meatball added just the right amount of flavor.   Our daughter’s dish had baked gnocchi and was just delightful as well.

Did I mention the serving sizes were huge?  Two adults could easily split one dish, so we all had leftovers for the next day!   We finished the meal with two desserts.  Homemade cheesecake with blueberries and Sfingi with Rhum Baba.  Sfingi is an Italian Donut with whipped cream and rum.  Both desserts were absolutely delicious.

If you are in the Chicago area, do yourself a favor and make your way to Abruzzo’s in Melrose Park.

4 stars – A Hitting a Mark recommendation.