Deerfield Italian Kitchen dining is a family affair
Pan-roasted half Chicken Vesuvio with a garlic/rosemary/white wine sauce and roasted potato wedges, topped with fresh rosemary ($14.99). | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Deerfield Italian Kitchen
648 Deerfield Road, Deerfield
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 4 p.m.-midnight, Saturday; 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday.
(847) 945-2727 or see: deerfielditaliankitchen.com
Updated: October 31, 2012 11:56AM
“We try to offer a family dining experience,” said Deerfield Italian Kitchen proprietor John Sciarretta, Jr.
That goes for both the front and back of the house. The eatery was launched by Sciarretta’s great grandfather in 1962 when he began delivering sandwiches to local construction sites in a bus he called “Smiling Sam’s Rolling Kitchen.’’ It’s grown into a beloved family restaurant where the family — husbands and wives, nieces and nephews, parents and children — still works.
Prices range from $12-$25. Menu staples include classics like meat lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs. All pasta and sauces are still made by hand.
“Your good hearty meals. When it comes down to it, people still want the basics, in our experience,” said co-proprietor and John’s wife Emerald Sciarretta.
Living in Chicago next to Fulton Market, the Sciarrettas are able to buy the freshest ingredients to bring for each day’s meal, from fresh seafood for traditional Fish Fry Fridays, to meats and just-baked bread.
In the Kitchen, every dish is made to order by 30-year executive chef Lazar Melchor. That also means that if the place is busy, just like at home, be prepared to wait.
“It’s not about dine and ditch,” said Sciarretta, Jr. “It’s come in here, sit down and relax. It may take us a bit longer but we feel that extra time and preparation will show itself in the final product, and that’s important to us.”
A stand-out dish is the Chicken Vesuvio. The Kitchen’s matriarch, mama Maria Sciarretta, oversees the roasting of the chicken with a garlic/rosemary/white wine sauce. Vesuvio-style potato wedges and a sprig of fresh rosemary finish off the aromatic dish ($14.99/take out $10.99).
For a lighter choice, try the large red snapper. Baked for 20-25 minutes with lemon caper sauce and a mélange of vegetables, it is de-boned by veteran servers Tatiana Janeska or Karen Martin right at the table. The large fish ($23) feeds “only” two says Sciarretta Jr., smiling.
For dessert, only the Kitchen’s generous portions of homemade tiramisu will do. Emerald makes hers with Southern Comfort and brandy whereas mama Sciarretta prefers Kahlúa and Frangelico, so pick your poison ($5.99).
“We have great customers who have been with us through good times and bad times (and) we are very grateful to have been here for so long,” said Sciarretta, Jr.
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