Best Alfresco Dining in Chicago
The lush grounds surrounding a Victorian farmhouse-turned-restaurant (left) lure visitors to Enzo and Lucia in suburban Long Grove (35 miles northwest of the Loop). "It reminds me of Italy," says Lucia Cavallino, who learned to cook in her native Naples, helping her mother concoct the perfect marinara. "As kids, we'd have big family meals outside. The little ones would play by the fountains, run around on the grass."
Cavallino recipes are family heirlooms. Enzo and Lucia's sons, Angelo and Gennaro, make fresh pasta daily and serve polla alla Enzo (chicken layered with fontina cheese and asparagus, $17.95) and scampi Lucia (shrimp and clams bathed in Lucia's top-secret blend of garlic, spices and olive oil, $22.95). Early mornings, Enzo scours local farmers markets while Lucia concocts her famed tiramisu ($7).
Enzo and Lucia, 343 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove (847/478-8825).