The History of the Italian Village Restaurants
Nearly 30 years later, in 1990, The third generation began to stake its claim on the family business when Gina, Al and the younger Frank Capitanini took the reins. Symbolic of this shift in leadership, The Florentine Room entered the cocoon of construction, and under the direction of world-renowned designer, Jordan Moser, emerged as Vivere. Along with a new name, the restaurant gained a decidedly whimsical and fantastic quality; adorned with curvy, swirling architectural lines, brass fixtures, stained glass and dark, velvet curtains. The room itself lent a theatrical quality to the dining experience that was perfect for those guests about to attend a show in one of the area’s many theaters. However, amidst the renovations, Vivere’s commitment to culinary excellence remained the same: paying homage to the classic dishes of the past by interpreting them through the lens of modern trends and techniques.
Now operated by third generation owner, Gina Capitanini and General Manager, Joseph Deininger, The Italian Village Restaurants remain both a driving force and a means of measurement for success in the Chicago dining scene.
No visit to the Italian Village Restaurants would be complete without an excellent bottle of wine from our famous cellar. Though the Italian Village wine list is one that spans the globe, it has a strong Italian focus that is authoritative in its scope. As one of the largest restaurant-based wine cellars in the Midwest, our cellar holds over 35,000 bottles for a total of 1,100 selections and has received awards every year from Wine Spectator for well over 30 years. The cellar is also precisely climate controlled (57 F for reds, 47F for whites), ensuring that your bottle, whether it is $40 or $4,000, is properly stored and properly served.
During the day, it hosts guests from all over the Loop, including those in the legal and finance sectors and at night, it welcomes hungry guests on their way to the opera, a play or a musical. The Italian Village is also a premier destination for travelers from all over the globe and has been featured on WTTW’s Check Please! Vivere chefs participate in Restaurant Week on a yearly basis as do Village chefs in Bacon Fest. Italian Village as a whole remains active in its community by sponsoring Ferrari Fest, a fundraiser that utilizes high performance sports cars to raise money for Lurie’s Children’s Memorial hospital and the Inspiration Corporation. Please stop in soon and let us take care of you like one of the family!