Il Vicinato Ristorante
Il Vicinato was established in 1983 in heart of Little Italy inside the Pilsen Neighborhood of Chicago. This community favorite is run by chef and owner Leo Rios, who uses Old World Italian recipes passed down through generations.
Il Vicinato’s standout dishes include Chicken Vesuvio and Veal Ravioli Bolognese, made with a 100-year-old family recipe. Il Vicinato has received praise from food critics, including Chicago’s Best, Check, Please!, and the Chicago Tribune. The intimate setting and authentic Italian flavors make Il Vicinato a gem among Italian restaurants in Chicago.
1983 – 2008
Ivo Marchetti (left) & Jimmy Nacarato (right)
2008 – 2019
Felipe Muñoz (left)
2019 – Current
Leonardo Rios (right)
Old World Recipe
The story behind Il Vicinato’s famous Veal Ravioli Bolognese, as told by former owner Felipe Munoz and written by the Chicago Tribune.
There once was a lady from Lucca, Tuscany, who took to the streets on Chicago’s Lower West Side to sell her homemade veal ravioli. This was decades ago, an Old World recipe brought over from Italy. One of her sons would open a restaurant near 25th and Western Avenue, now long gone, and another son opened Il Vicinato a block up the street.
It’s at Il Vicinato where the veal ravioli endures 40 years on, stuffed and crimped by hand several times each week. The key is in its dough, less eggy and less firm than other ravioli, with a texture one could bite through without a lot of give. It glides like a soup dumpling. There is a rustic, made-by-nonna quality to these wrinkled pillows the size of business cards, and the ground beef sauce ladled atop is hearty and meat-generous. Three decades on, no dish at Il Vicinato sells better, and it’s no surprise.