Albano's Pasta Shop: Simple, Focused, Rustic Italian
My first experience with Albano’s pasta shop was when I was visiting Running Vines Winery for a tasting. I was distracted by the glorious smells permeating the air. I had to learn what was next door.
That’s when I met Nick, the chef, and owner. He was making handmade pasta in preparation for the next night’s opening. Although he wasn’t open for business at the time, he took a few minutes to tell me about himself and his restaurant.
I was impressed to learn that Nick makes everything from the bread to the cheese, and sausage in-house. He was working on his hand made pasta as we spoke. Two days out of the week he's in Michigan, Illinois, and parts of Indiana picking out ingredients. Just about every piece of the produce used in his entrees is plucked from a farm every week; even during winter. Therefore, the Menu, which is about seven items long, changes weekly based on the quality farm ingredients that present themselves for sourcing.
Albano's specializes in very simple, focused, rustic style, Italian cooking. There’s usually no more than 3-4 ingredients in each dish; each one highlighted so that you get the most flavor. 'When you’re using the freshest ingredients, you don’t need to do much to it.'
Everything that I tried was amazing; I’m in love with the freshly made focaccia bread. I’d recommend the sweet potato ravioli and the parsnip tortellini (note that I tried the regular and gluten-free versions of both of the dishes that I recommended and I could NOT tell the difference) The flavors were very clean; I love when I can taste each of the ingredients in a dish. The pasta texture was perfect.
Nick knows his pasta. It was no surprise to learn that he's been at this since the age of 12 and trained under some of the great chefs of Chicago such as Charlie Trotter and Paul Kahan.
I'm so excited that I learned of this wonderful restaurant. My family and I will definitely be regulars!
Things to keep in mind:
• Albano’s is open three nights out of the week, Thursday-Saturday from 12:00-10:00 p.m.
• The entire menu can be subbed gluten free (on demand only, call one day ahead)
• They offer carb free pasta