Flavorsome thin crust pizza and a spacious patio make a winning combination at Rocco's Pizza in Lincoln Park
. Restaurant founder John Figlioli comes from a family of Sicilian immigrants with cooking smarts, and it shows. A vegetarian thin crust pizza, which comes topped with spinach, mushrooms and roasted eggplant, has a crust with just the right amount of crunch, and cheese that's tasty but not annoyingly stringy. Spinach and well-salted mushroom slices also taste delightfully fresh.
While the patio is cheery with many planters packed full of pretty flowers, the spacious indoor part of the restaurant, with sliding glass doors, also offers a nice view of the patio but keeps customers safe from the elements. Tables feature red-and-white checkered tablecloths topped with paper tablecloths, and the indoor dining areas have tiled floor.
Nostalgic '80s music pipes throughout the restaurant while the good-looking wait staff provides friendly, smooth service. Many beers are on the menu, and sipping a Goose Island 312 is a good way to kick-start any meal.
In addition to pizza, the restaurant offers salads, hearty sandwiches (such as grilled chicken sandwiches with pesto mayo and meatball sandwiches with marinara and provolone cheese) and many pasta dishes, including penne with shrimp, four-layer lasagna and spaghetti with meatballs. So, whether you want to soak up some sunshine outdoors or linger in the air-conditioned confines indoors, count on digging into some delicious, fresh, flavor-packed food.
Centerstage Reviewer: Mary Susan Littlepage