The food: Thin crust pizza in Chicago
I’ve been a minor league architecture buff since researching and writing my novel The Restoration of Emily, about an architect who restores old houses. So when my sister suggested we go to Chicago for the annual Wright Plus weekend put on in mid-May by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, I was up for the trip.
This was my first ever visit to Chicago, a city full of architectural treasures, old and new, including the turn of the century State Street Macy’s (formerly a Marshall Field’s store) where one can shop amidst soaring atria and under a beautiful Tiffany & Co. mosaic ceiling (installed in 1910):
The Wright Walk event out in the lovely, leafy suburb of Oak Park was a full day outing, attended by 3,000 ticket holders and staffed by hundreds of volunteer docents (AKA major league architecture buffs) who guided vistors through carefully synchronized tours of eight houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright or his contemporaries. We only managed to see 5 of the 8, what with the lineups outside each:
but were impressed and captivated by those we did see, and by the great logistics achievement the day represented.
After feasting our eyes on beautiful buildings throughout the city, we were delighted to discover La Madia, a casual but stylish downtown restaurant serving artisanal Italian pizza and salads (and other foods we didn’t get to try on our two visits there).
Everything we ate was delicious and reasonably priced, including the Heirloom Beet Salad, Watercress, Salt-Roasted Almonds & Gorgonzola Dolce for $8.50:
the Parma Classic pizza ($14):
or the pizza with burrata, wood-roasted summer squash, market tomatoes & torn basil for $17, shown at the top of the post.
Who needs deep dish pizza, when you can feast on a La Madia pie, made with a thin-but-not-too-thin crust – it had a nice, tangy chew to it – and heaped with fresh high quality ingredients? Not me.