Monastero's Ristorante and Banquets

Chicago
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Owned and operated by the same Sicillian family for years, this place is Italian to the max. Painted shields on the walls depict scenes from Sicilian history, opera and Italian folk music play over the sound system, and every spring, there's a Bel Canto opera competition. The menu has a little something for everyone. Look for Sicilian favorites such as arancini (rice balls filled with meat, cheese or vegetables and then deep-fried) and pasta dishes like stuffed manicotti and spinach lasagna, as well as broiled steaks and chicken and a selection of fish dishes. The dining room features brick arches, fluted columns and a garden room with skylights and dozens of hanging plants. Don't skip the cannoli--Montastero's is well known for their version of the sweet cheese-stuffed Sicilian pastries.