Domestic Bonds

Coalfire Pizza and Tempesta Market team up with nostalgic restaurant Little Italy

Three local Italian culinary powers are joining forces to open a nostalgic neighborhood restaurant this month in Little Italy. Peanut Park Trattoria, perched on the corner of Taylor and Loomis Streets, aims to establish itself as a cozy, relaxed haven serving handmade pasta and traditional dishes from many parts of Italy. The new collaboration grew out of old ties: the father and son behind the excellent Tempesta deli market and the classic suburban mainstay Ristorante Agostino, as well as the owner of the ever popular thin crust pizzeria Coalfire.

At the helm is Tony Fiasche, Tempesta’s salumi expert and son of Ristorante Agostino owner Agostino Fiasche. Young Fiasche is eager to deliver an experience like dining at his mother’s kitchen table. Longtime friend Dave Bonomi of Coalfire joins them. The trio hope to revitalize the historic Italian-American enclave of Chicago. Davanti Enoteca spent 10 years in space before closing in 2020.

“A lot of Italian restaurants are sort of gone, so we want to bring this real Italian neighborhood back to Taylor Street,” says Tony Fiasche. “It’s not pretentious, it’s not difficult – it’s a place where people can have a Friday night date or families can come with their kids, where everyone feels welcome. “

Fiasche is a first generation Italian-American who grew up in the kitchen of his father’s restaurant, founded in 1985 in northwest Montclare. Known for its generous portions and lively atmosphere, Ristorante Agostino is now temporarily closed for repairs after an electrical fire in June. The father-son duo received local acclaim when they opened Tempesta Market in 2019, successfully marrying modern sensibilities with the family’s 75-year heritage of salumi-making. West Town’s grocery store quickly cemented its reputation for creativity and excellent technique with thoughtful sandwiches, popular brunch, and a robust retail section.

Peanut Park will offer a tight menu focused on simplicity and not limited by regionality, in an approach that Fiasche says is perhaps best summed up by its linguine alle vongole, made with just a handful of high-quality ingredients. “We don’t add cream or wine, there’s no butter,” he says. “If you were to go to my mom’s for lunch, this is how you would eat it, so it’s special for us to present these simple and delicious things.”

Other cuisine specialties include homemade rolled and stuffed pasta, a robust selection of salumi served with airy gnocco fritto, and hearty dishes such as whole branzino and bone-in sirloin with rapini gremolata. Despite praise for Coalfire’s thin, puffy crust pies, the restaurant won’t debut with a pizza. Fiasche always reserves the right to add it in the future as an appetizer or kid-friendly option, but doesn’t want to spread its team too thin. A finalized menu is not yet available, but potential customers can preview the possibilities on the restaurant’s Instagram page. Diners can also expect a full bar and an extensive national and Italian wine list.

The corner restaurant space at 1359 W. Taylor Street features a first-floor dining room that seats 80 to 90 people and designed to give off a rustic warmth with dark wood and exposed red brickwork. There’s also a rooftop terrace with a retractable enclosure that can seat up to 30 people, and although it doesn’t open in December, Fiasche considers it a cool spot for cocktails or parties once that. operations are going smoothly. Partners are not ready to announce an opening date but expect to start serving before Christmas. They keep looking for employees.

Peanut Park Trattoria, 1359 W. Taylor Street, scheduled to open in December.