Levon The Foodie

A gal whose obsessions lie within fat, sugar, carbs, caffeine, and beverages that could strengthen the heart or seal up a womb.

Archive for the tag “Italian restaurants”

Pizza Capri – Hyde Park, Chicago

Chicago has a portion of my heart and is truly one of my favorite cities to be sent to for work or play.  Hyde Park nostalgically reminds me of my circa 2000 Washington, DC moments.  The vibe is amazing.  I was led to a pasta jewel called Pizza Capri.  Apparently this place is known for its popular pizza choices, but due to my pasta obsessions that’s what I inevitably ordered.


I had the Pasta Shells with Salmon sautéed with crimini and portobello mushrooms, simmered in tomato cream sauce with garlic and shallots.  It was amazing.  Someone in the back did their heavy cream justice.  It was tasty, hearty, and included some of my favorite things – mushrooms, garlic, and salmon.  It’s always nice to see chefs play around with a vodka sauce.   My FPIC had the Creamy Garlic Chicken Fettuccine tossed with Italian parsley and parmesan cheese in a parmesan garlic cream sauce.  It was equally amazing.

I enjoyed it enough to actually go back a few days later for dinner again since..

..And because

This time the server convinced me to try something else.  I’m a stubborn foodie and oftentime habitually stick with what I know.  In this case I took the server’s suggestion and tried something that wasn’t even on the menu.

This dish had fettuccine in an alfredo sauce that was laced with nutmeg.  Borderline stroganofish but with an Italian twist.   It was significantly different than the last vodka dish but good.  It had mushrooms, spinach, parsley, certainly nutmeg, and chicken and noodles.  It was good.  And like the previous visit, generous portions with a very unpretentious vibe.  Great spot. Next time I’ll try to curb my pasta addiction and get the deep dish.




Emporio – Nolita NY

Emporio at 231 Mott St in the Nolita neighborhood of New York falls under the Aurora Restaurants, and rightfully so.  It is an excellent representation of the group and has an amazing decor, ambience, waitstaff and food that falls right in line with the Aurora reputation.  Emporio embodies all the elements needed for the perfect, yet not too formal, laid back Italian restaurant.  It has all the elements to make the right impression on your first date or to just have a really good Italian experience – charm, personality and a menu that is completely in Italian, the official seal of authenticity.  Walking through the quaint front section of the restaurant which passes through the rustic, open kitchen space, definitely for the moment, puts you in the middle of Sicily somewhere.  The food itself is positively soul stirring.  As one would expect at an authentic Italian restaurant, the ingredients are fresh and the pasta is made to order.  The seasonings in the Agnolotti were absolutely breathtaking and I was head over heels for the valley of mushrooms.   The chicken was equally as good. ….I was happy.

Agnolotti – stracciatella cheese filled pasta with wild ramps and porcini mushrooms

Bottega Louie Part Deux

A few weeks ago we hit up one of my favorite organized chaos type Metropolitan downtown LA spots, Bottega Louie.  I won’t go into great detail since I’ve spoken of this place before, but as always it was a solid experience.  The food was great along with my company..

Tress Glenn, Braylen Brooks, Levon Saunders

..and the vibe was sizzling. The room was filled with a bunch of fabulous, dressed and ready for whatever Hollywood types, and our centrally located table gave us an unlimited amount of possibilities for people watching. Our server convinced me to try out the Trenne which had a unique, crunchy but tasty triangular penne, with braised prime rib, Tuscan black kale and shaved Grana parmesan with a light sauce.  I was nearly in heaven.


It was an excellent recommendation and I was equally pleased with the Bottega Louie Peanut Butter Terrine finale number.  They have excellent desserts so I wasn’t at all surprised.

Bottega Louis Peanut Butter Terrine

We ate, drank, and chatted about random topics such as Braylen’s new upcoming show on Oxygen “Shopaholic”, Tress’s promising auditions for various projects, my foodaholic tendencies, and extremely stylish mini adults that were lingering near our table..

Stylish Bottega Louie mini-adult patron..

So once again, a great experience at one of LA’s noisiest and crowded, yet highly addictive restaurants.  Similar to my love hate relationship with New York City.  I digress.  Until my next Bottega Louie adventure..

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