Pizano's Pizza & PastaThe Loop
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Rudy Malnati (brother of Lou) is behind this mini chain (there is a second location in the Gold Coast and a new location opening in late summer in Glenview). Rudy's father has a long pizza tradition; he was involved with deep-dish pizza pioneer Pizzeria Uno way back in 1943. Pizano's, of course, is also known for its deep-dish pizza, using the same secret family recipe that has made the original State St. location popular with locals and tourists alike. Pizza bestsellers include the Rudy's special, a pie loaded with cheese, Italian sausage, mushrooms and green onions. You can even splurge on a delicious butter crust pizza for just a buck more. (The pizzas take a half-hour to bake -- call ahead and they will have your pie ready when you get there). Other non-pizza items include house-made ravioli, tortellini, fettuccine and gnocchi with a variety of sauces. Customer favorites include the Brant's special, a heaping dish of mostaccioli sautéed in fresh garlic, butter and olive oil and tossed with spicy Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Desserts include the chocolate chip cookie; the cookie is baked in a deep-dish pan and topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.