January 'Girls' Night Out' took place at La Madia, a wine and pizza place in downtown Chicago. I read good things about this place from City Girl Chicago and since I love both wine and pizza I figured this place would be a winner. And it was.
As always, the best part of dinner was catching up with my favorite girls- Wendy, Sara and Laura. Laura recently got engaged (congrats) and I loved being blinded by her astounding ring (good job, Steve!). However, I'm a bad blogger and forgot my camera and my iphone pictures were not great so no pictures of my friends and I:(
The first thing you should know about La Madia is that it shares an address (59 W Grand) with the Indian restaurant next store, so don't get confused! The ambiance is nice- dark, pleasing music, nice tables, fun modern lighting. 'A' quality for a mid-range restaurant.
Next up, the wine. Wow! What a list. You can check out the full list here. We choose the Dona Paulo Shiraz/Malbec blend from Argentina. I was a bit nervous because it was organic, and I've never tried organic wine. I eat organic everything else but for some reason, not wine. But I had no need to worry- this particular bottle was GREAT! Only $36 a bottle, which I actually think is a steal- I'd willingly pay $20 for this bottle at the store, so $34 at a restaurant is not bad! We may or may not have had 2 bottles. What? We were thirsty!
We decided to split pizzas and I'm glad we did but they actually do have some tasty looking non-pizza dishes. For example 2 of the specials were mushroom risotto w/ black truffle oil and celery root soup. We choose the following:
Triple Pepperoni, Tomato Sauce & Mozzarella Cheese, finished w/ White Truffle Oil
So...freakin'....good. Sometimes I'm hesitant to get pepperoni pizza the first time at a new place, because it can be greasy, but this pepperoni was just right. And you really could taste the truffle oil. Yum!
Teleggio and 3-Hour Roasted Grapes
I was very suspicious of this one. Grapes on a pizza? I'm a pizza purist and often don't like funky ingredients on my pie. But our friend, Sara, had tried this before and vouched for it. It....was....amazing! So flavorful, so interesting. Loved it. When (not if, but when for you Chicagoans) you make your way to La Madia, definitely try this one. When else will you have grapes on pizza??
Parma Classic: Mozzerella Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Prosciutto di Parma, Finished with Arugula
Umm....this is embarrassing. I'm not sure if I even tried this one because I was so obsessed with the first two. My friends seemed to like it!
Below is the pizza menu. To see the whole menu, click here.
Finally, dessert. We had the Apple Crostata w/ Vanilla Gelato and Bittersweet Chocolate Tortino w/ Toasted Almonds. Both were great. I liked the former better than the latter but really both were excellent.
If you will allow me to indulge a few gender stereotypes for a minute, I'd say that La Madia is the women's version of Piece. Piece is one of my very favorite places in Chicago- it's a craft brewery w/ delicious New Haven style pizza, great music, and lots of TV's for sports viewing. Where Piece has beer, La Madia has wine. Where Piece has dark wood and picnic-style tables, La Madia has modern lights and paintings w/ quite nice flatware and glasses. Where Piece has high quality pizza with 'interesting' toppings like mashed potatoes, La Madia has high quality pizza with 'interesting' toppings like truffle oil and grapes. Both are great places for groups of friends to return to again and again. In fact- I can't confirm this- but I might want to head to La Madia again this week for my birthday....we'll see if we can tear ourselves away from Hawaii packing!!