So I had always walked by this place walking home from work and during the summer there is seating outside. The aroma of the fried calamari made me curious and it just looked like a cute place. So last night a friend and I tried it. The food was excellent and the service was quite good as well! Our server was extremely knowlegable about the menu and I had a blast. The veal I had was excellent as was our fried calamari appetizer. I would highly recommend this place to anyone who lives around to try it. Great hospitality as well by the male host. I believe he was one of the owners. Great full bar too!
Best Italian, Best Northern Italian food, The real deal, friendly and fun atmosphere
Whenever we venture downtown, we always head to Club Lago. Why wouldn't we...when it's the best Italian food in Chicago AND it's always consistent, the staff is attentive, friendly and accomodating and the atmosphere is easy going, yet fun. Our standard order is fried zucchini appetizer, pizza bread and red wine. We always order a pasta dish (with meat sauce) to pass around the table to share and then we each order our own veal dishes. You may ask us, which veal dish would we recommend... and we will tell you it would be a great debate in our family as to which one is the best....is it the traditional veal parmesan, veal sassi, veal rusticana, veal piccante, veal limone or breaded veal cutlet? They are all amazing and I could easily say that each of those veal dishes is the best! You must try each one and decide for yourself! If we have room we always order cannoli. It is so good!! What makes Club Lago unique is that it the kind of place you can go dressed up before a concert or play, go casual for a dinner with friends, dress in jeans to eat before a game, pop in to grab a quick bite and drinks between a wedding and the reception, have a nice lunch or dinner when you're with the kids, or go for a special occasion with your sweetheart, simply because they treat you so well in this place! The Nardini brothers are the third generation owners and I know this because I have been going there since their grandfather and their father owned the place. I am proud to say I have been eating at Club Lago for more than 35 years!! It is the real deal folks. It is truly a gem of a restaurant. If you haven't been there, you are missing out. Go and experience Club Lago! Tell them the girl from Barrington sent you and enjoy one great Italian meal in a unique atmosphere! Bon Appetit!
Several months ago I was looking for a place to go for Italian cuisine. While shopping at my usual favorite smoke shop, Iwan Ries, a friend recommended Club Lago. I made reservations and headed to the restaurant. I felt like I came into your favorite bar/restaurant. You are immediately greeted like a regular. The customer service is superb. \r <br>\r <br>The place has that old feeling like it has been there forever. You feel you can expect to be treated as though you've been coming there all your life. Everyone is welcoming and inviting. Fantastic long bar, tin ceiling, red checkered tableclothes, etc. \r <br>\r <br>Since that first evening, I've made this my usual stop when I'm in Chicago. Don't miss this restaurant, whether for drinks and appetizers, or for a great meal.\r <br>\r <br>My usual meal is the Veal Saltimbocca with a carafe of Chianti. Fabulous. On my last trip, I ventured for Veal Piccante, a recommendation of the waitress. And she wasn't lying, it was fabulous. I've had their spumoni, but on this trip I tried the cannoli. Absolutely fantastic. I travel a lot with my work and with various cuisines I attempt to find the best of some of my favorite dishes. I would have to say their cannoli ranks right up there.\r <br>\r <br>Another huge plus in the the win column, this place offers an excellent value for the money. Usually in large cities you can expect to pay a handsome premium for great food, but this is the exception. On this last trip for two dinners, two desserts and a carafe of Chianti I think I paid around $65.\r <br>\r <br>If you are looking for a casual dining experience and want to have a great time, head to Club Lago - You won't be disappointed.
Atmosphere:\r <br>Walking up to Club Lago you can't help but notice the neon Bud Light sign in the window, which characterized the atmosphere... a casual local bar meets old school Italian eatery. The boar head on the wall behind the bar (which takes up 1/4 of the restaurant) is wearing a Cub's cap, and the vinyl, red&white checkered table cloths give this place a unique, rustic decor... there is also an attempt at a nautical theme which adds to the kitch. Suffice it to say, this is more of a family and casual dining spot than a romantic dinner for two location. \r <br>Service: The waitress was very friendly and the manager was greeting people as if they were family. I made a reservation, but didn't mention it when we sat down. When it came time to pay the bill, he remembered my name from when i called... I consider that to be attentive customer service and something you just don't find at many restaurants these days.\r <br>Food: Our appetizer (pizza bread) came out burned, but was quickly remedied by the friendly waitress. The pizza bread was clearly made with fresh tomato sauce and plenty of garlic, was nothing more than french bread pizza cut up in slices (yummy none the less). The eggplant parm was some of the best I've ever had, but my wife's dish (green noodles with tomato & mushroom sauce), though recommended by the waitress, was kind of bland, overcooked, and used canned mushrooms. Adding to the ""homestyle"" feel of this place, olive oil comes in a heinz 57 glass ketchup bottle. Definitely reasonably priced.. our bill, with a 1/2 carafe of house wine, came to $50 w/tip & tax.\r <br>\r <br>Overall, we had a fair dining experience and would go back for the service and good prices than the quality of the food and atmosphere. It seems like a great place for lunch, or after work meet-up spot. You could easily bring a large group as there is plenty of room and (more importantly) ability to be loud! \r <br>Try Trattoria Roma for FRESH food & good prices (see my review)!
Went there for lunch and it was like going back in time. Giancarlo is friendly and accomodating, it seems like he knows everybody and has a smile for us all.\r <br>The food is great, we had Spinach Fettuccine with Parmigiano Reggiano and was delivered by "" Chico the Chef"".\r <br>I used to work with Chico and was such a pleasant surprise to see him, and his food was as good as ever.\r <br>Good job senor!!\r <br>Ciao\r <br>Lillo
2nd time visiting this classic Chicago joint. The moment you walk in the door, it's like stepping back in time, not only for the style and general feel of the place, but also for the delicious food. It's what I think Chicago was like back in the 40's and 50's. Cozy booths, the manager seemed to know most everybody in the place, and I did hear the requisite Sinatra recordings playing. I had veal parmigiana on one visit, and spaghetti with meat sauce on the second go round. Both very good. Even had some delicious spumoni ice cream for dessert. Where do you even find spumoni anymore? A fun time and I will be heading back soon.
Wow, Club Lago you are wonderful! From the outside looks of the building and signage, you expect some sort of restaurant group owned restaurant with all the frills. The frills stop at the door. Inside you find booths and tables with red checkered table clothes, an owner/manager that greets everyone by name/handshake, and waitresses that have seemingly been working here forever. The scene is weird - the best way to put it is that if I could imagine what a maf!a restaurant would be 40 years ago, this would be it. The food from the lunch menu was delicious - I had the chicken cordon bleu (Italian style) special and my guests had excellent dishes - one spaghetti with meat sauce and the other veal parmesan. I'll definitely be back for lunch and imagine the dinner scene with a packed restaurant of older Italian gentlemen is surreal.
Club Lago is a great place to go after work. It's a little cramped and smokey, but for those of you who like to go and get your power drink on before heading home or heading wherever, this is the place to be. The staff is very friendly and they remember you...and keep the drinks a'comin. \r <br>The food is decent, excellent if you don't know real italian. \r <br>\r
This place I stumbled upon when other restaurants in the area were too packed to fit a table of 10. Eventhough they said they didn't have room, they quickly accomodated us with a table. The food was the best italian since I moved here a year ago! The ""homey"" neighborhood feel you get while eating is great. I felt like I found a secret no one knows about. Even though I say it's not good for big groups; just make reservations and your set.