1235 W Lake St. [GoogleMaps]
CPC invaded Macello Ristorante on 11/2/10.
Macello Ristorante is situated along the moderately-industrial corridor that is Lake Street on Chicago’s near west side. Next to the roar of the elevated tracks that form Lake Street’s canopy, Macello is tucked discretely between a vacant lot and a space that once housed a welding shop. Upon entering Macello, you immediately smell hard woods burning in their two wood-burning ovens (yes, two). The room is very inviting and a great place to eat pizza, which at Macello, is made in the fashion of the Puglia region of Italy (very southern part, where owner Giovanni Denigris hails from, according to reconnaissance by Chicago Magazine in their July 2010 write up of Macello).
Chicago Pizza Club ordered four pies during the November 2, 2010 excursion to Macello:
- Pizza Macello: Burrata, Cerignola Olive and Barese Sausage
- Pizza Pugliese: Burrata and Thinly-sliced Mortadella
- Pizza Bianca: Fresh Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil and Arugula
- Pizza Americana: Fresh Mozzarella, Sopressata, Mushrooms, Roasted Peppers
The Pizza Macello was speckled with tasty dollops of Burrata cheese, which was complimented by the mild, herby olives; Barese sausage was applied appropriately and the combination with Macello’s moderately acidic/slightly sweet sauce was very nice, indeed. The Pugliese seemed to be lauded by all those in attendance – paper-thin slices of Mortadella allowed plenty of flavor exploration, and the fresh, spongy Burrata played nice with the slightly salty meat and the tomato sauce.
The Bianca, which gained Macello its spot in Chicago Magazine’s aforementioned issue, was refreshing and light, with large arugula leaves doing the heavy lifting for the pie’s overall flavor; chunks of Mozzarella and big pieces of cherry tomato with olive oil and basil gave a background reminiscent of Caprese salad. Last up for Pizza Club was the Americana – it was this reviewer’s least favorite of the evening (not that it was bad…just in comparison to the others) – the Sopressata was very strong, like a hybrid between salami and pepperoni, and seemed a fairly appropriate pairing with the mushrooms and roasted red peppers, if only for their role in offsetting the Sopressata’s very strong flavor. Mozzarella was a good inclusion here, although after eating the Burrata at Macello, one might wish they could sub it in on all their pizzas.