First Bites: Capri

Beyond the stereotypes, good dining

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By David Hammond

As reported by Marty Stempniak, Capri opened a few weeks ago in Berwyn, occupying the old Wishbone space.

Walking into Capri, one can’t help but notice that every single photo on the walls is of Frank; to the left, there he is in full Nathan Detroit regalia (a photo somewhat needlessly titled “Sinatra”); to the right, there he is with Elvis, and Dino, and the iconic shot of him and the boys in the front of the Sands, etc. The only non-Sinatra photos I spotted were in the men’s room, and those were of Marilyn, who will forever be linked with the Sinatra-Kennedy axis of swing.

I always think wall art like this is designed to persuade us that, hey, Frank was great so  the food here must be at least good, right? At least, unlike Caponie’s on Harlem, they don’t festoon the walls with Tony Soprano's family pix.

That said, I had an excellent eggplant Parm at Capri: the vegetable was sliced thin as filo and fried lightly so that eggplant and breading became one. It was served with pasta in a house-made sauce, which was also very good, the slight sweetness balancing the bitterness of the melanzane, evened out by the noodles. It was one of those big dishes that arrives and you think, “I’ll have to bring half of this home.” Then you eat it all.

The opening soup was the escarole and bean, and it was fine, if maybe just a little salty, but a serviceable rendition of this classic.

For seven bucks, I had a highly decent pour of Trinity Oaks Pinot Noir, and wines by the bottle and glass are priced very reasonably.

There are some unique offerings on the menu like the Mayor Lanzilotti Special, a type of seafood linguini, and Pollo “Forget About It,” a chicken breast with tomato and onion (it really should be spelled Fuggedaboutit, though, right? I mean, this isn’t Hugh Grant talking here). Much of the rest of the menu is solidly in the Italian-American restaurant canon: Caprese salad, baked clams, veal Marsala, etc. In a nod to the times, you can get whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, which is nice for those of us who might be experimenting with going without gluten.

Before I visited, I called the restaurant and asked the host if the place was casual. He said, “Yes, very casual,” but I’m not quite sure that’s accurate. There are cloth napkins and tablecloths, so it’s not exactly Jimmy’s Place…however, like that home-style Italian joint in Forest Park, Capri is going to be serving braciole with neck bone gravy every weekend. Atsa nice.

6613 W. Roosevelt,

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I LOVE TO EAT from Oak Park  

Posted: February 8th, 2012 2:56 PM

Hey, David! This really looks good. Their website is truly inviting. I'm looking forward to going there! Thanks for that nice review!

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